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HIST 426J/GLBL 398: Yale and the World: Global Power, Local History: Search Portals and Secondary Sources

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. For example:

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. An example of a reference article:

Oxford Bibliographies

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

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. For example:

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. For example:


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, Quicksearch is a useful tool for locating secondary sources!

Guides to Historical Research & Writing

Library contacts

Josh Cochran, Curator for American History and Diplomacy, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library -

James Kessenides, Kaplanoff Librarian for American History, Sterling Memorial Library -

Bill Landis, Teaching Librarian, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library -

Scott Libson, Special Collections Librarian, Divinity Library Special Collections -


List of subject specialists in the Yale Library