The Penn Libraries provides access to numerous records of and about charitable institutions. There are three convenient ways to search. Remember to consider what sources are available before choosing a topic. If you choose a very specific institution for which there are no sources because they burned in a 19th century fire, then you're in trouble.
- Search the catalog. Search the catalog by author using the name of a specific institution or words that you would expect to find in the author field. The catalog results will include links to documents that are authored or published by these institutions. Remember, books that are not available online can often be mailed to you through the Books by Mail service.
- Subject specific databases include extensive records of specific institutions. These records are often more extensive than anything you can find outside a physical special collection or archive. Remember that you have to work with what is available.
- Large corpus databases include thousands or millions of full text documents. Think Google Books. Search these databases intelligently and you can find fantastic resource. Search them casually and you might be overwhelmed with useless titles.