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HIST 290: Historiographic Seminar (Hendley)

Librarian: Mary Lynn Bensen

Finding Style Manuals

Chicago Manual of Style                                                      Under Databases on library web site        


Ref Z 253 U69 (print)

A short library guide to the most commonly cited examples is available online under Citing Sources on the library web site.

A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and                           Ref LB 2369 T8 2018

  Dissertations (Turabian)

Finding Background Information on History

Cambridge Histories Online                                                          Under Databases on library web site

Complete text of over 350 scholarly texts in the Cambridge History Series.  Each title is also listed individually in the library's online catalog.  Dates vary.  Some titles are available in print.

Gale Virtual Reference Library                                            Under Databases on library web site

Collection of full-text reference books covering many subject areas, including history.

Finding Background Information on Historians and Historiography

Blackwell Dictionary of Historians                                            Ref D 14 B58 1988  SB


Encyclopedia of Historians & Historical Writing                      Ref D 14 E53 1999

  Provides overview of historical writing by

  geographical area and subject and of historians work.

A Global Encyclopedia of Historical Writing                             Ref D 13 G47 1998

  Offers views of the historiography of particular countries

  and topics in addition to providing background on

  historians with appended lists of additional reading.

Great Historians of the Modern Age                                           Ref D 14 G 75 1991

Guide to Historical Literature                                                     Ref D 20 A55 1995

Historiography:  An Annotated Bibliography of Journal           Ref D 13 H57 1987

Articles, Books and Dissertations                                              

   Includes a brief introduction to historiography

   and listings of books, journal articles, conference

   proceedings, and dissertations under the areas of

   methodology and schools of historiography.

History and Historians:  A Historiographical Introduction       D 16.8 G533 2007   Circ. Coll.

Teaching Bibliographic Skills in History                                    Z 675 H5 T4 1993   Circ. Coll.

  Includes section on history of historical writing

Books on historiography in the circulating collection have call numbers beginning with D13 and

D14 on the 3rd floor of the library.

Finding Biographies

Biography and Genealogy Master Index
   Provides citations to short entries in reference books,             Under Databases on library web site

   including the DNB, for historical and contemporary


Compendium of Irish Biography                                                Ref DA 916 W3 1970

Cultural History of Women in the Age of Empire                       Ref HQ 1121 C83 2013 v. 5

Cultural History of Women in the Modern Age                          Ref HQ 1121 C83 2013 v. 6

Dictionary of Labour Biography                                                Ref HD 8393 A1 B44

Dictionary of Women Worldwide                                                Ref CT 3202 D53 2007

Encyclopedia of World Biography                                              Ref CT 103 E56 1997
 Includes short essays with references.

Great Lives from History: The 19th Century 1801-1900            Ref CT 119 G69 2007

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (DNB)                      Ref DA 28 O95 2004

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Supplement                 Ref DA 28 O95 2009


Research Guide to European Historical Biography                   Ref CT 759 R47 1992

Finding Background Information on British History

Ashgate Companion to the History of Textile                                  Ref HD 8039 C6A74 2010

    Workers, 1650-2000

Encyclopedia of European Social History                            Ref HN 373 E63 2001


Oxford Companion to British History                                       Ref DA 34 O93 1997

Oxford Companion to Black British History                             Ref DA 125 N4094 2007

Oxford Illustrated History of the British Army                         Ref DA 50 O94 1994

Oxford Companion to Irish History                                          Ref DA 912 N485 199   

Finding Print and Electronic Books in Milne Library

**Click on Advanced Search under Search Everything (Library Discovery Service)

Select Library Catalog link at the top of the search screen. This is an index to the collections of Milne Library.

Any Field will search for keywords in fields of the item record, including author, title, subject, and contents.  Use drop-down menu to search for a specific field such as Author, Title, Subject.  Use drop-down menu under Material Type to choose Books.  Click on Search toward the bottom of the screen.

Keyword vs. Subject Searching

 Keywords are words that come to mind when you think about your topic. When you search for keywords, these words are matched with those in all fields of the records for information sources.  These fields are, among others, the author, title, place of publication, and description.  Any record with keywords searched will automatically appear in the results list as a match. 

For example, if you search for “New York,” your results will include books with New York in the title as well as books published in New York.  Keyword searches are broad in nature and are often good places to start until you determine the appropriate or authoritative subject(s) for your topic. 

Subjects or Subject Headings (sometimes called Descriptors) are specific terms assigned to an information source based upon the content of the item.  Libraries often use the Library of Congress Subject Headings, which standardize subjects in order to deliver consistent results.  By limiting a search to the Subject field, and entering the assigned Subject into the search box, you will get results that include only those records for information sources assigned that Subject.  Many information sources have multiple Subjects that increase the user’s ability to find these sources.

For example, searching for the keywords “medieval women” in any field can lead to results in which the keywords appear in the title and the description on the record for information sources.  On these records, however, the assigned Subject is “Women—History—Middle Ages, 500-1500.”  By searching for this Subject, you get results listing all information sources for which the content is medieval women. 

Using a combination of keywords and subjects can offer the advantages of both types of searching in terms of your results.

Search Tips

  • Use the asterisk to truncate and search for variations of a word, including plural forms

Example:  historiograph* searches for historiography, historiographic(al)

  • Use quotation marks to search for a phrase rather than individual words

Example:  “industrial revolution”

**Sign in with your SUNY Oneonta username and password to get complete results and to request items from other SUNY libraries through Interlibrary Loan (Resource Sharing).

You can limit your results to those Held by Milne Library or Available Online (limiters on the left of results list).

For electronic books in Milne Library:     

            1.  Click on the title of the book

2..  Under View Online—Full text availability, link to any database listed and then to the  

      full text of the book

 For print books in Milne Library:

1.   Note the availability status.

2.   Go to Get It! and select Request Item for Remote Check Out.

3.   The item will be checked out to you, and you will be notified by e-mail when it is

      available for pick up.  Pick-up location is in the Argo Tea lobby.

4.   Library items can be returned at any time through the book drops either on the exterior

      of the Milne Library building (to the right of the main front entrance) or next to the rear

      entrance of the library.

5.   Returned items will be quarantined for six days.

**Virtual Browse (at the bottom of selected records for print books) gives information about books on the shelf near the selected book title, which can also be useful, since like titles are classed together.

Using Interlibrary Loan (ILL/Shared Services)

If you are having trouble finding materials on your topic in the Milne Library, or if the books you want are checked out or are missing, you can request books from other libraries through Interlibrary Loan (ILL).  You cannot request an electronic book from another library on interlibrary loan.  The Interlibrary Loan link is located on the library web site.  However, the book might also be available in print, which you can request on Interlibrary Loan.  Registration on the library web site is necessary to submit requests.

Finding Articles in Scholarly Journals

For academic research, it is often important to use peer-reviewed (or refereed) journals rather than popular magazines. Peer review is the process by which a journal article is evaluated by experts in the field. An example of a peer-reviewed journal is the Renaissance Quarterly. An example of a popular magazine is People.

All of the following databases are listed alphabetically by title on the library web site under Databases.

Selected Databases Covering Many Subjects, Including History

Gender Studies


Finding Copies of Periodical Articles

Locating the full text of an article in electronic form:

If there is no full text with the citation for an article in a database, the full text of the article might be available in another database. Try searching for the journal title in the Journals tab on the library web site.  Follow link(s) to listed database(s).  If the article is unavailable in any database, request the article through the Interlibrary Loan link either in the database record or on the library’s web site.

Locating the full text in print or microform:

If the periodical issue is listed as available only in print or microfilm, the article will not be accessible until the library reopens.

Requesting an article on Interlibrary Loan:

If the article is not available at Milne Library in any form, request the article through the link Interlibrary Loan either on the library web site or in the database record for the article.  Registration on the library web site is necessary to submit requests.  Complete the appropriate request form and submit.

Finding an Article in a Particular Journal Title

  • Use the Journals tab at the top of the library home page.
  • Enter the title of the journal or magazine, for example, Past and Present, in the search box.  The title of the periodical, if available, will appear at the top of the results list.  Click on the title of the periodical.

  • If the title is available in a database, link to the appropriate database where you can search for the article needed.  Check dates of coverage to determine if full text for the needed article is available. 

  • If the title is available in print or microfilm, it is unavailable until the library reopens.

Finding Primary Sources (Selected Titles)

Some titles only list sources, whereas others include the text of sources.

Documentary History of England                                                       DA 26 D55

English Historical Documents                                                            DA 26 E55

Source-Book of English History                                                         DA 32.5 L5


Look for titles of primary sources in secondary sources and in lists included in bibliographies of secondary sources.  Use test, class, and library bibliographies for recommended titles or listings of primary sources.

19th Century British Pamphlets                                              Under Databases on library web site

Internet Library of Early Journals                                         Under Databases on library web site

The Times (London) Digital Archive, 1786-2013                   Under Databases on library web site

The Times (London), 1985 – present                                      Under Databases on library web site

Victorian Popular Culture, 1779 – 1930                                Under Databases on library web site



Mary Lynn Bensen (
Milne Library, SUNY Oneonta
September 2020