Zotero in the Reading Room

*This is the second entry in a series of posts exploring the potential use of Zotero for special collections research.  To view all post in the series, see Zotero & Special Collections. For a very brief introduction to importing files into Zotero, see Zotero Basics Video Tour.

Zotero is an excellent resource for organizing and storing files while conducting research in a special collections library.  With a laptop, wi-fi, and camera, one can quickly build a sophisticated, searchable database from the comfort of a reading room chair.  This post will highlight one such approach by reviewing the beginning stages of a research project on Princeton’s collection of American constitutions. Continue reading

Zotero & Special Collections

Zotero is an open source bibliographic management program developed by the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University (developers of the popular open source platform for online exhibitions, Omeka).  While often touted for its near-magical ability to generate bibliographies and citations in word documents, emails, or other text-based applications, and for the ability to share citation libraries via the Zotero website, there are several applicable uses of Zotero (both public and private) in rare books and manuscripts research and scholarship, whether as a scholar, student, librarian, or curator.  This post is the first in a series intended to explore the value of  Zotero in the world of special collections.  Below are some pertinent links to get started.

Zotero 3.0 (either as a standalone version with Chrome and Safari compatibility or as a Firefox add-on) is freely available via the download page.

The quickest introduction to many of the powerful features of Zotero are the screencast tutorials located on the the Zotero Documentation Tab.  Below is a three-minute introduction to the basics.

For those wanting an in-depth introduction, see Jason Puckett’s Zotero: A Guide for Librarians, Researchers and Educators (American Library Association, 2011).

For Princeton readers, instructions on synching Zotero with Web Space accounts and downloading the SearchIt@Princeton translator can be found on the Using Zotero at Princeton LibGuide (see the Additional Settings tab).