North American Indian & California Indian Art History:

A Guide to Library Research at Palomar College

Getting Started | Finding Information | Putting It All Together

Part I: Getting Started

Topic Selection
Some resources to use when getting ideas for your research project:

  • look at the topics listed for lecture & discussion in your course syllabus
  • surf the links on your AIS course web page http://daphne.palomar.edu/ddozier/,  
  • read through the table of contents of your textbook
  • browse through a subject-related periodical
  • search the Internet for AIS related web sites http://www.palomar.edu/library/SelfHelpBulletins/images/bd15059_.gifTip: Choose a topic that interests you (this sounds like a no-brainer, but it really does make a huge difference!)

1. Make a list of keywords that describe your topic and related aspects. 
2. Get an overview of your topic in an encyclopedia or other reference books
3. Use the Library Catalog and Databases to help you explore subject headings and come up with alternative keywords for your topic.

Part II: Finding Information

Finding Books | Finding Articles | Finding Web Sites

When you need Books & Videos...

Use the Catalog

Possible search terms (refer to your keyword list for your topic): 

  • Use broad topics to find items that may have a section or chapter on your specific topic and other relevant information: for example, Indian art North America
  • Also use narrower topics: for example, Indian costumes, or Indian baskets
  • Consider synonyms for your keywords: for example, when looking for California rock art, also try the related terms rock painting, and petroglyphs

Tip: Pressing “enter” to search everything will look for your keywords in book titles, subject headings and other fields.

Finding Books in Other Libraries:

  • From the Library Home Page http://www.palomar.edu/library, click on Other Libraries 
  • Click on the link for the San Diego area library whose Catalog you wish to search 
    (remember: as a Palomar College student, you may check out books from CSU-San Marcos and MiraCosta College; public libraries allow area residents to check out materials, too; at other libraries, you are welcome to use the collections, but you may not be able to check material out).

Tip: To begin your search, use the terms from your keyword list; when looking at the search results, notice subject headings and other terms in the catalog records and use them to further develop your keyword list.

Use Inter-Library Loan services to request books and articles not available in Palomar College Library collections. See the Library Reference Desk for request forms. Fees are nominal.


Location (REF: item located in Reference, 2nd floor, San Marcos; STACKS: 3rd floor, San Marcos)


Reference Sources (REF / 2nd floor)

Art Index  V.47  November 1998-October 1999


INDEX TABLE  N7425 .A75 V47


Encyclopedia of American Indian Costume    

REF  E 98 .C8 P37 1994


Guide to Research on North American Indians

REF  E 77 .H57 1983


The Native North American Almanac

REF  E77 .N37 1994


Handbook of North American Indians: Vol 8 – California

REF  E 77 .H25 V.8


Circulating Books (STACKS / 3rd floor)

Editors of Time-Life Books. The Indians of California

E 78 .C15 I352 1994


Native American Art and Folklore: A Cultural Celebration Campbell, David, ed.

E 98 .A7 N357 1993


Indian & Eskimo Artifacts of North America Miles, Charles. 

E 77.5 .M62 1963


Basket Weavers for the California Curio Trade: Elizabeth and Louise Hickox Cohodas, Marvin. 

E 99 .K25 H533 1997


Knaak, Manfred. The Forgotten Artist: Indians of the Anza-Borrego and Their Rock Art

E 78 .C15 K58 1988


Pericot-Garcia, Luis et al. Prehistoric and Primitive Art

N 5310 .P4813


Books on Museums and artifact preservation



Dyal, Susan. Preserving Traditional Arts: A Toolkit for Native American Communities

E 98 .A7 D92


Lewis, Ralph H. Manual for Museums

AM 5 .L48



When you need Magazine & Journal Articles... 

Use a Database

        Some suggestions:

  • From the Library Home Page http://www.palomar.edu/library, choose a quick link:
    EBSCOhost is a good place to begin when you need articles.
  • Also from the Library Home Page http://www.palomar.edu/library, click on Databases for more full-text resources:
  • JSTOR includes full text articles from several Anthropology journals

Some Periodicals (located in Palomar College Library) which may be useful for your AIS research

Anthropology & Culture

Fine Arts

American Indian Art Magazine (current subscription)
American Indian Crafts & Culture (1970-1974)
American Indian Culture & Research Journal (current)
American Indian Quarterly (current)
American Indian Report (current)

Masterkey (1951- 1989)

American Anthropologist
Journal of American Folklore


Southwest Art



When You Want Web Sites...

Use the Internet

Yahoo http://yahoo.com is a directory of web sites arranges by subject
Click on: Society and Culture -- Cultures and Groups – Cultures – Native American – Arts (See Also links for sites about Archaeology, Jewelry, Museums and Exhibits, and more.)

Google http://google.com is a great search engine for finding Web Sites by keywords
Go back to your keywords list; be as specific as you can by entering several keywords.

  • For example, try this search: california american indian basketry

Tip: Unsure of how to get the best information on the Web for your college research projects? Review our easy tips for evaluating web sites http://www.palomar.edu/library/ResearchAids/HowTo/EvalWWW.htm.


Use Subject Links

From the Library Home Page http://www.palomar.edu/library, click on Subject Links.

Subject Links are lists of high quality Web Sites arranged by topic. For research in this class, you may want to explore pages for:

  • American Indian Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology
  • Art
  • History - California, or San Diego
  • Museums
  • And others...

Part III: Putting it All Together

Contact Us http://www.palomar.edu/library/libraryhelp.htm | Library Home http://palomar.edu/library 
http://www.palomar.edu/library/subjects/SubjectGuides/AIS105.htm| Last Updated 09/27/07