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AVT 457: Documentary Photography

Resources and tips for Prof. Wrbican's AVT 457 class.

Begin Your Research

This guide will help you to find and use research sources, from databases to books to digital image collections, in relation to your documentary photography projects.

  • Find Books - Strategies for finding books related to documentary photography in Fenwick Library
  • Find Articles - Sources for academic articles, criticism, reviews, and historic/social context of photography
  • Explore Community & Local Archives - Learn more about the history of Fairfax and its communities 
  • Find Images - Sources for finding photographic images and other visual materials, including primary sources
  • Write & Cite - Guidelines for citing and captioning images
  • Get Help - Chat with a librarian or schedule an appointment

Search Strategies

  • Think and read broadly about your topic anywhere you can, and consider what questions those sources provoke or leave unanswered. What do you want to know more about? What confuses/interests/annoys/endears you to this subject?
  • Try different search terms using synonyms (e.g., "working class" or "blue collar").
  • Approach your subject from different angles. Look at research sources & databases from different fields like sociology, gender studies, economics, communication, and more.
  • One you find a good book or article, look at the author, the subject links (in the database record), and the bibliography.
  • Keep a record of everything you find and where and how you find it.

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