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History: Home

Purpose: This guide gives you a solid starting point for researching history of all places and topics. It may also be helpful for any students conducting primary source research. Use this guide to find some key resources, including primary and secondary source databases as well as citation information. You can also find helpful step-by-step tips on how to start your research.

Note: This guide is not comprehensive of all resources available to you through McNairy Library!

Finding Background Information

Instead of using Wikipedia, you can use some of these encyclopedias and reference sources to learn background on your research topic. In addition to background information, you can also find lists of additional scholarly sources using these resources. 
To find more reference resources, go to the Finding Background Information tab of this guide, or check out our other research guides in history!

Finding Scholarly Articles

You can find secondary sources (interpretations of historical evidence) using these databases. Each database will contain different secondary sources, so be sure to search multiple databases to find what you need!
To find more specialized secondary resources, check out the Finding Secondary Sources tab of this guide, or one of our other research guides in history!

Finding Primary Sources

You can find primary sources (first-hand historical accounts from people who experienced it) using these databases. Each database will contain different primary sources, so be sure to search multiple databases to find what you need!
To find more specialized primary resource databases, check out the Finding Primary Sources tab of this guide, or one of our other research guides in history!

Finding Books (Primary and Secondary)

You can find both physical and digital books using these resources. If you are looking for a book that we don't have, use Request-It to get it sent to you, fast and free!

Chicago Citation Style

Chicago Manual of Style (Chicago)
Chicago, IL : University of Chicago Press, 2017. 17th ed.
Useful to students who need to know recommended forms for presenting bibliographies, footnotes, tables, and figures.
Accessibility: Reserve -- Z 253 .U69 2017 ( 4 Hour Circulation )

Subject Librarian

Profile Photo
Frank Vitale
he/him/his
Contact:
McNairy Library and Learning Forum, Room 802B
717-871-7133
Subjects: History

Other History Research Guides

Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Sources

There are three types of sources you will use in historical research: primary, secondary, and tertiary sources.

Primary sources is your historical evidence, and provides first-hand accounts of your topic. Primary sources are the closest sources of information to the historical topic and period you are researching.

Secondary sources are the interpretations of others, made using both primary sources and other secondary sources. These interpretations are not intended to provide historical evidence, but rather make an argument about history.

Tertiary sources, such as encyclopedia articles, are sources that provide summary reference information about a historical topic. They do not provide historical evidence and do not make a historical argument.

 

If you want to learn more, check out the video at the link below!
 

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