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HIS 398 Holy Roman Empire

A guide to finding research sources for HIS 398: Holy Roman Empire

Search term tips

Because the  Holy Roman Empire included territory in what is now a number of different countries over many centuries, scholars may use very different terminology when giving titles to their books.   For instance, you might find sources about Germany that use:

medieval Germany

renaissance Germany

early modern Germany

18th-century Germany (or other century)

Or use the name of a dynasty, such as Germany under the Ottonian dynasty

 Names used to describe geographic areas can also change over time.  I strongly suggest you talk to Dr. Gaydosh about what the most commonly used terminology for a region and/or time period is before you start researching.  I can help, too, but she is the expert!

Finding scholarly journal articles

When I look for scholarly journal articles on history topics, this is the order I follow.

1) Historical Abstracts

Historical Abstract and its cousin for American history (America: History and Life) pull articles from thousands of journals.  If you haven't used it before, the videos below will help you understand how to set up a search and use limiters.


JSTOR is my second stop, because it doesn't include nearly as many journals as Historical Abstracts and America: History and Life.  What is very useful about JSTOR is that you can search the full text of every article-- so it is great if you are looking for source that addresses a specific person, place, or thing.  It also is interdisciplinary, including both history journals and journals from many other fields of study.

3) Library Search

Library Search = the search box on the library homepage. It cross-searches dozens of databases, allowing for an extremely broad, interdisciplinary search.  Click on the "Expand results beyond my library" option for an even more comprehensive search.  

Finding books

You can find books via the search box on library homepage.  

Step 1:  Enter your search terms and use the pulldown menu labeled "All Items" to select "Books".

Library homepage showing main search box and All Items limiter

Step 2: You will see results for both ebooks and physical books.  Links to full text and/or location information are located under each title.  If you forgot to limit to books, you can still do it on this page right under the search box.

Library search interface showing results and option for limiting to books under search box.

Step 3: Want to see books that WCU libraries don't own, but could get for you?  At the top of the left-hand column, click on "Expand results beyond my library."  When you see "No full text" under an entry, click it to see options for requesting it from another library (you will need to log in to do so).

Expand results beyond your library is an option iunder Narrow My Results


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