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HIST 126J: Witchcraft and Society in Colonial New England: Home

This page is intended for students in Professor Rebecca Tannenbaum's course and provides an overview of resources in the Yale Library for your research assignments this semester.

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:

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.

Ancestry Library Edition collection: “New England, Salem Witches and Others Tried for Witchcraft, 1647-1697” & general link to database record for Ancestry Library Edition

Oxford Bibliographies

A large collection of annotated bibliographies, often with citations to both primary and secondary sources. Includes the article "Witchcraft in the Atlantic World" and other articles relating to witchcraft, e.g. "Historical Approaches to Child Witches" (Childhood Studies module)

Oxford Handbooks Online

Includes The Oxford Handbook of Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe and Colonial America.

The 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. The articles are arranged into subfields such as Colonial History and Cultural History. Includes, for instance, the article, "The Salem Witch Trials."

Cambridge Core

Includes key reference sources from Cambridge University Press like the Cambridge Companions and Cambridge Histories. Individual titles include The Cambridge History of Magic and Witchcraft in the West.

Historical Statistics of the United States

Statistics from the colonial era to 1970

American National Biography Online

A helpful resource for biographical information on prominent historical figures.

Finding resources beyond Yale

Secondary Sources/Subject Databases

Subject-specific databases are a key resource for finding secondary literature, including the latest scholarly journal articles in the field, and the main subject databases for finding historical literature are:

  • America: History and Life Provides historical coverage of the United States and Canada and indexes over 2000 historical journals. A key resource if you are searching for historical scholarship related to your research project.
  • Historical Abstracts Provides historical coverage of the world, not including the United States and Canada, from the 15th century to the present. Indexes thousands of journals in multiple languages.

Searching these databases will allow you to check for the latest scholarly articles, reviews of books, citations to book chapters, and more in a wide array of historical journals. 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.

Another potentially useful subject database, for scholarly literature in religious studies, is:

And, don’t forget, the library catalog -- i.e., Orbis and Books+ -- is always a useful tool for locating secondary sources!

Library contact

James Kessenides, Kaplanoff Librarian for American History