Skip to Main Content

HIST 136J: Liberalism and Conservatism in the Modern U.S.: Home


This course guide is intended to assist students in their research projects for the course Liberalism and Conservatism in the Modern United States (HIST 136J), taught by Professor Beverly Gage 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 HIST 136J 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 - 

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:

[Photograph of a crowd of protestors confronting Governor Brown]

Bakersfield, California, 1966

Jon Lewis Photographs of the United Farm Workers Movement

WA Photos 466, 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 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. Examples of articles include:

Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Literature

Includes among other articles of potential interest "Right-Wing Literature in the United States since the 1960s" and "Terry Tempest Williams" (whose papers are in the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library).

Cambridge Core

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

Oxford Bibliographies
An extensive collection of annotated bibliographies often pointing to both primary and secondary sources. Examples of articles 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.

Wiley Online Library

A large collection of resources. The Wiley Companions will be especially useful -- for instance:

Navigate to "Humanities" and then "History" in order to find a detailed listing of titles by subfield.

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 -- for instance, Historical Abstracts, which has citations to and often the full-text of historical literature covering world history (excluding the United States and Canada) from the 15th century to the present.

Guides to Historical Research & Writing

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.