This webpage provides resources to help you find more information on the themes and topics of the course.
Most of the databases on this page are restricted to UW students, staff and faculty. These are marked with a lock . To connect to these databases from home you will need to first click on the Off-Campus Access button in the upper-right hand corner and login with your UWnetid.
Have questions or need research help? Please contact Theresa Mudrock, the history librarian, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Start Here to Find Background Information
Encyclopedias and other reference sources can provide background information and can be used to identify key people, events and dates which can then be used as search terms for finding additional information. More importantly, because encyclopedias often cover the major issues surrounding the subject, they can help you narrow your research from a broad "who, what, where, when" topic to a "how or why" question. Many also provide a jumpstart on your research by listing related readings.
- American Decades
- Dictionary of American History
- Encyclopedia of the Cold War - Suzzallo Reference D840 .E625 2008
- Encyclopedia of the United States in the nineteenth century - Suzzallo Reference E169.1 .E626 2001
- Encyclopedia of the United States in the twentieth century - Suzzallo Reference E740.7 .E33 1996
- Encyclopedia of U.S. labor and working-class history - Suzzallo Reference HD8066 .A78 2007
- HistoryLink - Washington state history
- Oxford African American Studies Center
- Postwar America - Suzzallo Reference E169.12 .P654 2007
- List of other encyclopedias
Start Here to Find Books
Non-fictional books can provide both an overview and indepth analysis of a topic, event or person. Many books will include footnotes and bibliography that can lead you to other research/writings on the topic.
Book reviews can be useful when evaluating a book or to get a quick synopsis. Use the databases listed under "Finding Academic/Scholarly Articles" to find book reviews.
- UW Libraries Catalog - holdings of the UW Libraries. Best used for known-item searching especially journal titles and ebooks and when you want to find just what is available on campus or in a specific branch of the UW Libraries.
- UW WorldCat - version of the catalog that simultaneously searches the UW Libraries Catalog and other libraries in the region and worldwide, also includes some citations to articles. Best used for topical searches and for requesting books from other libraries.
Start Here to Find Academic/Scholarly Articles
Academic articles, those published in scholarly journals, are the bedrock of most academic disciplines. In the field of historical research, they are considered secondary sources. They provide an indepth analysis of narrow topics. Prior to publishing, articles are vetted through a process called peer-review. Most academic articles include footnotes which can lead you to primary sources (and additional secondary sources) on a topic.
To find the actual article (either in print or electronic), use the Check for UW Holdings button available on most databases to locate a copy. If there is no button, search the UW Libraries Catalog for the title of the journal.
Articles from journals which the UW does not own can be requested via Interlibrary loan.
- Academic Search Complete - general database to find articles on all subjects
- America History & Life - best database for finding articles about American and Canadian history
- JSTOR - back issues of 100s of academic journals including more than 40 full-text history-related journals
- List of additional history-related databases
Start Here to Find Books that are Primary Sources
In addition to the many books that are secondary sources; the UW Libraries has books that are primary sources. These include books written during the period for your topic (i.e., during the 1920s), books written by participants, published collections of correspondence and other personal writings, memoirs and reprints of primary source material.
Search the UW Libraries Catalog using the following search tactics:
- Limit your search by publication date.
- Search for books written by key people or organizations.
- Use special subject terms that designate primary sources: personal narratives, diaries, correspondence, interviews, sources
world war 1914-1919 and correspondence
- civil rights and interviews
- vietnam war and personal narratives
Start Here to Find Newspaper Articles
Newspapers are a primary source providing a first rough draft of events. Since most newspapers are local in scope, there is good coverage of local issues. Newspapers also provide a good feel for the time period.
Most of the older newspapers do not include indexing. Usually you will need to browse through issues of a newspaper to discover its content.
Newspapers can be found in the Microform and Newspaper Collections (mcnews) on the ground of Suzzallo. The best way to check and see if we have a specific newspaper on microfilm is to use the card catalog located in mcnews. For more current newspaper coverage (generally from the 1990s onward) use the databases linked from the News subject page.
- Chicago Defender - major African American newspaper, 1905 to 1975
- Early American Newspapers, Series II - collection of more than 50 19th century newspapers
- Ethnic Newswatch - ethnic newspapers, some coverage dating back to 1960
- Los Angeles Times - 1881 to 1996
- Historic New York Times - 1851 to 2004
- Pacific Northwest Regional Newspaper & Periodical Index - indexes local newspapers back to the late 19th century; only partially online; Special Collections has complete index
- Wall Street Journal - 1889 to 1991
- List of other digitized newspapers
Start Here to Find Magazine Articles
Magazines are similar to newspapers. Popular magazines (news, fashion, sports, etc.) provide a good feel for the period. Unlike newspapers, there is indexing to identify specific articles on topics. Since most magazines are national in scope, there is limited coverage of local topics.
- American Periodical Series Online - 19th and some early 20th century magazine articles; fulltext
- CQ Researcher - weekly magazine focusing on current issues, goes back to 1923
- Humanities & Social Sciences Retrospective Index, 1907-1984 - older American and European journals
- PAIS - political/economic journals and selected books and government reports from 1915 to the present
- Reader's Guide Retrospective - 1890 to 1980
- Google Magazine Search - some fulltext magazines, use Google Book Search and choose "magazines" in the content section; includes Jet, Ebony and New York magazines.
Start Here to Find Government Documents
The UW Libraries has an extensive collection of federal, state and local government documents. These documents are usually primary sources and can include census material, annual reports from governmental agencies and congressional hearings.
Most government material is housed in the Government Publications section on the ground floor of Suzzallo Library. Librarians there can help you find material you need.
- UW Libraries Catalog - includes federal, state and local government documents
- Hein Online - Full text Congressional Record, Supreme Court decisions and other documents
- Congressional Universe - index to congressional hearings & reports
- Monthly Catalog of US Government Publications, 1895-1976 - index to government documents; for 1976 to the present see MarciveWeb Docs
- US Congressional Serial Set - Senate and House reports and documents for the period 1817-1967; fulltext
Start Here to Find Websites
The Web is a growing source for primary sources dealing with U.S. history. The sites listed here have substantial collections of primary sources dealing with American history.
- Alcohol, Temperance & Prohibition
- American Memory (major collections of primary sources)
- American Presidency Project
- American Social History Online
- Brown v. Board of Education Digital Archive
- Civil Rights Digital Library
- Civil Rights in Mississippi Digital Archive
- FBI Electronic Reading Room
- Free Speech Movement Digital Archive
- Haymarket Affair Digital Collection
- Japanese American Relocation Digital Archive
- Race and Place: An African-American Community in the Jim Crow South
- Truman Library Digital Archives
- Veteran's History Project
- Vietnam War Era Ephemera Collection
- Virtual Vietnam Archive
- Watergate 25
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