Stewart Library owns or has access to a large number of resources to help in
If you're not sure
of a topic or need some background information, reference sources
can be very helpful. They are also often easy places to find
references to primary sources. Reference sources are also
good places to find statistics. Some good ones to start with
Dictionaries & Encyclopedias from Xreferplus,
including: Dictionary of Contemporary History, Concise
Atlas of World History, The Great American History Factfinder,
Who's Who in the Roman World and many more.
|Requires WSU ID
|Online Dictionaries & Encyclopedias
Reference Online, including: The Concise
Oxford Dictionary of Archaeology, The Kings & Queens of
Britain, The Oxford Dictionary of Local & Family History,
Who's Who in the Twentieth Century and many more.
||Requires WSU ID
| The Gale Digital Reference Shelf. Includes: Encyclopedia
of American Religions , Encyclopedia
of Clothing & Fashion, Encyclopedia
of Food and Culture , Encyclopedia
of Islam and the Muslim World , Encyclopedia
of Modern Asia , Encyclopedia
of World Biography
|Requires WSU ID
| The Oxford Digital Reference Collection.
of the Enlightenment, Encyclopedia
of the Middle Ages , Oxford
Dictionary of Byzantium , Oxford
Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt , Oxford
Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America , Oxford
Encyclopedia of the Reformation , Oxford
Dictionary of the Renaissance , Oxford
Encyclopedia of Economic History , Oxford
Encyclopedia of Latinos and Latinas in the United States
||Requires WSU ID
Statistics of the United States - Millennial Edition
||Requires WSU ID
|AccessScience For articles on the history of science
||Requires WSU ID
Encyclopedia of American Law Good historical coverage
||Requires WSU ID
|Oxford Encyclopedia of the Reformation
||REF BR 302.8 .O93
|Dictionary of the History of Ideas
||REF CB 5 .D52 9973
|Encyclopedia of Archaeology
||REF CC 100 .E54 2001
|Historiography: An Annotated
Bibliography of Journal Articles, Books & Dissertations
||REF D 13
|Encyclopedia of Historians and
||REF D 14 .E53 1999
|AHA Guide to Historical Literature
||REF D 20 .A4 1995
|Dictionary of the Middle Ages
||REF D 114 .D5 1982
|Oxford Companion to World War II
||REF D 740 .094
||REF DA 550 .V53 1988
|Oxford Classical Dictionary
||REF DE 5 .O9 1996
|Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern
||REF DS 35.53 .O9 1995
||REF DS 102.8 .E496 1978
|Columbia Chronologies of Asian
History and Culture
||REF DS 33 .C63 2000
|Encyclopedia of African History
||REF DT 3 P27 2001
||REF E 77 .P89 1998
|Handbook of Hispanic Cultures in
the United States
||REF E 184 .S75 H365 1993
|Utah: a Centennial History
||REF F 626 .S8
|Encyclopedia of Latin American
Culture and History
||REF F 1406 .K53 1996
statistics : Europe, 1750-2000
||REF HA 1107.M5 2003
|Encyclopedia of Scientific Biography
||REF Q141 .D5
|Cambridge World History of Human Disease
||REF R131.C233 1993
|Combined Retrospective Index to
Journals in History 1838-1974.
||REF Z 6205 .C18
| American Decades, American Eras, World Eras ,
and the 20th Century Day by Day - These are chronologies and
timelines with pictures.
||REF Index Table 2B
| American Historical Images on File
||REF - call numbers vary, check catalog.
You can find many other
reference books on historical topics by browsing the following
call number areas:
the auxiliary sciences of history (archaeology, chronology,
General history and outside the Americas (Wars, Europe, Asia,
United States History (includes Native Americans, African Americans,
U.S. Local history (states, cities, regions) and the Americas
outside of the U.S. (Canada, Mexico, Latin America, the Caribbean)
You can also find historical
works in many other areas. For example, economic history is
in the H's, the history of Medicine is in R,
Diplomatic history is often in the J area (political science).
Books, journal articles
and websites can also provide good background information.
See sections below for information on how to find them.
Primary sources are the
basic building blocks of historical research. Common primary
Journals, diaries, letters
They may also include:
Photographs, video recordings
in various formats
Audio recordings in various
Objects or artifacts:
art, tools, clothing, roads, buildings, houses, pottery, books &
And in some cases:
Some of these sources
have been adapted, photographed, translated, etc. and are available
in books and on the web.
Others are available only
in one location and you must travel to use them.
If you aren't comfortable
working with various types of primary (and secondary) sources, check
out these excellent guides:
Finding Primary Sources
on the Web:
1. Use a Search
This works best for specific
documents with easy to search titles:
of Human Rights
Treaty of Versailles
You can also often use
a search engine to find specialized local collections available
on the web - or at least to find where they're kept.
For example: a
Google search on Utah diaries pulls up links to several
collections - some web accessible, some available at BYU and other
Search engines work best
for English language (and translated) sources. If you want
sources in a foreign language, you need to search in that language.
You might also want to try a search engine specific to that language.
For example: to
find letters written by Napoleon to Josephine, search: napoleon
lettres josephine. For more political letters try Napoleon lettres Relations extérieures.
search engines. They all produce slightly different results.
Pick one or two and learn to use them well. I like www.google.com. Other
good search engines to try are: alltheweb.com and ask.com. Be sure
to try the Advanced Search features on each one - and
remember: evaluate, evaluate, evaluate!
See my Quick
Guide to Web Searching .
Learn how to Google like a pro: A Scholarly Guide to Google from Widener Library, Harvard.
For more than you probably ever wanted to know about Google: The Google Guide by Nancy
2. Use a Special
Hidden Web" (also called deep or invisible web) consists of sites that search engines can't find, usually due
to the type of files they contain, such as PDF and database files.
Many of these sites are very useful. The best way to find
them is to use directory listings. The sites listed below
all list Hidden Web sites of use to historians.
Other good general directories include: Librarian's Index to the Internet , and The Internet Public
Library, as well as the directory features of Google and Yahoo. Search engines such as Google
are just beginning to search some of these sites.
WWW-VL History Central Catalog - The WWW Virtual
Libraries were among the first resources guides on the web and
are still among the best. From Argentina to Yemen,
from Finding Aids to Scholarly Exchange, this is the place
The Internet History
Source Books - These are excellent places to begin
looking for history sites on the web. Quality does vary,
but overall excellent. They do have problems with keeping
links updated, but it's usually easy to take the source information
and do a Google search to find new links.
of History Sites is an award winning portal to the best
history sites on the net. Provides a list of sites and search
engines that provide access to "hidden web" sites, which
are often useful to historians. Also links to sites about
lesson plans and teaching with technology.
Historians - tutorials and websites from the Humanities Computing
Unit at Oxford University. Also check out Humbul
Humanities Hub - websites with reviews.
Cultural Guides from the Kingwood College Library - 19th
Century & 20th
Century - there's a guide for each decade - excellent place
to find all kinds of information. Some links provide
information about primary sources. Best for popular culture.
website can be a good place to find background information
and sometimes primary sources or a bibliography listing them.
For example: African
American World, Marie
Antoinette & the French Revolution, From
Jesus to Christ: The First Christians.
that specialize in providing primary sources or links to them:
Memory from the Library of Congress. Check out
other Library of Congress Collections
of Michigan Library Documents Center (US & Foreign)
Project from Yale University
Digital Library from Tufts University
EuroDocs from BYU
Collection from the University of Virginia (subject
of America from University of Michigan
Classic Ethereal Library
Sites that provide
non-text primary sources or links to them:
Ad*Access - advertisements from 1911-1955 from Duke University
Robert Opie Collection - British advertising and nostalgia
of Congress - Collection Finder - Use this specialized search
engine to gain access to many government photographic collections.
ImageBase from the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.
Art Library Archive . Part of XReferPlus (WSU library
(Art Images for College Teaching) - image exchange resource
for the educational community
Life Photo Archives hosted by Google- will eventually contain all Life pictures- free for non-profit use
in the 1930's from the University of Virginia
Robert Johnson Notebooks (Blues)
Virtual Talking Machine (Vintage Phonograph Recordings,
Pathé Archives (Newsreels)
University's Television News Archives
Archive (Ephemeral films)
Rhetoric (Online Speech Bank)
Rhetoric Michael Eidenmuller, UT Tyler
Channel Speech Archives (most are excerpts)
Folklife Center from the Library of Congress
Video Archive of Holocaust Testimonies from Yale University
Fire Insurance Maps from the University of Utah
Use a Specialty Search Engine:
News Archive Search - a handy way to search news archives from
multiple sources. Some are free, others are fee based.
Fee based articles may be available through other databases or via
ILL. Also provides a nifty timeline. Good way to track
changes over time. Some coverage may go back several hundred
U.S. Government Search - search for information provided by
U.S. government entities.
Earth - Satellite images - requires a free software download.
(Not all are free)
Image searching: Google, Alltheweb and Altavista all have good image searches.
searching: try Singingfish, Alltheweb & Altavista.
Primary Sources in Books
Use a Library
Catalog. See Finding Books under
Primary Sources in Archives & Special Collections
Ask an expert in the field - a professor, Special Collections curator
Check the bibliography of a book on the subject.
Do a web search - many libraries list important collections on their
Use a bibliography (book or web or literature review) on your topic.
Primary Sources found on Websites or in Books
are dealing with an actual primary source, such as letters or manuscripts,
the source you use may have been adapted to a new format, edited
or otherwise manipulated. You need to consider these changes
when you use the source.
Who is responsible for the changes? An expert in the field?
An interested amateur? A group with a bias?
What kinds of changes were made? Is there an exact scan of
the original? A transcription? A translation?
A black and white photograph of a colored object? A outline
drawing of an archaeological site?
Do others use, applaud and agree with the version you're looking
at? Can you find reviews? Are they positive or negative?
Does the editor/adapter clearly show/discuss any changes made?
Is there a critical apparatus?
things to consider, check out our general
Use the WSU online catalog to find what books and other materials,
such as videos, the Library owns. The catalog will provide
the location and availability of the resource. WorldCat (on & off campus) is a patron accessible
version of the OCLC Online Union Catalog, which we use to borrow
books from other libraries. It contains more than 35 million
records describing items owned by libraries around the world; each
record contains library holdings. ~1000 A.D.-present. Also
check out Worldcat.org.
We also have a subscription to Netlibrary , which provides access to electronic books. All Netlibrary
books are listed in the WSU online catalog.
National Union Catalog
: A union catalog combines the holdings of many different
libraries. WorldCat is the electronic version of a national
union catalog. However, many large research libraries have
not yet converted the records of all of their older holdings into
electronic format. Books not converted include many of historical
interest. To find these, you must use the National Union Catalog,
Pre-1956 Imprints (Also known as NUC). It is available in
microfiche and print format. Stewart Library does not own
a copy. The University of Utah is the closest place
that owns it. See the guide
from Roesch Library , University of Dayton for more information.
The best way to find articles
is to use one of the Library's article databases. These
databases provide references to articles in journals, magazines
& newspapers. In many cases, the actual article is available
on the computer.
Our databases are
available from home or work. Just click on the link and enter your
W number when prompted. Don't know your W number? Directions for
finding them are available on our Connecting
from Home page.
If you can't find information on your topic in these databases,
there are two likely possibilities:
1.) you need to try different search terms or enter them differently
2.) most of the research on that topic predates database coverage
and you will need to use print resources.
Useful databases for most
historical research include:
- Academic Search
Premier is a general database that allows you to search
important journals in many fields, including all areas of history.
It has many full-text articles and is a good place to begin your
- America: History
and Life Indexes scholarly literature on the history
and culture of the United States and Canada. 1964-Present.
- Historical Abstracts We no longer
have open online access to Historical Abstracts.
For the print abstracts, 1955 - 1994, see D1.H6736 on the second
floor, or talk to Kathy Payne about a mediated online search.
Guide Retrospective - Reader's Guide from 1890
- 1982. Search general and news magazines using current
or original subject headings. For information after 1982,
use Academic Search
Universe Full-text coverage of
many news, legal, and business resources. Dates of coverage vary,
many update daily.
Congressional Universe The world's most comprehensive
access to U.S. legislative information. Includes full-text of
proposed legislation and status, legislative histories, congressional
committee information, campaign contributions and PAC activities,
articles from "National Journal" and more.
and Government Collection Provides fulltext for over
430 military and government related periodicals and general interest
NewsWatch Full text articles from
minority and ethnic newspapers, magazines, and journals in English
and Spanish. 1960-present.
- GenderWatch Full text Newspaper, magazine, and journal articles addressing
the impact of gender in society. 1990-Present (with selected
articles from the 1970's and 1980's)
Women's Issues (CWI) Citations and selected fulltext from
articles about contemporary women's issues on health and human
rights. 1992 to present.
and Philosophy Collection Citations and selected fulltext
on topics such as world religions, major denominations, biblical
studies, religious history, epistemology, political philosophy,
philosophy of language, moral philosophy and the history of philosophy.
- Books in Print
with Book Reviews Features more than 350,000 full text
reviews from nine leading sources and consists of bibliographic
records from over 46,000 publishers. Also includes Books
Out of Print.
- MLA Bibliography
a good place to look for information on mythology and folklore,
though mostly from a literary perspective.
- Google Scholar - this
is a good place to find "gray" literature such as conference
proceedings and also articles on topics not covered by library
databases. The cited reference feature is an easy way to
expand your bibliography
is a database of all the full-text journals, magazines and newspapers
that are available to WSU library patrons in all of our different
databases. You can search the name of the journal by title
or title keyword to get a link to the resource. You can NOT
do a subject search for articles.
Ancient & Medieval
Ancient & Medieval
History: many of the more general databases listed above will
cover some ancient & medieval history. However, for more
specific information, you will need to use print indexes and abstracts.
The good news is that are many excellent resources available on
the internet, including primary sources.
Philologique - this is "the"
bibliography for Greece & Rome and their neighbors.
It comes out annually, but runs several years behind. Entries
in French, English and a variety of other languages. Focus
is predominantly Classical, but also some earlier and later coverage.
- Medieval - there are a number of specialized medieval indices, many in
French and some in Latin. If you read German, try: Regesta Imperii.
If you can't find what you need in the databases listed above,
please contact me (Kathy Payne) and we'll figure out what's best for your subject.
For an comprehensive research paper, expect to have to travel
to another library or use a lot of Interlibrary Loan. For
a shorter paper try using Academic
We have several databases
that provide access to full-text history journals. The two
most important for history are:
A group of fulltext journals in general science, history,
economics, ecology, literature, mathematics, political science,
and population studies. Dates of coverage vary. This is
an archival database. It does NOT cover the most
recent 3-5 years, back issues only. (There are a few, rare, exceptions.)
Muse Full-text journals in many fields
If you are doing research
on history in a specific field, such as medicine, science,
theater, business, and so on, it can be helpful to look in
a database specific to that field. For example: to research
medical history, look in a medical database, to research
theater history look in a performing arts database.
Ask a librarian to help determine which database is best for your
You can also browse through
journals and magazines. This can be helpful when you're looking
for a topic. Current issues are on the 1st floor south, older
volumes on the 2nd floor. Use the call number areas listed
under books. For example:
1 General History
1 American History
If we do not own a particular
book or article you need, we will borrow it for you from another
library through Interlibrary
Loan. In general, libraries do not loan articles from
Archives and Special Collections. They will sometimes make
copies. To do this, go to the home page of the Special Collections
department of the library in question and see if they list what
they will provide. If not, try email or a phone call.
- Clearly identify your information need
- Identify key words and search
terms to match your topic
- Develop search statements using advanced search techniques such as Boolean logic, adjacency
searching and truncation.
- Use the Online
catalog to find books, videos and other materials
- Use an appropriate article database to find journal articles, ask a librarian for help if you're
not sure what's best
- Use Interlibrary loan to get materials that are not in Stewart Library
- Use search
engines to find Web information
evaluate the information you find for usefulness and quality
- Revise your search terms and strategy to expand or narrow your
results, be creative, look in other areas
- Use appropriate style to document
and cite research
- Ask for HELP at Reference ,
via phone, chat, or email