University Library

History Resource Guide

Finding Sources Across Time and Space

Using This Guide

This isn't an exhaustive list of resources, as research topics within history vary and are often interdisciplinary! This guide serves as a starting point for your research—a place to find information about sources, services, & tools!

Browse the blue tabs to find information specific to many sub-disciplines taught at W&L. Also, discover strategies for organizing/citing sources and identify ways to get help!

Databases: Finding Scholarship in History [Click logo for full access]

Humanities International Complete
Academic Search Complete
Project Muse

Basic Vocabulary

This guide provides offers advice in finding primary and secondary sources.

A primary source is a piece of information that is generated by a witness, participant, or contemporary of an event, experiment, or time period under study.

When evaluating primary sources, consider who or what produced the material, where it was produced, when, and for what purpose.

Secondary sources interpret and/or analyze primary sources. Hence, they are further removed from an event / experiment / time period than primary sources.

Whether or not a secondary source is "scholarly" depends heavily on the expertise of the author, the intended audience, the methodology used to produce it, and the system in which it was vetted.