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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!

Other databases

These options will all expand your research by moving from focusing on a history disciplinary perspective to finding scholarship from other disciplines.

Other subject databases

We have databases that play the same role as America: History and Life and Historical Abstracts for almost every field of study.  A few examples given below, but you can find more through our database listings (use the subject pull-down menu).

Library search tool

Cross searches all the databases mentioned so far, plus many more. 

Google scholar

Google algorithm and search interface are very different from what library databases use. Sometimes this is a good thing!

Google Scholar Search

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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