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Yale libraries will be closed Nov. 25 – Jan. 4. Online services and access to library materials will continue. See COVID-19 library updates.
Background or "reference" sources are a great place to start in building your bibliographies. These are scholarly encyclopedias, handbooks, bibliographies, and similar sources that will often contain lengthy essays with background information on a topic and overviews of the relevant scholarship. Citations to the secondary literature will always be included, and often so too will citations to primary sources.
ArchiveGrid includes over 5 million records describing archival materials, bringing together information about historical documents, personal papers, family histories, and more from over 1,000 archival institutions. Open access/no login required.
Archive finder is a directory of materials from collections in the United States, the United Kingdom and Ireland. It features the collections of the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections (NUCMC) from 1959 to the present, the National Inventory of Documentary Sources in the United States (NIDS) and the National Inventory of Documentary Sources in the United Kingdom and Ireland (NIDS UK/Ireland).