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HIST 154J: Neighbo(u)ring Democracies: Representative Politics in the United States and Canada, 1607-Present: Home

This guide is intended for students in Dr. Brendan Shanahan's course and provides an overview of key resources in the Yale Library for your research papers this semester.

Main search portals

Finding Archives Beyond Yale

Selected reference works

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 of potentially great use in the early stages of your research project. Each article has a discussion of the literature, including primary sources. A great starting point for finding more sources; arranged into subject areas such as Political History. Just a few examples of several potentially helpful articles are:

"The Equal Rights Amendment"

"The Civil Rights Movement in the Urban South"

"Progressives and Progressivism in an Era of Reform"


Gale in Context: U.S. History

This resource brings together reference articles, along with selected primary and secondary sources for getting started on your research.


Oxford Bibliographies

This is an extensive collection of annotated bibliographies that are keyword searchable and can also be browsed by subject area --

e.g., Political Science


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. Volumes in the series include:

Oxford Handbook of Canadian Politics

Oxford Handbook of Deliberative Democracy


Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics


Wiley Online Library

Includes scholarly journal articles and monographs as well as reference works. Often a single chapter or two within a reference work can provide a helpful starting point for research. Titles include A Companion to the Gilded Age and Progressive Era and A Companion to Post-1945 America.

Secondary sources

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: 

And, don’t forget, Orbis, Books+ and Articles+ are all useful tools for locating secondary sources!

Guides to Historical Research & Writing

Library contacts

Chris Anderson, Special Collections Librarian, Yale Divinity Library - christopher.j.anderson@yale.edu

James Kessenides, Kaplanoff Librarian for American History - james.kessenides@yale.edu

Bill Landis, Associate Director for Public Services, Manuscripts and Archives, Sterling Memorial Library - bill.landis@yale.edu