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HI 399 - Special Topics: British Empire


This guide is designed to tie in with the class assignment to research a particular aspect of the Suez Crisis. Start your research by searching the library catalog for useful books, taking advantage of subject headings that correspond to the countries, people, or events that you are investigating. Then search the history and full-text databases for relevant journal articles that focus more narrowly on your particular topics. If you need additional material, use our Interlibrary Loan service to request books and articles from other libraries. Finally, search the Internet to retrieve primary source documents and images that can supplement your essays.


Research Basics

The reference librarians have created a group of Web pages named Research Help, designed to help teach you the basics of library research and to introduce you to Geisel Library. On the Research Help pages, you will find a guide on Research Basics and a helpful guide about Evaluating Web Resources.  Please take advantage of these resources.


Background & Reference

Reference materials can provide basic background information on your topic and help you identify keywords for further searching; for example, the names of important leaders, places, or events. Many of these also offer nice biographical profiles of key historical figures from the time period.

Some reference resources provide bibliographies at the ends of each entry or volume, which will point you to additional books and journal articles worth exploring. Many of these will be in our collection, but if the "perfect" book/article is not here at Geisel, don't hesitate to request it from another library through our Interlibrary Loan service. Articles often arrive within 3-5 days, while books generally arrive within 1-2 weeks.

Britain and the World 1815-1986: A Dictionary of International Relations
     Ref DA45 .W45

Dictionary of National Biography, Supplements for the 20th Century (Great Britain)
     Ref DA28 .D55 Suppl.
     Note that a person's biography appears in the volume corresponding to the decade
     when he or she died. Check the Cumulative Index at the end of a recent volume to
     determine which volume will discuss a particular historical figure.

Encyclopaedia Judaica
     Ref DS102.8 .E496
     Find a lengthy entry on the Suez Crisis filed under "Sinai Campaign," the Israeli name
     for the conflict. This resource also contains a long biography of Ben-Gurion.

Encyclopedia of African History
     Ref DT20 .E53
     See the lengthy sections on Egypt and its history.

Historical Dictionary of Egypt
     Ref DT45 .W83

Historical Dictionary of the French Fourth and Fifth Republics, 1946-1991
     Ref DC401 .H57

Modern Encyclopedia of Russian and Soviet History
     Ref DK41 .M6

Oxford Reference Online
This database enables you to search within many of Oxford's highly-regarded reference works in the field of history, including the Oxford Companion to the Politics of the World and Oxford Companion to British History.

Political Dictionary of the Arab World
     Ref DS37 .S53

Twentieth Century Britain: An Encyclopedia
     Ref DA566 .T835


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Find Books at Geisel Library

To find relevant books, you will probably want to try a combination of Subject and Keyword searching in the Geisel Library catalog. Start by conducting Subject searches on some of the Subject Headings listed below. This will find books of a general nature about the Suez Crisis and the countries involved in the events that preceded it. You may also locate additional useful subject headings within the catalog records of the books that you find.

  • Egypt - History - Intervention 1956
  • Egypt - History - British Occupation 1882 1936
  • Egypt - History - 1952 1970
  • Suez Canal (Egypt) - History
  • Great Britain - Foreign Relations - 1945-
  • Great Britain - Foreign Relations - Middle East
  • Arab-Israeli Conflict
  • Israel-Arab War, 1948 1949
  • Israel - History

You may also wish to perform keyword searching on the names of specific individuals and events of interest. For example, keyword searches on (Egypt* AND revolution), (Suez AND Britain), or (Arab AND nationalis*) will retrieve several books that address each of those topics. Use the *(asterisk) as a truncation symbol to retrieve variant forms of a word root; for example, diploma* will catch books with the words "diplomacy" or "diplomatic" in the catalog record. Use the Boolean AND to combine together multiple concepts, and use the Boolean OR to expand your search with synonyms and related terms.


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Find Books beyond Geisel Library

Although Geisel Library has an excellent history collection, you may not find sufficient information on certain of your topics. Thanks to the ready availability of Interlibrary Loan service, you are not limited to using the books available at Saint Anselm. By searching Worldcat (an online catalog encompassing the holdings of thousands of libraries worldwide), you can identify relevant books owned by other colleges and have them delivered to Geisel Library for your use.

One strategy to exploring Worldcat is to perform Subject searches on the same Subject Headings you used in the Geisel Library catalog. See the subjects in the previous section for examples. You may wish to combine these Subject search terms with keywords such as Suez, Nasser, or (diplomacy OR diplomatic). General keyword searching on names and events may also unearth materials of interest, such as biographies or first-hand accounts.

Inside most Worldcat book records is a "Request ILL" link; all you need to do is:

  1. Click on the Request ILL link.
  2. Input your name and contact information, including the S number on your student ID.
  3. Click the Submit button.
  4. The book will be available at our circulation desk within 1-2 weeks. You will be emailed when it arrives, and you can check it out for the usual borrowing period.


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Find Articles

Articles in scholarly journals often provide greater detail than books, but typically with a much narrower focus. To start looking for scholarly articles about your topics in an electronic database, try searching the same keywords you used in the book catalogs, employing the Boolean AND to combine concepts together. As examples, here are a few keyword searches based on topics for this project:

  • (France OR French) AND Egypt* AND Algeria*
  • (Britain or British) AND (diplomatic or diplomacy) and "Middle East"
  • (nationalis* OR nationaliz*) AND "Suez Canal"
  • Suez AND "United Nations"
  • Operation Musketeer

Once you find relevant articles, examine the subject headings that have been assigned to them and conduct Subject searches on the ones that seem most potentially fruitful. Also, read the bibliographies of articles to identify additional sources worth tracking down.

there is no link to the full text of the article, click on the WebBridge icon to determine whether the journal is available in the Geisel Library or in full-text via another electronic database. If the article isn't available, consider clicking on the Interlibrary Loan link to request a PDF copy of the article from another library. Articles requested via ILL will be delivered to your email inbox within about a week.

Historical Abstracts
The best place to start. It provides abstracts to journal articles, book/media reviews, and dissertations with a focus on world history and culture (excluding the United States and Canada) from prehistoric times to the present. Start by searching "Suez Crisis" as a Subject Term.

Academic Search Premier
A broad index providing abstracts and some full-text of scholarly and popular journals for a range of academic areas, including history.

History Cooperative
This resource for historical research offers full-text articles from several key journals and conference proceedings, as well as providing historian's links and historical map collections. (Most, but not all, titles are accessible).   Tips for Effective Searching

JSTOR provides the full text of back issues of major journals in the humanities and social sciences. Searching for "Suez Crisis" as a phrase yields numerous relevant articles.
Journal list for:   Arts & Sciences I    Arts & Sciences II

New York Times
This database enables you to search the full archive of the New York Times back through the first issue in 1851. While not scholarly in nature, newspaper articles from the time period in question offer a contemporaneous perspective on major developments leading up to the Suez Crisis. They may also include quotations from historical figures.

Project MUSE
"Project MUSE provides online, worldwide, institutional subscription access to the full text of more than 200 scholarly journals in arts and humanities, social sciences, and mathematics."   Journal List

Worldwide Political Science Abstracts
Search this database for citations and abstracts from literature in political science and its related fields, including international relations, law, and public administration / policy.


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Selected Websites

These websites were handpicked for their relevance to your project. You may also want to conduct keyword searching on your topics in a search engine such as Google, but be sure to look for indications that the site's information is authoritative, objective and reliable.

European Navigator
This website sponsored by the Virtual Resource Center for Knowledge about Europe provides access to important documents from historic events that have impacted Europe. The link above provides a listing of available documents related to the Suez Crisis, including speeches, correspondence, and a UN report. The website uses a document viewer which requires that Flash be installed on your computer.

Foreign Relations of the United States
The Foreign Relations of the United States series is the official documentary historical record of major U.S. foreign policy decisions that have been declassified and edited for publication. This link takes you to a digitized version of a 1500-page volume entirely devoted to the Suez Crisis. Use the search engine to search for the names of people or events within this volume.

Israel's Foreign Relations: The Sinai Campaign
A collection of documents pertaining to the Suez Crisis, including correspondence, speeches, and UN documents. Also see the previous section on "Freedom of Navigation" for documents on the Suez Canal dispute that precipitated the Crisis.

The Middle East 1916-2001: A Documentary Record (Yale Avalon Project)
This collection of primary documents provides important background material on the events preceding the Suez Crisis. Materials available include the Palestine Mandate, the 1949 Egyptian-Israeli Armistice, and numerous relevant UN resolutions.

Remembering Suez (BBC)
A collection of articles, maps, and audiovisual materials assembled by the BBC on the 50th anniversary of the Suez Crisis.


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Citing Sources

See the library's Citing Sources guide for resources on how to properly cite research materials. Always confirm the style required by your instructor.


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