Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
site header image

HIS496 - History Seminar

Finding secondary sources ... the beginning

Finding books on historical topics in the online catalog

Search the library catalog to find scholarly books and monographs on historical topics.

The advanced search allows you to narrow your search by keyword, author, subject, etc.  For example, use the "Subject" field to find books about a particular person, e.g. "Lincoln, Abraham."

Refer to the Library of Congress Subject Headings if you aren't finding the right combination of words to retrieve any titles in the Library's collection. (If you prefer to use print, look for the set of red books on the east end of the Reference collection.)

Finding articles on historical topics in the databases

Search JSTOR to find full-text, full-image, scholarly articles on history topics.  JSTOR is an archival database for selected titles in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Other databases containing articles on history topics are listed below. And remember, articles on the history of various topics may be found by searching discipline-specific databases such as Sociological Abstracts.

More sources for books

In addition to searching the online catalog, the Library has many other resources to help you find books. Most are located in the Reference collection.

  • Bibliographies - These resources list primary and secondary resources on various topics. Most are located near the end of the Reference collection, with their call numbers beginning with BIB REF.
  • Bibliographic Index - This print index lists published bibliographies by subject. It is located in the Bibliographies section at the very end of Reference.
  • WorldCat - This "worldwide" catalog lists books, videos, sound recordings, journals, and many more resources from libraries throughout the U.S. and in several foreign countries. Request materials from other libraries using the Interlibrary Loan link within the catalog.

Finding Open Access Books

These collections give you free access to lots of historic texts:

History Databases

For a full list of databases that may provide historical resources, go to our Databases page and select "History" from the first drop-down box that defaults to "All Subjects." 

Journal Title Search

Search for periodicals available in full text, or find journals available by subject.

A-Z List of Journals

Print Periodicals

Journals and magazines in print format are located on the lower level of the Library in the northeast compact shelving.

Periodicals in microformat are located in the file cabinets south of the print periodicals, on the other side of the study rooms.

Interlibrary loan requests

Use our interlibrary loan (ILL) form to request resources from other libraries around the nation:

Perkins Library ILL Request

  Google Scholar

Search Google Scholar to find citations to scholarly articles.  While some articles are freely available via the web, many are not.  If you find a useful article citation using Google Scholar, check the Library's A-Z List of Journals to see if you can access the journal via the library.  Otherwise, you may request the article via Interlibrary Loan by submitting a request by submitting an interlibrary loan request.

Google Scholar Search