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SPAN 4100: Cuba Resistance and Revolution

Library Databases


Cuba: Resistance and Revolution

Finding multimedia materials on Cuban society, culture and history  

This page has a  selection of useful subject databases and websites to find non-scholarly resources for your for your Cuban society, culture and history multimedia project. If you can't find what you are looking for, check out the complete list of subject databases available through the University Libraries. 

Multidisciplinary databases
Art databases
Streaming media
Primary Sources and Oral Histories



This list is a representation of highly regarded digital collections relating to Cuban society, culture and history. 

Start with the bigger clearing houses like: 
Digital Public Library of America
Digital Library of the Caribbean 
U Yale 

This is a comprehensive list of resources from around the web. 

Smithsonian Institute

Then move on to other collections

U Miami Libraries
U Texas-Austin Libraries
Cuban sites


Brainstorming Keywords

This section focuses on keywords and how to come up with keywords or search terms for your research paper topic.

This is an essential step before beginning to search for information about your topic.

Think of keywords as the bait you use to catch the fish you want. To catch the right fish, you need the proper bait. 

What are keywords?

  1. Keywords are words from your topic

Keywords can be words from your initial question, topic statement or thesis sentence.

For example:

A question such as “what was the music like during the Cuban revolution?” can be broken down into the following keywords:

  • Cuban music
  • Cuban Revolution
  • Cuban cultural history

  1. Keywords are related concepts, ideas, or synonyms

Keywords can be related concepts or ideas. Sometimes researchers and writers can refer to the same topic in several different ways, and each of these ways can be useful for searching for research sources.

For example: The concept “Cuban music” is related to the following other concepts:

  • Cuban culture
  • Cuban performing arts
  • Cuban society
  • Cuban history

How to brainstorm keywords

Here’s a quick method to help you identify useful keywords for your research topic.

1. Make a list

Start with a keyword list in a text file (Google Docs, Microsoft Word, Mac Pages) or in your notebook.

List any words that you can think of off the top of your head that relate to your topic. 

For example, if my topic is Cuban music during the Cuban revolution, I might come upon specific types of music or musician names.

  • Cuban music
  • Cuban history
  • Cuban revolution
  • Cuban culture

But these are not necessarily the best or the only words to search on. I need to add more words to this list. There are probably better ones out there.

2. Do a bit of preliminary research.

Start with Google. Don’t expect it to be perfect. This is the discovery phase.

3. Gather keywords from webpages

As you read through websites, you will discover new and relevant concepts to add to your keyword list. 

You can also mentally ask yourself the five W’s.

Who is relevant to your topic.

            Are there any artists? Cultural or political groups?

What is relevant to your topic

            Are there any specifics to your topic? Specific instruments? Genres?

Where is this relevant?

            Are there regions within Cuba that you can focus on?

When is this relevant?

            Are there specific dates or events?

Why or How is this relevant?

            Is there a relevant impact or outcome because of this topic?

For example, you may discover new keywords.

  • Specific names
  • Specific historical events
  • Specific genres of music

You will get a very quick sense of the main concepts or ideas of your topic, which can help you focus your research accordingly. By gathering more specific terms, you may find yourself automatically narrowing down your topic, too.

4. Final keyword list

You will end up with a list of keywords that is much longer than your starting list. You will want to continue to edit your keyword list as you search information. You may notice that your topic changes over time as a result of this process.