Answered By: Chris Clouser
Last Updated: Dec 10, 2014     Views: 114

We have a number of books in the Reference Collection on the 1st floor of Stapleton Library that deal with the origins of holidays. I would suggest that you look at : Folklore of American Holiday ([REF]GT4803. F65 1987) Celebrations ([REF]GT4803.A2 M84) Folklore of World History ([REF]GE3930.F65 1991) Holiday Symbols and Customs ([REF]GT3930.T48 2009) -- this one has a nice list of additional resources at the end of the article on Valentines Day Curiosities of Popular Customs...([REF]GT31.W2 1925x) There are also lots of general encyclopedias at the Reference Desk that would have information. After looking at the Reference Books, be sure to check the PILOT online catalog to see what else we have. You can find PILOT by going to the Library Home Page ( clicking on "Online Catalog". Once connected to PILOT, select the "Subject Heading Search" option and enter "Valentine's Day" in the "Search For" box. There are a number of headings, including "Valentine's -- History). The catalog will then give you the call numbers of the books so that you can find them on the shelves. I would also suggest that you try some of our online databases. There will most likely be periodical articles that talk about the history of Valentine's Day. Is would suggest using : America : History and Life (this is the main American History database) or Historical Abstracts (this database focuses on world history). There are also some very good general databases that will have materials. I would suggest: Academic Search Complete, InfoTrack OneFile, and Wilson OmniFile. You can find these databases by going to the Library Home Page and clicking on "Article Databases". This will bring up the alphabetic list of all databases available, so just select the one you want from the list. In the databases, you could try this search strategy: ("valentine's day" or "valentines day") and (histor* or origin* or begin*) The asterisks are the truncation symbol for most of the databases and allow you to search by the roots of words. 'histor*' will match on the word history, historical, histories, etc. The quotation marks tell the system to look for a specific word pattern. The parenthesis enclose choices (indicated by the 'or' operator) and then the choices are joined with an 'and'. This will tell the system to return citations that match anything in the first set of parenthesis, AND that also match anything in the 2nd set.

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