Introduction to Media History

Course #: CS100B

When Old Media were New Project

Your assignment stipulates:

  • Pck an old medium or old media technology (e.g.: Windows operating system, radio, the fax machine, colour television)
  • Fnd the earliest references to it that you can, and this may include:
    • newspaper or magazine accounts
    • screen-based media
    • academic sources (aka scholarly or peer-reviewed)

Suggested research steps:

  • Go to the Communication Studies Subject Guide
  • Click on the Communication Studies @ ProQuest database link
  • At the top menu bar, click the Databases link and at the next page "Select All" (checkbox), then Use Selected Databases
  • NOTE: Change the default search drop-down at right from "Anywhere except full text" to "Anywhere"
  • Don't type in a question; instead, type in the name of your medium or old media technology, e.g. Sony AND Betamax
  • Change the "Sorted by" dropdown menu at left from "most recent first" to "oldest first"
  • Your first set of results will have all source types:
    • To see only older newspaper articles, select "Source type = Historical Newspapers"
    • You can also select Magazines, Trade Journals, Wire Feeds, and many other sources to see the historical discussion¬†around your media/technology
    • To view Scholarly (academic) articles:
      • at left menu, Limit to = "Peer reviewed", Select "Source type = Scholarly Journals" and "Document type = Article"

Other Sources:

  • Consider using Corporate Annual Reports, e.g. internet search on Sony Annual Report 1975 (for the Betamax)
    • Other Annual Reports are included in ProQuest's Historical Annual Reports database, included in the "All databases"¬†search above
  • For video, consider using one of our Online video databases, especially Films On Demand, or Filmakers Llibrary Online.
  • If your topic is more complex, such as television, consider getting a better understanding through a general book on the history of your medium or technology