European History

European History

Getting Started  

 Research tip #1

Identify what kinds of research materials you need - books, primary sources, journal articles, etc. 

  • Define your problem - be specific
  • Identify synonyms and keywords that describe your topic
  • Construct using 'boolean' operators:
    • OR broadens search results. Use it for synonyms representing a single aspect.
      • Example:
    • AND narrows search results. Use it to connect the different aspects in the strategy above.
      • Example:
    • To retrieve variations of a word, use *
      • Example: symbol *  (retrieves symbol, symbols, symbolism, symbolic, etc.)

Finding Books

 Research tip #2

Try different search strategies, key terms, and look at Subject Headings.

  • Use Scotty, the Library's online catalog to identify books by topic, title or author OR 
    to identify if the Library owns particular journals. Scotty does not include articles. 

    Search by keyword for materials on a particular topic, then refine using Subject Headings.

Example:  Keyword search ~ 
Example:  Subject Headings:  

  • To find primary sources in Scotty, use the following "primary source keywords" in combination with words from your list to search SCOTTY.

Primary Source Keywords

Description and Travel
Diary or diaries
Early works to _____
Oral Histories
Personal Narratives
Pictorial works
Songs and Music


  • Try Melvyl, the UC library-wide catalog for broader coverage. 



Internet Gateways


Useful Reference Works

Print encyclopedias provide an overview of a topic and include bibliographies. Bibliographies, biographical sources, and historiographies lead you to other sources. Here is a sampling:

  • Dictionary of the avant-gardes - Rivera Ref NX456 .K67 2000
    Encyclopedia of contemporary French culture - Rivera Ref DC33.7 .E53 1998
    Encyclopedia of 20th century architecture - Rivera Ref NA680 .E495 2004
    Encyclopedia of contemporary German culture - Rivera Ref DD290.26 .E53 1999
    Encyclopedia of European social history from 1350 to 2000 - Rivera Ref HN373 .E63 2001
    Encyclopedia of World War I - Rivera Ref D510 .E53 2005
    Europe since 1945 : an encyclopedia - Rivera Ref D1058 .E8754 2001
    Holocaust and World War II almanac - Rivera Ref D804.17 .H65 2001
    Modern Germany: an encyclopedia of history, people, & culture, 1871-1990 - Rivera Ref DD14 .M64

     Research tip #3

    Let the research lead you:  check  the bibliographies.

Electronic reference works include:


  • JSTOR Journal Archive is a a great place to find scholarly journal articles. Since JSTOR is an archive of journals,  there are no current years online. Given JSTOR's wide coverage,  it is wise to limit your search terms to particular journals and disciplines.

    Getting to JSTOR:  Select Databases A-Z  (on the left side) -» Choose  J   -»  Then  JSTOR The Scholarly Journal Archive 

    Once you enter JSTOR: 

Research tip #4

  Connect From Home  Connect from Home  Click here for instructions for connecting off campus. 

    • Select SEARCH then Advanced Search
      JSTOR Advanced Search Screen
    • Enter Search Terms
    • Set Limits
      Select   History - 73 journals
      • Notes:  Use quotation marks to search for a phrase
        The searching default is full-text - you can change to article title or abstract

 Research tip #5

Evaluate before copying or printing - Read the abstracts!



Research tip #6 

Some databases provide only citations and/or abstracts to articles in journals.  Click on UC-eLinksto see if the article is available online or in the library. For print, you will need to write down the journal's call number.

Cite Your Sources  

Researchers use standard citation formats to identify books, articles, etc., consulted and to give credit to their authors. Consistency is crucial. As a university student, you are expected to follow the same guidelines.

Always consult your instructor for the format used in your class.
See the Library's Cite your sources  guide for help with the most common formats.

Professors in history and some humanities courses often require footnotes or endnotes based on The Chicago Manual of Style. You will usually be asked to include a bibliography at the end of your paper as well.  Click on the following link for tips: Chicago-style and Quick guide (N stands for endnote/footnote and B for bibliography)      


Further Assistance

 Research Tip #7 

Track your work!

Librarians are here to help you! 
Stop by at the Reference Desk, call at 827-4392, email us at:, or  click on 
Need Help? Ask a Librarian Chat with a Librarian Ask a Librarian a question via e-mail Reference desk phone numbers .  

Last modified: 1/9/2008 10:00 AM by by V. Bloom
Last modified: 6/24/2011 5:03 PM by M. Yonezawa

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