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AMS 232 Contemporary America in Music: Start Here

A guide to finding primary sources.

Music and Performing Arts Librarian

Contact the Music Library

Guide to Content

This is a guide to finding primary sources for use in research on popular music of the 1970s. The guide provides information on books, journals, databases, and websites that will be helpful as you develop your topics. It will also show you how to use Scout, the library's discovery service to find contemporary writings on your topic.

All of the resources described in this guide can be accessed from the Libraries' homepage: URL for this guide is



Using Scout to find articles and books

A good place to start in your search for primary source articles, books, and reviews from the 1970s is Scout, the Libraries' discovery service. A search in Scout will find book and journal titles, and sound and video recordings, as well as links to the full text of articles in a sizable number of the Libraries' online databases.

Here are some tips for getting the most out of Scout:

  • For search terms of more than one word, group the words together with quotation marks, e.g. "punk rock."
  • If you are using more than one search term, separate the terms with the word "AND," e.g. "punk rock" AND music. Alternatively, use the Advanced Search function and put one search term in each box.
  • Once you get a list of results, use the menu on the left-hand side to refine your results, for example by language, date of publication, source type, and subject.