Roots of Knowledge Project

Getting Started

The first step in researching your roots of knowledge discovery or innovation is to find as much background information as possible. Who discovered or invented the concept or object? Where did it originate? When did it become popular? The more you know about the object or concept, the easier it will be to find information in the Library's books and databases. 

In addition to Wikipedia, we recommend  Oxford Reference Online to search through many of our online encyclopedias and dictionaries.


To find background or more detailed information, try using some of these keywords along with the name of the object or concept or its discoverer or inventor:

  • history
  • origin
  • innovation
  • technology
  • development
  • engineering

Background Research

We have combed through the Library's collections to find books that can help you find out more about your Roots of Knowledge concepts and objects. 

Recommended Databases

These databases will be the most helpful for you as you look for more information about how various Roots of Knowledge concepts and objects have impacted culture and history.



Database provided by Utah Academic Library Consortium.

JSTOR is a large archive for journals from a wide range of disciplines. It can be used to locate full text copies of articles from the first issue up to 3-5 years ago in topics such as literature, history, art, sociology, psychology, mathematics, communication, science, and many more. Peer-reviewed articles are available. Some full text content available.


Historical Abstracts

Historical Abstracts

  Mobile Version

This world history database (excluding Canada and the United States) can be used to search more than 2,300 scholarly (peer-reviewed) journals covering the 15th century to the present. It covers articles published from 1955 to the present. Some full text content available.

Contact Us

Circulation Desk: 801.863.8886
Reference Desk: 801.863.8840