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.
Encyclopedia, news, and journal articles as well as primary sources provide a starting point for many research topics in U.S. history. Keyword searchable, and can also be browsed by topics including "2000s (2000-2009)."
Oxford bibliographies offers peer-reviewed annotated bibliographies on specific topics across varied subject areas. Each of these features an introduction to the topic. Bibliographies are browseable by subject area and keyword searchable.
Oxford Handbooks Online
Covers many topics in contemporary history. Lengthy chapters in each handbook offer helpful overviews of topics and suggestions for further reading.
Detailed encyclopedia articles include discussions of the historical literature and suggestions for primary sources. Can be browsed by subject areas including post-1945 U.S. history.
Includes a series of companions to U.S. history with informative historiographical overviews of topics -- e.g., A Companion to Post-1945 America. The platform also includes many textbooks, surveys, and links to specialized journal articles across disciplines.
The following bibliographic databases will be helpful for finding secondary sources, especially scholarly/peer-reviewed journal articles, magazine articles, book reviews, and citations to book chapters and edited collections of books. Please note: the full text of articles will not always be available in these databases. If you see the "YaleLinks" icon instead of a PDF, click on the icon to discover whether we have online access to the article: