History for Graduate Students

This guide is designed for masters and Phd students in the Department of History.

Search Omni, the library's main search box to find books, journal articles, newspaper articles, videos, and many other types of published literature. Omni searches almost all of our collections and databases, simultaneously. If you know the title of a specific book, journal article, or journal, just type in the full title in the search box. For help, use the Omni Search Tips guide.

If you are keyword searching using Omni, always remember to use caps for Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT)

  • Combine keywords with AND, ex: self AND society
  • Combine synonyms with OR, (child* OR youth OR  teenage) AND history
  • Enclose phrases in quotation marks, "Vietnamese conflict"
  • Use truncation * (asterisk) at the end of a root word to find all forms of the word, ie: mineral* (will retrieve minerals, mineralogy, mineralogical, etc.)
  • When you get your results, use the filters on the left side of the screen to refine your search. 

Search subject-specific databases in History to find journal articles and primary source content. They offer many advanced search features, only contain scholarly literature and search results are more precise. Consult the following:

Important note: If the library does not have what you need, you can order books and journal articles from other libraries through RACER but you need to register before you can start using it.

Google Scholar

Most researchers regularly search Google Scholar because it is convenient, but please remember to connect to it via the Carleton Library to seamlessly connect to the full text of journal articles that are part of the library's collection.

Cited Reference Searching 

Why is this important? It is most often used for finding articles that cite a particular work. Many databases provide citation counts for individual articles.

Search Alerts

Why use them? Search alerts are a current awareness service that helps researchers stay current with what is being published in their field, via email.


Begin with: 

Searching for primary sources:

Search your topic (or historical person of interest) using Omni the library's main search box to find primary sources (or reproductions) in our collection. Keyword searches that include the following terms will identify primary materials most of the time

Search example: nurses AND war AND diar*

  • Diar* (for diary or diaries)
  • Correspondence
  • Letters
  • Memoir
  • Personal narrative
  • Recollections
  • Reminiscences
  • Journal
  • Sources

 Other search tips:

Historical Newspaper Databases

Primary Sources on the web

‚ÄčOther libraries:

Center for Research Libraries (CRL) - Carleton University Library is a member of the CRL consortium. It regularly acquires and preserves newspapers, journals, documents, archives, and other traditional and digital resources for research and teaching and makes them available to member institutions through your RACER account.

Citing primary sources: archive and non-archive


Plan to attend a workshop that demonstrates the common features of several citation management tools. Send an email to citation@library.carleton.ca to register for a workshop, or arrange for one-on-one consultation.

Consult the Citation Management Help Guide for more information. There are many free citation management systems available. The library provides support for the following:


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.

Useful Books

Nvivo Software

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 service web page for more information about this tool and training workshops.

Publishing Guides

Self Archiving

  • CURVE is Carleton's institutional repository which collects, preserves and provides open access to the academic research output and creative works of Carleton faculty and scholars.

Open Access and Scholarly Communications

Graduate Student Open Access Award

  • $1000 award encourages Carleton graduates to make their work more widely available on the internet by publishing research in open access journals


Journal Metrics/Rankings

Journal-level metrics (bibliometrics) is used to measure the impact of a journal as a whole. They can also be used for:

  • preparing your portfolio
  • assessing the impact and quality of a journal relative to a particular discipline or field through ranking
  • tenure and promotion in academia
  • publication venue choices
  • collection building and assessment

Consult other Help guides for:

Content last updated: September 9, 2020