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History Research Guide

Find primary sources, books, scholarly articles and other secondary sources in the field of History.

Suggested Databases for Historical Articles and Research

Scholarly journal articles are usually considered secondary sources. Most of the following MSU Library subscription databases offer full-text of scholarly articles in history and related fields. Some offer bibliographic information only. For help using these databases or accessing full-text, contact a librarian or use Ask the Library options. 

Accessing Full Text

Most of the Library's subscription databases enable you to connect directly from a citation record to the full-text article online, if available.

Click on the Check MSU Availability link in the database record to search MSU's collections for the full-text article.

If we do not have access to the article in print or electronic format (No Print or Online Copy Found), select Request It! to access the Interlibrary Loan online request form. Interlibrary Loan is a free service provided to you by the Library -- the article will be sent to you within a few days as a PDF file.

Finding Articles in Library Databases

Articles contain the most current information published in a field of study.

Most professors and researchers prefer articles that are "scholarly" in nature (as opposed to "popular," such as magazine and newspaper articles).  Scholarly journals generally have the following qualities:

  • The articles contain original research (such as scientific experiments, surveys, and research studies)
  • A list of references or sources is provided at the end of each article
  • An editorial board, composed of experts in the field, reviews articles to decide whether they should be accepted; this is also known as "refereed," "peer-reviewed," "professional," or "academic".
  • A specialized vocabulary for that field is used.
  • These journals contain few if any advertisements. If included, they are highly specialized and specific to scholarly discipline (i.e., specific laboratory equipment, medical tools, or drugs).
  • If you are uncertain about the scholarly nature of a journal, you can look up the title or ISSN in the periodical database Ulrichs Periodical Directory (UlrichsWeb).  This database will tell you about the journal including the nature, its audience, and the databases in which it is indexed and abstracts.