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History Subject Guide


This guide will introduce you to the best resources for doing research in History, both in the library and online. If you need in-depth assistance or have questions about any of the resources mentioned in the guide, please contact the Liaison Librarian.


Reference Resources

These sources can provide a starting point for your research. For example, encyclopedias can help you identify interesting topics to research, while providing the background information that will get you started. In addition to the resources listed below, you will find reference works on specific countries, peoples, and events by browsing the D and E call numbers in Reference.

General World History

Encyclopedia of Western Colonialism since 1450
     Ref JV22 .E535
Encyclopedia of World Trade From Ancient Times to the Present
      From Credo Reference
Greenwood Encyclopedia of Daily Life
     Ref GT31 .G74
Oxford Encyclopedia of Economic History
     Ref HC15 .O94 (print version)
Oxford International Encyclopedia of Peace
Oxford Reference Online History Collection    (User Guide (PDF/26KB))

American History

The American Economy:  A Historical Encyclopedia
      From Credo Reference
Dictionary of American History
     Ref E174 .D52 (print version)
Encyclopedia of American Economic History
     Ref HC103 .E52
Encyclopedia of American Folklife
     Ref GR105 .E53
Encyclopedia of American Political History
     Ref E183 .E5
Encyclopedia of American Social History
     Ref HN57 .E58
Encyclopedia of the United States in the Nineteenth Century
     Ref E169.1 E626 (print version)
Encyclopedia of the United States in the Twentieth Century
     Ref E740.7 .E53
Greenwood Encyclopedia of Daily Life in America
     From Gale Virtual Reference Library
Oxford Companion to United States History
     Ref E174 .O94 (print version)

Ancient and Medieval History

The Cambridge Dictionary of Classical Civilization
     Ref DE5 .C28
Civilization of the Ancient Mediterranean: Greece and Rome
     Ref DE59 .C55
Dictionary of the Middle Ages
     Ref D114 .D5
Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages
     Ref D114 .E53 (print version)
Oxford Classical Dictionary
     Ref DE5 .O9 (print version)
Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome
     From Oxford Reference Online

European History

Encyclopedia of Eastern Europe:  From the Congress of Vienna to the Fall of Communism
     Ref DJK 6 .E53
Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment
     Ref B802.E53 (print version)
Encyclopedia of European Social History from 1350 to 2000
     Ref HN 373 .E63
Encyclopedia of the Renaissance
     Ref CB361 .E52
Encyclopedia of the Victorian Era
     Ref DA550 .E527
Europe — 1450 to 1789:  An Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World
     From Gale Virtual Reference Library

Non-Western History

Encyclopedia of African History
     Ref DT20 .E53 (print version)
Encyclopedia of Asian History
     Ref DS31 .E53
Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture
     Ref F1406 .E53 (print version)
Encyclopedia of Modern Asia
     Ref DS4 .E53 (print version)
New Encyclopedia of Africa
     From Gale Virtual Reference Center
Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World
     Ref DS35.53 .O96


African American National Biography
     Ref E185.96 .A4466
American National Biography
     Ref CT213 .A68
Dictionary of American Biography
     Ref E176 .D564
Dictionary of National Biography (U.K.)
     Ref DA28 .D55
Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia
     In Gale Virtual Reference Center


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Journal Articles


CrossSearch  History

  What does this box search?                                  Advanced Search

Search the following databases to locate journal articles in the field of computer science. Although some databases provide full-text articles, others will require you to use WebBridge to locate the full text. WebBridge will also help you place Interlibrary Loan requests for articles that are not available through our library. To learn how to use WebBridge, please watch our video tutorial (3.5 mins; includes audio).

Core Resources

America:  History & Life
Use this database to locate abstracts to journal articles and books focusing on United States and Canadian history and culture from prehistoric times to the present.

Historical Abstracts
This database provides abstracts to journal articles and books covering world history from 1450 to the present (excluding North America).

Search here for full-text articles from a number of important history journals. Most journals are available in their entirety from the beginning of publication to within 3–5 years of the current issue.    User Guide

Additional Subject Resources

APh:  L'Annee Philologique
This classical studies database provides citations and abstracts to scholarly journal articles, books, dissertations, and conference proceedings on the history of ancient Greece and Rome.    User Guide (PDF/72KB)    Journal List (English-language titles only) (PDF/76KB)

Handbook of Latin American Studies
A searchable online index to the academic literature of Latin American studies, including journal articles, book chapters, and conference papers in many disciplines.   List of Journal Abbreviations

History Cooperative
This resource offers full-text articles from several key journals and conference proceedings related to American history. Most, but not all, titles are accessible in full-text.

International Medieval Bibliography   (On Campus Only)
This searchable online version of the IMB provides comprehensive indexing of scholarly journals and conference proceedings in the interdisciplinary field of medieval studies.
To open the database, click on the "Enter Databases" button and then on the link for International Medieval Bibliography.

This bibliography pertaining to the Middle Ages and Renaissance (400–1700) consists of citations for journal articles, books, reviews, and more. It also offers recent full-text articles of Renaissance Quarterly, Early Theatre, and Renaissance and Reformation.   User Guide

Project MUSE
This database offers full-text articles from over 100 peer-reviewed journals, including a number of important periodicals in the fields of history and social science.

Supplemental Resources

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

Poole's Index to Periodical Literature (1802–1907)
     Ref AI 3 .P7 1963
This print index allows searching of articles from 19th century journals and periodicals, which can offer a unique perspective on historical events and figures.

ProQuest Central
A massive database covering a wide range of subjects, with full-text of scholarly journal articles, newspaper articles, dissertations, and business and industry profiles.

Reader's Guide Retrospective
This online version of the Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature provides citations to popular magazine articles for the period 1890–1982. A great source for researching the culture and history of the 20th century.


Early American Newspapers, 1690–1876
This searchable database provides cover-to-cover text from hundreds of historic American newspapers. This includes 37 from New Hampshire, such as the Farmer's Cabinet (1802–1879), New Hampshire Gazette (1756–1831), and New Hampshire Sentinel (1799–1847).

New York Times
This database provides full-text access to every article in the New York Times, from 1851 to four years ago.

Times of London Digital Archive
This database provides full-text access to every issue of The Times (London) newspaper from 1785 through 1985, except for Sunday editions.

How to Find Newspapers
This Geisel Library guide will help you locate newspapers in the Periodicals Reading Room, in online databases, and on the Internet.


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Geisel Library Catalog
Search the catalog to locate books in Geisel Library. Search by keyword to find books on specific topics. For example, do Keyword searching on the names of important people or events in history. As you locate useful books in the catalog, click on their Subject Headings to run Subject searches, which often yield a higher percentage of relevant results.

History books are located on the Main Level and Upper Level of the library in the D, E, and F call-number areas.

Call Number



History (General)
European Countries
Eastern Europe, Russia
Africa, Australia, and Oceania
America and United States (National)
United States (Local) and Latin America

Use WorldCat to search the collections of libraries worldwide. If you find a book in this database that is not owned by Geisel Library, you can request it through Interlibrary Loan by clicking on the ILL button in the book's catalog record.

This online library consists of thousands of e-books spanning across all scholarly disciplines. Books can either be opened in a QuickView for instant viewing or in the ebrary Reader (a downloadable plug-in), which provides enhanced functionality such as the ability to copy/paste, highlight, or take notes in a particular book.


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Primary Sources


Primary sources are invaluable for providing a first-person perspective on events and people from the past. Documents such as diaries, letters, and government memos offer a window into the thoughts and actions of historical figures. To learn more about how to tap into these resources, see the guide on Finding and Using Primary Source Documents.  For a partial listing of primary source materials available in microfiche/microfilm or print format at the library, see Selected Primary Source Documents at Geisel Library.

Gateway Websites

American Memory
A collection of digitized documents, photographs, recorded sound, moving pictures and text from the Library of Congress and other institutions. There are over 100 collections included in the project; examples are A Century of Lawmaking (early government documents), Women's Suffrage Movement, and Federal Writers' Project (1936-1940).

Avalon Project
This massive undertaking by Yale University has digitized thousands of primary-source documents in the areas of law, history and diplomacy. Documents are organized into collections by century and topic, such as the Middle East documentary record and the World War II collection.

European History Primary Sources
Maintained by the European University Institute, this site serves as a portal to scholarly websites that host primary source documents on the history of Europe. Links are organized by country, language, period, and subject.

Google Book Project
Google has digitized large portions of several major university library collections and made them accessible through their search engine. Books not under copyright (including most published before 1922) can be read in their entirety, making this website a great resource for primary source material from the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Online Collections

American Journeys
This is a collection of eyewitness accounts of early American exploration and settlement, with more than 18,000 pages of text, from sagas of Vikings in Canada to diaries of mountain men in the Rockies.

American Presidency Project
An impressive collection of presidential documents, including the text of press conferences, executive orders, and state of the union addresses. Most significant is its searchable and browseable database of the Public Papers of the Presidents, whose coverage extends from the present back through President Hoover.

American Slave Narratives
Read the complete interviews of thousands of former slaves, collected here; they are browseable and searchable by topic, names, place, or year of birth. Also at this site is more information about the WPA Federal Writers Project, responsible for the conducting the interviews in the 1930s.
Access restricted to Saint Anselm College Community.

Antislavery Literature Project
This ongoing project provides online access to the literature of the antislavery movement in the United States. Included among the digitized documents are tracts, essays, treatises, religious literature, poetry, and children's literature.

British History Online
This digital library consists of core primary and secondary source material spanning the medieval and modern eras of Great Britain. Included are early journals from the House of Commons and House of Lords, county histories, state papers, diaries, and papal documents.

The Cabinet Papers, 1915–1978
Created by the National Archives in the U.K., this website houses digitized versions of memoranda and other documents produced by the British Cabinet. They can be searched by keyword or browsed by theme.

Cold War International History Project
This digital collection maintained by the Woodrow Wilson International Center consists of a Virtual Archive of primary documents, organized thematically into collections such as the Cuban Missile Crisis and Sino-Soviet Relations.

Documenting the American South
Sponsored by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, this is an electronic collection that provides access to digitized primary materials that offer Southern perspectives on American history and culture.

EuroDocs:  Primary Historical Documents From Western Europe
Links to online collections of digitized primary source documents, organized by Western European country.

Foreign Relations of the United States (1861–1960)
Foreign Relations of the United States (1960–1976)
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. Collectively, these two websites provide online access to selected volumes from 1861–1976. On both websites, the FRUS volumes can be either browsed or searched by keyword.

Immigration to the United States, 1789–1930
This digital collection portrays the immigrant experience through a large number of online books, photographs, and manuscripts, including diaries and journals of 19th-century immigrants to the U.S.

In the First Person
An index to English language personal narratives, including letters, diaries, memoirs, autobiographies, and oral histories. Browse the collection by theme, date, or place, or use the keyword search feature. In addition to the vast quantity of text documents, several thousand audio and video files can be accessed.

Internet Ancient History Sourcebook
Internet Medieval History Sourcebook
Internet Modern History Sourcebook
These sourcebooks of primary source texts are generally arranged by period and topic for easy browsing. A vast resource for teaching and researching world history.

Making of America — Cornell University
Making of America — University of Michigan
This digital library provides scanned images of primary sources in American social history, from the antebellum period through reconstruction. The Cornell site has full-text access to over 250 monographs and thousands of journal articles; the Michigan site has digitized over 9,000 books with 19th century imprints.
Access restricted to Saint Anselm College Community.

National Security Archive
Access online versions of declassified U.S. government documents grouped by subjects such as nuclear history, China and East Asia, and the 9/11/2001 terrorist attacks. These documents touch on issues such as North Korea's nuclear aspirations, genocide in Rwanda, and President Nixon's Pentagon Papers case.

New Deal Network
The New Deal Network, from the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute (FERI), is a database of primary source materials related to the public works and arts projects of the New Deal. View photographs, political cartoons, speeches, letters, and other historic documents.

19th Century British Pamphlets
This collection (when completed) will consist of over 20,000 British pamphlets, which were an important medium for debate of political, social, and economic issues during the 19th century. It can be searched within the JSTOR platform.

Samuel May Anti-Slavery Collection
The Samuel May Anti-Slavery Collection gathers together over 8,500 important pamphlets and leaflets relating to the anti-slavery struggle in the United States. Included are sermons, local newsletters, poetry anthologies, Freedmen's testimonies, and broadsides.

Virtual Jamestown
A research and learning website about the first permanent English settlement in the Americas. Primary source material includes laws, censuses, first-hand accounts, and letters from colonists.

Virtual Vietnam Archive (Texas Tech)
A searchable online database of nearly 3 million scanned pages of documents pertaining to the Vietnam War. Contents include photographs, letters, and oral histories, with an emphasis on personal rather than governmental documents.

Women Working, 1800–1930
This collection offers over 500,000 digitized pages of manuscripts, books, pamphlets, and photographs that shed light on women's role in the workforce during this period of American history.

World War I Document Archive
An online repository of primary-source documents from the Great War, whose focus is international in scope. It includes treaties, letters, memoranda, diaries, books, and commentaries.

World War II Resources
Primary source materials on all aspects of the war. Includes the Pearl Harbor attack hearings, speeches by Roosevelt, diplomatic documents from Britain and France, and many other documents.


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Selected Websites


The websites below have been handpicked for their quality and their relevance to student and faculty needs. Searching the Internet can yield a vast amount of information, but in terms of quality and reliability, your results may be uneven at best. This makes it important to always evaluate the information you find. To learn how, see our guide to evaluating websites.

American Women's History:  A Research Guide
A well-selected set of primary and secondary resources, including both print and online materials. Resources can be accessed by state or through a sizeable topic index. The short bibliographies available on each topical page can provide a solid springboard for research.

Best of History Web Sites
A portal to over 1,000 history-related websites, specifically targeting sites with strong educational content or a research orientation. Links are generally organized by period or topic.

EHistory (Ohio State)
This website consists of primary sources, timelines, battle outlines, biographies, images, maps and other documents related to American history. Included is a complete digitized version of the Official Records of the American Civil War.

Historical Census Browser
This online database provides easy access to state and county-level U.S. Census data for the period 1790–1960. Users can either explore individual variables within a given census year, or generate time-trend tables for variables organized by topics such as population, education, economy, and ethnicity.

Historical Statistics of the United States
     Ref HA202 .H57 (print version)
This comprehensive compendium of statistics provides a quantitative history of the United States, with over 37,000 data series on topics such as health, crime, migration, and the economy.

Victorian Web
This website offers a comprehensive overview of Victorian England, with information such as excerpted texts, primary sources, and original essays organized by topic.

Voice of the Shuttle: History Resources
This website has a long history as an electronic gateway for humanities researchers, including an enormous listing of online history resources organized by country and time period.

Voyages: Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database
This online database provides information on the slave voyages from Africa to America, including facts and figures, images, maps, and African names of slaves. Also available are essays on the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

World Wide Web Virtual History Library
One of the first and largest collections of links to online history resources, indexed by country, era and topic.


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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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