Consult writing guides for innovative ideas on how to search for sources
- The information-literate historian: a guide to research for history students
- A short guide to writing about history
Use dictionaries, encyclopedias and handbooks to find authoritative definitions and overviews
- Companion to Western Historical Thought
- Dictionary of Concepts in History
- Dictionary of contemporary history, 1945 to the present
- A dictionary of contemporary world history : from 1900 to the present day
- Encyclopedia of Historians and Historical Writing
- The Encyclopedia of world history : ancient, medieval, and modern, chronologically arranged
- New dictionary of the history of ideas
Key Databases for Journal Articles:
- America History and Life (covers Canada and the United States)
- Historical Abstracts (covers the rest of the world)
See also the full list of databases available by subject
- Dissertations and Theses Global - Discover dissertations and theses published by educational institutions from around the world, from 1743 to the present (some full text available from 1997 - present)
- Foreign Doctoral Dissertations - 700,000 doctoral dissertations from outside the U.S. and Canada
Under the News Databases, browse down to Historical Archives.
Photographs, illustrations and graphic images are often used in academic writing. Consult the library's Image find guide to help you find and use images properly and in accordance with copyright.
Primary Sources in the Library
What are they?
- A primary source is a document or physical object which was written or created during the time under study. These sources were present during an experience or time period and offer an inside view of a particular event. They may also present original thinking, new discoveries or new information collected at the time of an event.
- Types of primary sources
- Original documents (including excerpts and translations): diaries, speeches, manuscripts, letters, interviews, technical reports, empirical studies (research based on scientific and experimental results), news film footage, autobiographies, official records, ancient literature, magazine and newspaper articles, public opinion polls, medical charts.
- Creative works: poetry, drama, novels, printed music, sound recordings, art.
- Relics or artifacts: pottery, furniture, clothing, buildings.
Examples of primary sources
- Diary of Anne Frank
- The Constitution of Canada
- Newspaper article from the time an event occurred
- A journal article reporting new research or findings
- Weavings and pottery
- Plato's Republic
Where to find them in the Library
- In the library collection
- Original documents can be found by consulting the Archives and Research Collections (ARC) website.
- Reproductions can be found by checking the library catalogue.
- Use specific words to locate primary sources in the library catalogue, such as: correspondence, sources, diaries, letters, personal naratives. KEYWORD search examples:
- [PERSON’S NAME] and s:correspondence
- [PERSON’S NAME] and s:diaries
- [PERSON’S NAME] and s:letters
- [KEYWORD] and s:sources
Primary Sources: International Databases
Sage Research Methods is designed to support researchers with writing a research question, choosing a method, gathering and analyzing data, to and writing up & publishing the findings.
- Tip: Browse by discipline, look for 'History' to find a number of handbooks and case studies.
- A practical guide to studying history; skills and approaches
- Debating new approaches to history
- Historical Theory
- Using non-textual sources: a historian's guide
- The Routledge companion to historical studies
- The Sage Handbook of Historical Theory
- History of oral history : foundations and methodology
- Research Methods for history
Nvivo is qualitative data analysis software intended to help researchers organize and analyze data, identify trends, and cross examine information in a variety of ways. Consult the NVIVO web page for more information about this tool and training workshops.