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HIST 794: History of Development (Spring 2024; Prof. Engerman): Background Sources, Secondary Sources, and Databases

Reference works

Background or "reference" sources such as scholarly encyclopedias, handbooks, and bibliographies are a great place to start. They provide good overviews of the relevant scholarship and always include citations to secondary sources. Often they include primary source suggestions too.

The SHAFR Guide Online: An Annotated Bibliography of U.S. Foreign Relations since 1600

Latest edition of the major reference work for the study of U.S. foreign relations. Chapters are arranged both chronologically and topically. Among potentially relevant chapters is Ch. 28, "Economic Issues and U.S. Foreign Relations." 

Cambridge Histories
A key reference collection. Relevant works here include The Cambridge History of the Cold War and The Cambridge World History, Vol. 7, Part 1 and Part 2.

The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

For technical references on economics issues.

Oxford Research Encyclopedia in American History

A fairly new resource that is likely to have relevant articles such as "United States Foreign Economic Aid."

Oxford Bibliographies

A large collection of annotated bibliographies, often with citations to both primary and secondary sources.

Oxford Handbooks Online

The Oxford Handbooks may be a helpful starting point for any number of topics. Books in this series include The Oxford Handbook of the Politics of Development.

Gale Virtual Reference Library

Includes the International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences and other sources useful for quick references.

Country reports and analyses


Primary source databases

Government information and related sources:

Historical Newspapers

Secondary sources

Government Reports

IGO search engine

Use the Intergovernmental Organization Search Engine (a Google custom search) to search across hundreds of IGO websites:

NGO search engine

Use the Non-governmental Organization Search Engine to search across NGO websites. Sites were chosen based on their consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and also collated from University of Minnesota Human Rights Library, Duke University Libraries' NGO Research Guide, and the World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (WANGO).