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XCC 433 B1 : Cross Cultural Exploration of Music


Through some practice searches, we'll connect you through our online library resources to relevant content both on site and online. You'll have a couple optional warmups in advance. See you September 30th online!

Sept 30th Class Notes

Keep a search journal since information sources increase and change, don't rely on memory to reconstruct thinking.

Search efficiencies. BU Libraries Search look for the "sign in" to save, personalize. The BULS and library database environments feature phrase search, wild card, and more, such as: music lyrics; "music and lyrics"; music AND lyrics; music OR lyrics; music* lyric* all of which results differ. Google's own advanced search tips are excellent, too.

Assess as you go. You may encounter all sorts of things that inform your thinking; record your reactions, note nature (e.g., current opinion piece but no data; longitudinal qualitative survey; arts feature in WSJ w/data; festival audience exit reactions). Save citations or persistent URLs, and spontaneous documentation even if by phone photo, or memo all work better than none.

The Negro Spiritual Speaks of Life and Death, by Howard Thurman

What can we learn from the description of this single book?

The filter Record Source in your BULS results how many sources such as databases are aggregated.

Why visit Databases A-Z? For their focused, specialized content, and some are not included in the BULS.

How to choose? Your areas are broadly interdisciplinary, so browsing the list or sorting by subject areas are valid. 

For instance, try searching  "hip-hop" in The Economist Intelligence Unit: Country Reports where information retrieved there is not necessarily cited in China Online Journals, or other music periodical, linguistics, political, sociology, theater, etc., databases.  Here are some core suggestions: 

What about current and recent events? There are databases for these, too in addition to, the Boston Musical Intelligencer,, WGBH's Arts & Culture, WBUR's Artery. Are these in library catalogs?

Sept 30th Notable other online destinations

Google of course.

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). This portal efficiently leads your search through digitized cultural content across museums, archives, and libraries (check for terms of use and re-use for useful items you find). Use it for printed and manuscript texts, images, and some sound and video. is another astonishing portal, but for digitized holdings of European institutions including the UK, Eastern Europe, and Russia. Features print and manuscript material, visual and media cultural evidence presented by archives, museums and libraries. Check for terms of use and re-use. It's a tremendous source for images of costumes, stagings, programs, posters, radio, and other sound and video.

The Internet Archive is likely the most ambitious, oldest active repository of digitized texts, enriched with sound, video, and increasingly images. Its related feature is the Wayback machine which systematically captures web pages. Institutions as well as individuals contribute content. You will enjoy its write-up in Wikipedia

The HathiTrust is an academic book and serials digital preservation effort. You may conduct deep full-text searches and other analyses within. It will remind you of on the first pass, although the title content is not identical, the faceting is more detailed; sign in there as a BU affiliate if you wish do take advantage of text mining.

Latin America focus: (1) SciELO. Scientific Electronic Library Online. A newer, curated scientific and cultural research database of open access articles in Portuguese, Spanish, and some English. Published in Latin America including Cuba, Spain, Portugal, and South Africa; still developing coverage for Ecuador, Venezuela, and the West Indies. (2) LANIC the Latin American Network Information Center based at the U. of Texas, Austin.

ASEAN. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations' Cultural Heritage Digital Archiving Project--ASEAN ACHDA--convened for planning early in 2018. This will be a portal. Meanwhile search for institutions within countries for work being presented at individual sites.

Africa. The Aluka project is now a part of JSTOR -- see this JSTOR guide, under Primary Sources JSTOR is on the Databases A-Z list). 

OK -- do you know other notable, overarching projects? Please share what you know.


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Holly Mockovak
Mugar Library, 2nd Floor
Subjects: Music