Sex and Scandal in 19th Century Britain

Course #: HI318

How to find secondary sources

  1. Figure out your topic, ideally your argument or question
    • Were the Swing Riots of 1830 primarily clashes of class, income, or religion? 
  2. Choose where to search
    • Omni, specialized databases (below)
  3. Break up your search question into concepts
    • Great Britain, class, riots, protests, Anglican, agriculture, etc.
  4. Think of synonyms for each of your concepts (combine with AND / OR)
    • (protest* OR riots OR conflict) AND ("great britain" OR england) AND (victorian OR "history 19th century")
  5. Review and limit your search results
    • limit by availability, date, language, etc.; add/remove keywords to find more/less
  6. Read a few relevant results
    • search within the text, and review bibliographies


  • You may not find sources of information on the exact combination of ideas, terms, or topics you are searching for
    • e.g, "industrial revolution"
  • You may have to research the ideas within your argument separately: background sources are a good place to start

Background sources

Secondary Sources


  • Search Omni for items at Laurier (and other Omni libraries in non-COVID times)
    • not everything will have the word "victorian" in it, here are some other generic terms of the period:


While Omni contains a catalogue record (author, title, etc.) of our eBooks, an Omni search does not search the full text of each book. Instead, you need to visit and search the various sites where our eBooks are stored. 


  • Search Omni for your topic. Refine your results at the left:
    • "Available online"
    • "Articles"

Or, you could narrow down your search by using a more specialized database, in particular those that index older content