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Library Research for Field School in Clover


Research for this class won’t be easy.  There hasn’t been much written on the Woodland people, and precious little on their existence in Virginia’s piedmont region. To access scholarly research about the Woodland culture, you will have to be resourceful.  You will have to dig.

But it’s not all bad news.  You have several tools at your disposal – we’ve pulled them together in the “Source Recommendations” tab above.  You also have people who want to help you.  As long as you’re a little flexible, and as long as you leave yourself enough time for some serious searching, you will be able to use outside research sources to develop an informed perspective on the work you are doing at the Field School.

Image from Library of Congress

Library of Congress’s Photos, Prints, and Drawings collection:

A few pointers

  • Don’t be afraid of old information. Archaeology is different from fields like medicine, business, and technology: if an important discovery was made 50 years ago, it is still worth discussing today.  But if you can find more recent sources, they can be great for your project, especially when it comes to learning about contemporary archaeological techniques.
  • Be flexible with geography. You don’t need to limit your searching to Virginia.  Studies from other parts of the eastern United States are also relevant.  Develop your perspective by comparing and contrasting your work at the Field School with studies elsewhere.
  • Be flexible with the keywords you use for searching. Dr. Bates recommends:
    • Woodland period (Early, Middle and Late)
    • Piedmont Virginia
    • Piedmont North Carolina
    • Lithic technology/analysis
    • Projectile Points
    • Ceramic technology/analysis
    • Bone tools/analysis
    • Middle Atlantic prehistory
  • Don’t type archaeology.  Type archaeolog* instead.  The * is a wildcard that lets you search for multiple endings of the root word:  archaeology, archaeological, archaeologist, etc.  It’s a way to broaden your searches without doing a lot of typing.
  • Ask experts for advice. Dr. Bates is an important scholar in this field.  Librarians are also eager to help you find research sources to support your work at the Field School.  We want to hear from you!

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