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History Sources: Library History Resources

Steps in historical research

Historical research involves the following steps:

  1. Identifying an idea, topic or research question
  2. Conducting a background literature review
  3. Refining the research idea and questions
  4. Determining that historical methods will be the method used
  5. Identifying and locating primary and secondary data sources
  6. Evaluating the authenticity and accuracy of source materials
  7. Analysing the date and developing a narrative exposition of the findings.
Source: Berg, B. L., & Lune, H. (2012). Qualitative Research Methods for the Social Sciences (8th ed., International ed.). London: Pearson, 311.

Finding History Sources in the Library

There are a number of sources that are relevant to historical inquiry that are held in the UCA Libraries.  A first step in locating these resources must be the Library Catalogue.  This will bring up both print and electronic resources, including eBooks and journal articles. 

You can find out more about searchingaccessing, finding, evaluating and referencing from the relevant LibGuides.  This presentation may also help to remind you of the importance of historical inquiry.

Key Database for History

It is difficult to select key databases for history as if you are studying the history of medicine or the history of finance, for example, you will have to search the medical databases or the databases that index business and finance journals.  However, as a start, it is recommended you begin your search on the Library Catalogue and then search the individual database listed below:

ACADEMIC SEARCH COMPLETE -  This is a multi-disciplinary database (which is mostly full-text) which indexes history journals and some popular magazines and newspapers.

JSTOR (Arts and Sciences) databases provide full-text access to thousands of articles from archived academic journals.  Date coverage varies by individual journal title, but a typical coverage range is from the beginning of the journal until 5 years ago.

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