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History Research

Guide to databases & research for history majors and other students taking history classes.

Welcome to History Research at Regent Library

This guide will help you with history research.  Your subject librarian is Denise Crews. Regent's research librarians are always available for consultations via chat, appointments, or email on the Ask A Librarian page!

It is recommended that you try the following for research:

1. Primo Library Search: filter the search for Books, Articles, or Reference.

Find primary sources, e.g. papers of Abraham Lincoln. Use filters such as "Archival Material" & "Primary Sources"

2. History Databases: see recommended ones in this guide or in the A-Z Database List

3. Google Scholar: provides links to articles we own in Regent databases. Also, try Google Books for titles & previews.

4. Google: find web historical archives, press articles, opinions, and background. See recommended sites in this guide.

If you are looking for a history topic to research, see this History Reading List of sources related to interesting issues.


Finding a history topic:  

Look at unsettled or interesting issues such as:

  • right or wrong, ethical, & value questions, like "was it right to drop the atomic bombs and/or to bomb German cities?" 
  • debatable issues with more than one side, like "was the invention of trains or another technology good for society?"
  • questions people wonder about, like "how did Hitler use propaganda to control or brainwash the German people?"
  • or, "how did Americans win the Revolution against the British army?" or "why was the Revolution fought & was it justified?"
  • or, "what were Lincoln's views on slavery?" or "how did Christian beliefs motivate abolitionists to fight slavery?"
  • any question of cause (how did one thing cause another or effect something else) like "why did we fight in Vietnam?"
  • or policy/law/court decisions, like "how did the Supreme Court uphold segregation and then overturn it?"
  • or "how did military strategy change with the invention of modern weapons during the Civil War, World War I, or World War II?"

Look for both primary sources (historical documents) and secondary sources (books & articles by scholars).

Your studies in a specific history class and discussions with your professor will elicit more specific and narrow topics. 

Finding Books & E-Books

It is recommended that you shelf browse in the library.

Find a book you like and then look at books on the shelves nearby with similar call numbers.

Books are organized by subject. For example, call numbers E-F are American history books.

You can also virtual shelf browse in Primo by looking at recommended books at the bottom or the right side of a book record. Try clicking Subject headings and authors' names in Primo also to find related sources.

History books are on the 2nd floor of the library to the left side. If you live at a distance, request mailing or digitization in Primo.