Identify authors and find biographical information.
Basic country histories and facts - focus on the time period you need.
Databases from Renne Library to help you find popular and scholarly history and literature articles.
Here's an example of the fancy searching:
ford* and (theatre or stage) not "john wilkes booth"
The qoutations make the database search john wilkes booth as a phrase and not just the individual words.
Another example could be:
coloni?ation and (ghana or "gold coast")
This will search for colonization or colonisation and ghana or "gold coast" as a phrase.
Remember to check the Help section in each database to find out how that database uses the fancy stuff. What works in one may not work in another. You'll be looking for words like Truncation, Wildcards, Parentheses, and logical or Boolean operators.
Published in the United Kingdom since 1785. One source to find contemporaneous information on your topics. MSU owns a near-complete run of the newspaper in microfilm and the index in paper.
Need new ideas? Serendipity and stress relief here!