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AMST 348 / ER&M 381 / EVST 304: Space, Place, and Landscape: Home


This course guide is intended to assist students in their research projects for the course "Space, Place, and Landscape," taught by Kristin Hankins during Fall term 2022 at Yale University. The selection of resources included in this guide is not intended to be comprehensive.

Library Contacts

Students in the course should feel free to contact any of the following librarians as a starting point for research assistance with their projects for this course.

  • Joshua Cochran: Curator, American History and Diplomacy, Beinecke Library -
  • James Kessenides: Kaplanoff Librarian for American History, Sterling Memorial Library -
  • Bill Landis: Education Program Director, Beinecke Library - 
  • Rachel Sperling: Librarian for Environmental Studies -

Yale Library Search Tools

The main search tools for finding books, articles, databases, archival collections, and more at Yale (and beyond) can all be found on the "Find, Request, and Use" page of the library's website. Here are a few quick refreshers, but be sure to visit the page for a full overview:

"Church, Palm Springs, Arizona"



David Plowden

June 1978

David Plowden Photographs and Papers

Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Background Sources

Background or "reference" sources are a great place to start your research. Reference works include bibliographies, scholarly encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, and other sources that provide overviews of topics and suggestions for further reading.

Oxford Bibliographies
An extensive collection of annotated bibliographies often pointing to both primary and secondary sources. There is a "Geography" module, but relevant articles may appear in other modules, too. Here are a few examples of articles you will find:

Wiley Online Library

A large collection of resources. The Wiley Companions are often useful, including titles such as the following:

The Columbia Gazetteer of the World Online

Routledge Handbook of Literature and Space (print)

Routledge Companion to Spatial History

Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American History
A scholarly encyclopedia, often really useful for a variety of U.S. history research topics. Each article has a discussion of the literature, including primary sources -- a great starting point for finding more sources.

Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Literature

Cambridge Core

Link to the general collections of Cambridge University Press, including the Cambridge Histories and Cambridge Companions. Titles include:

Oxford Handbooks Online
Lengthy chapters in the Oxford Handbooks usually provide helpful overviews of scholarly topics and historical literature, along with suggestions for further reading. A number of the handbooks may be helpful depending on your research topic.

Gale in Context: Environmental Studies


Below are freely accessible web resources containing maps, but there are also many maps you can find in Yale Library's special collections, including the selection of maps for use in the session in the Gates Classroom on Wednesday, October 26th. You can also finds maps in many of the collections on the "Primary Source Databases" page of this guide, under "Digital Archives," including the American West, East View Geospatial LandScan, and Royal Geographical Society collections.

Secondary Sources/Subject Databases

In addition to the online library catalog (Books+ and Orbis), reference sources, and footnotes in sources you've already found (etc.), subject-specific databases are another extremely helpful resource for finding secondary literature, including the latest scholarly journal articles in the field, and a key subject database for researching U.S. history is:

Searching America: History and Life will allow you to check for the latest scholarly articles, reviews of books, citations to book chapters, and more in historical journals such as The American Historical Review and Journal of American History.

Additional subject databases could prove relevant to your work -- here are a few more of possible use:

And a large database such as JSTOR remains often useful, especially if doing an Advanced search or browsing/search by discipline.

Finding Archives Beyond Yale

Archive Grid contains records for finding aids from over 1000 archival institutions. Start here when you are seeking to discover if there are any relevant archival collections for your research beyond Yale. The "Summary View" option is a good way to filter your search results after running a search. This is an open access resource/no login required.