Subject Specialist


Subject Guides

This site focuses on general World history.  If you are looking for specific areas of history, please check the drop-down for subtopics.

Beginning your research

Albert Plus

Combines Albert (books, videos, etc.) and Multisearch (articles)


Browse general encyclopedias and handbooks:

World History Encyclopedia (from Credo Reference)


Find Articles

Or search particular databases such as:

 Covers the history of the world (excluding the United States and Canada), focusing on the 15th century forward.

 Historical coverage of the United States and Canada from prehistory to the present.

 The Hispanic American Periodicals Index (HAPI) is your source for over 275,000 journal article citations about Central America, South America, the Caribbean, Mexico, Brazil, and Hispanics/Latinos in the United States.

 Full-text access to journals published by the Johns Hopkins University Press and other presses. Disciplines covered are humanities, social sciences, and mathematics, literature and criticism, history, visual and performing arts, cultural studies, education, political science, gender studies, and others.

 Provides image and full-text online access to back issues of selected scholarly journals in the humanities and social sciences. Coverage varies by journal title, generally to within a few years of current publication. 

The complete run of the New York Times from 1851 to three years ago. This is an important primary source when studying contemporary events in the United States and the world.


General History

This and the other two databases here are great for getting background information on people, places, and events in history.


Atlas of World History. (Ref 911 Ob6) New York: Oxford University, 1999.

World Digital Library - Links to photographs, journal articles, books, manuscripts and sound recordings from all around the world.

Cambridge Illustrated Atlas of Warfare: The Middle Ages. (Ref 355.09 H766) New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996.

Dictionary of the Middle Ages . (Ref 909.07 St82) 13 vols. New York: Scribner, 1982-1989.

Encyclopedia of the Renaissance. (Ref 940.2 G865) 6 vols. New York: Scribner's, published in association with the Renaissance Society of America, 1999.

German History in Documents and Images - from the German Historical Institute.  Primary source documents range in date from 1500 to the current time.

Internet Women's History Sourcebook - A look at women throughout world history, from Fordham University.

Eye Witness - "History through the eyes of those who lived it." First person sources for historical events up to 1945. Includes World Wars, Civil War, Wounded Knee, Old West, Medieval Europe, and more. There is an index for easy access.

Pacifica Radio Archives - an online source for interviews and other audio, providing excellent primary sources for a variety of events worldwide.

World History in Documents: A Comparative Reader. (2nd floor 909 St31) New York: New York University Press, 1998.

World History Sources - An organized and annotated list of Web links for primary source discovery, arranged chronologically. From George Mason University.


Excellent essays on important people in American history.


Essays that relate to people who were British history, or those who affected British history.

There are a variety of biographies in print in the reference room, including:

Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives (Ref 920 J135) New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1998-

Great Lives from History (Ref 920.02 M272) Pasadena: Salem, 1990.

Social Issues

Cambridge World History of Human Disease (2008) - Available online.

Encyclopedia of Religion. (Ref 203 EL41) 16 vols. New York: Macmillan, 1987.

Encyclopedia of the Holocaust. (Ref 940.5472 G985) 4 vols. New York: Macmillan, 1990.

Genocide Studies Program - From Yale University, a focus on genocide issues world-wide. Browse by country.

Historical Atlas of the Jewish People: From the Time of the Patriarchs to the Present (Ref 956.93 B257) New York: Knopf, distributed by Random House, 1992.

INCORE Internet Country Guides - "Initiative on Conflict Resolution and Ethnicity" or INCORE, brings scholarly information on ethnic conflicts in selected countries. Includes: India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Myanmar, Afghanistan, and others.

International Institute of Social History - Labor history with an international scope. Includes a catalog of the library's holdings, imprints, Web links to a Virtual Library site on Business and Labour History, tables of contents for theInternational Review of Social History from 1995 to the present, and much more.

Primary Sources for World History

There is no one place to find primary sources as the primary sources depend on the type of research you are doing. These are general links to primary sources for world history.

Eyewitness to History - The sources are pulled from interviews, books, newspapers, to give an idea of who saw what during an historical event.

Historic Moments - "Each exhibition tells a story using documents, photos, videos and in some cases personal accounts of events." From Google Cultural Institute.

Internet History Sourcebooks - "The Internet History Sourcebooks Project is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted historical texts presented cleanly (without advertising or excessive layout) for educational use." The site links to sourcebooks for ancient, medieval, and modern history, with smaller sourcebooks for ethnicities, gender studies, and more. From Fordham University.

National Archives - United States National Archives has a featured exhibits page. Many of their sources are documents relating to the history of the US, but there are also photographs and other records here as well. Not all are accessible online.

New York Public Library Digital Collections - Over half a million prints, photographs, documents, maps, and ephemera in a variety of topics and themes.

Primary Source Sets - From the Library of Congress, a running list. Most of the images and documents are digitized from special collections.

World Digital Library - a giant library catalog taking searchers to digital objects such as photographic images, artwork, and scanned documents.

Timelines of History

Chronology of the History of Slavery: 1619 to 1789 - Heavy in text, and low in graphics, this is a chronology that is broken down into time periods. Can take awhile to load, as the pages are very large. References take you to various studies that relate to the time period, or subject discussed.

Chronology of World Slavery. (Ref 326.09 R618) Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 1999.

Includes The People's Chronology

Press and Speech Freedoms in the World, from Antiquity until 1998: A Chronology. (Ref 344.0531 In4) Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1998.

Writing and Citing

A Pocket Guide to Writing in History (also called Rampolla)
(8th edition)
Reference: 1st floor 907.2 R148a

Chicago Manual of Style Online. Also available in print in the reference room (Ref 808.02 Un3e)

Chicago Manual of Style (Notes-Bibliography) - A guide from the SMC Library

Citation Management Software

Consider getting the Firefox (browser) extension called Zotero to better manage your online citations. You can also use Mendeley.   Both are free!

Writing Assistance

Tutorial on how to create an annotated bibliography (from Credo)


Having trouble putting it all together? The SMC Center for Writing Across the Curriculum (or, "The Writing Center") offers peer-to-peer advising sessions for both undergraduate and graduate students. You can call or stop by to make an appointment, or can also drop in and do a session immediately, if an adviser is available. See their website for more information, or stop by the first floor of DeLaSalle, or call us: 925.631.4684