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History Course Handouts: History 301 (History Methodology)

Handouts Used for Library Instruction in History Research

History Methodology Library Instruction Handout

History Research, Library Resources (Spring 2019)
Greg Armento, History Librarian, (562-985-4367)

University Library PAGE Is the place to start. It contains an overview of library research services available.


Here is a list of history related subject encyclopedias; many to be found in Reference (on first floor library) or online or on other library floors. Add to this list a third subject term such as seen in this formulation hist* encyclop* slave*. (The asterisk* at the end of a word will find singular or plural or variant words.) This will get you history encyclopedias on Slavery or Slaves or Slaveholders.


To find CSULB Books, use OneSearch Advanced Search 

Search for pioneers, politicians and historians as an AUTHOR or SUBJECT or KEYWORD ANYWHERE. Then sort or limit your results by date to locate items published at the same time as the historical event or written during the person's life. These items MAY be primary. 

Search Tips

  • If you are looking for a phrase "slavery in the american south" put  your terms in "quotation marks". It will force word adjacency.
  • If you want word variants, use an asterisk * at the end of a word. Entering histor* will produce history, histories, historians, historiography, historical, etc.

To get results with higher relevancy to you topic, use subject keyword searches. These may produce results with higher relevancy to your search.

These subject keywords will tend to find primary historical content

sources   personal narratives   biography   correspondence   interviews  

letters   papers   facsimiles   pictorial   oral history  diaries


If you want to find more results on any of your topics, check the box that reads Books & Media (all CSU) and you will find many more relevant items loanable from other CSU's. 

Book and Journal Loaning Options from other libraries

  • CSU+ To rapidly get books that we don't have,  (within 2-4 days) from other libraries.
  • BEACH REACH To rapidly get journal articles and some books we don’t have, from other libraries.

These 2 services described here 

  • WORLDCAT Enormous "worldwide catalog" of books cataloged in libraries Worldwide. Comprehensive resource for identifying and locating obscure topics and titles.

Research Databases

To find articles in many of our databases, look for the SFX icon in each citation. It may look like this  get it at csulb It’s a shortcut to finding the article online.

Academic Search Complete  Accesses nearly 6000 full text interdisciplinary journals. Coverage: 1990 to date.

TWO IMPORTANT DATABASES FOR SECONDARY SCHOLARLY America History & Life (for U.S. History) and  Historical Abstracts (for World History).  These are the two premier scholarly periodical indexes for historical content published since the mid 1950s.  Both databases may be searched simultaneously. See this example.

L’Année Philologique Covers Greco-Roman Antiquity. Includes journal articles, essays, books, book reviews and dissertations. Topics covered: history, religion, folklore, philosophy, archeology and classical literature. Time period is 500 b.c.e. to 500 c.e.

American Antiquarian Society Historical Periodicals Collection 1684-1912. Full text journal content including images, graphics, photographs.

America’s Historical Newspapers, 1690-1876   Searchable, cover-to-cover reproductions from more than 650 historical American newspapers. Northern and “Old Northwest” papers are covered up until 1876. Southern newspaper coverage stops by the 1820s. Also see this link for library holdings of early papers in the library

Archive of Early American Images: A Database of Images of Colonial America: 1492-1825 A database of images, prints, graphic arts depicting North and South America. North America. 

Brepolis Medieval Bibliographies  Covers the historical period from 300-1500 AD. Europe, the Mideast and North Africa are the database’s focus. Indexes journal articles, books & conference proceedings.

America’s Historical Imprints 1760-1900 Contains three component databases; all can be searched simultaneously.

1) American Broadsides and Ephemera, 1760-1900: fully searchable facsimile images of approximately 30,000 broadsides and ephemera.
2) Early American Imprints: Series I, 1639-1800: full text facsimile collection consisting of more than 37,000 books, pamphlets and broadsides.
3) Early American Imprints: Series II, 1801-1819: a continuation of Early American Imprints Series I.

American Periodicals Series Online 1740-1900 . Contains over 1,100 periodicals that first began publishing between 1740 and 1900, including special interest and general magazines, literary and professional journals.

ARTstor  is a digital library of more than one million images in the arts, architecture, humanities, and social sciences. Content ranges from prehistoric times to the present.

California Newspaper Archive. 1849 to Present. Covers LB newspapers 1934-1975 and OC Register 1913-2016

Colonial America: 1606-1822 Complete full text searchable records of the British Colonial Office relating to North America. 

Congressional Publications (Proquest), 1789 to Present. Covers full text congressional documents, hearings, proceedings, serial set, reports and maps, covering all aspects of American government including history, politics, foreign affairs, exploration, technology, and social services.

Dissertations and Theses  Provides full text access to thousands of PhD dissertations back to the 1960s.

Early English Books Online (EEBO) 1437-1700 A full text collection of early English books, containing over 100,000 titles listed in many subject areas, including: English literature, history, philosophy, linguistics, theology, fine arts, education, math and sciences

Early European Books 1470-1770. Searchable full text books from European Continent.

Essay and General Literature Index Retrospective, 1900-1984  Identifies articles within books and selected serials. Covers a wide array of subjects: classics, history, folklore, political science, religion and other topics.

Getty Images. Contains thousands of journalistic and artistic images that can be viewed for free. Great for primary visual sources

Global Newsstream. Full text (text only) coverage of national and international news since 1980s.

Handbook of Latin American History Online. Produced by the Library of Congress, contains links (no full text) to scholarly journal articles and books, and book chapters..

Hispanic American Newspapers, 1808-1980. Full text historic newspapers in Spanish and a few in English.

Hispanic American Periodicals Index. Indexes scholarly book chapters and journals on all aspects of modern Latin American social studies.

Historical Los Angeles Times, 1881-1995 Complete full text online coverage of every article, ad, comic, classified, editorial, photographs.

Historical New York Times, 1851-2014  Complete full text online coverage of the NYT.

Historical Chicago Defender, 1905-1975. Full text African-American newspaper.

Humanities and Social Sciences Index Retrospective 1907-1983 Covers 1200 scholarly journals. Use it for finding coverage of worldwide events in the 20th Century

Independent Voices: An Open Access Collection of an Alternative Press 1950 to Present. Covers Los Angeles Free Press, Berkeley Barb and other "underground" newspapers .

JSTOR Journal Archive  An archive of core scholarly full text journals going back to the 1800s. Contains selected journals in the social sciences and humanities.

Nineteenth Century U.S. Newspapers 1800-1900. Full text online newspapers from all regions of the U.S.

Readers’ Guide Retrospective, 1890-1983. Covers popular magazines from 1890-1983. Good for finding popular coverage of historic events in the 20th Cent.

Times (Of London) Digital Archive, 1789-2008. Full text online content of London Times, (Sunday Times excluded).

Westlaw  After it opens, go to NEWS section in upper right of screen to view a wide variety of national and international newspapers.


ArchivesGrid includes over 4 million records describing archival materials, historical documents, personal papers, family histories, from over 1000 different archives. 

Citing Historical Materials

Google tips and techniques

  • To search for phrases, put your topic in quotation marks 

Example nation of Georgia 

  • The asterisk* (truncation) does not work in GOOGLE.  To get word variants you must use capitalized OR. See below.
  • To search for synonyms capitalize OR between each word and enclose in parenthesis 

Example  (maps OR cartography OR charts OR atlases) 

  • Combine to get both concepts in a single search

Example  nation of Georgia” and (maps OR cartography OR charts OR atlases) 

  • To get primary documents, try these techniques 

Example  (“primary documents" OR "primary sources”) and “world war”

Example  “civil rights” and south and (documents OR sources)

Note: No need to put quotation marks around single word terms, only for phrases.

  • to find sites at types of domains:

site:edu (to find sites located at colleges, universities)

site:org (to find sites at nonprofit organizations)

site:gov (to find government sites, government documents)

site:ru (stands for Russia. Use two letter country codes for domains in a country. 

Example: (documents OR texts) and "great war" and site:ru

  • Use Google Scholar to find wide array of scholarly journal articles.
  • Use Google Books to find research snippets in scanned books. If the book reads PREVIEW you are in luck! You may be able to read entire chapters.
  • Use Google News Archive to find original newspaper articles across the nation.


The University Library has a large collection of historic U.S. Government Documents. The items include

Also see Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation Contains digitized early U.S. government documents from 1774-1885.