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HIS 500

A research guide for History grad students.

History databases

Core databases

These are our two citation databases for history.  They combine breadth of coverage with a history disciplinary focus.  We do not have full text of everything in these databases.


JSTOR is a journal repository.  Every journal in JSTOR has 100% full text, but a journal only appears in JSTOR at all if the publisher has made and agreement with the repository.  So, there are only about 400 total history journals in JSTOR, while America:  History and Life indexes from 1800 journals.  This difference in breadth of coverage is why the two databases above should be your starting point for research, not JSTOR.

But where JSTOR shines is that you can search the full text of every article in there.  Trying to research an event, place, or person that is rarely featured in articles?  Go to JSTOR and find every single article that mentions that person or thing even a single time!

Introductions to searching history databases (videos)

America:  History and Life and Historical Abstracts

Using Limiters in Historical Abstract and America: History and Life

Using Advanced Search with Boolean Searching


An introduction to narrowing searches in JSTOR and also using to find both primary and secondary sources.

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