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History and Humanities Research Guide

Background research

Background research can help you:

  • narrow down a broad theme into a smaller topic
  • learn the basics of your topic
  • develop a list of keywords to use when searching for more sources
  • develop a research question and/or thesis statement

Starter databases

Starter databases:

  • simple, browseable databases meant to help students with background research
  • often contain credible reference articles, but can also have viewpoint essays
  • a good alternative or supplement to Wikipedia

Best starter databases for History topics:

Gale eBooks tutorial

Gale eBooks Tutorial

  • This database has subject-specific encyclopedia articles which provide simple topic overviews.
  • A perfect way to get to know your topic before diving deeper into scholarly research.
  • Watch the video below to learn more:

Try it out!

Browse Books in the Library

Browse Books in the Library

  • These books can be found at the Main Campus and/or the South Gate Library.
  • Write down the book's title and call number to find the book on the shelf.
  • If you're in the library, you can also browse the browse the library Stacks by call number:

    • C = History (Auxillary Sciences-Archaeology, Genealogy)
    • D = History (General and all except North and South America)
    • E = History (General U.S.)
    • F = History (Local U.S., Canada, Mexico, South America)