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This page ( is designed to give a general introduction to some of the resources available to you. As you begin to focus on your own research topic, please feel free to set up an appointment for research assistance specific to your needs.

Selected Free History Web Resources

these and other free web resources can also be found at:

American Memory is a gateway to rich primary source materials relating to the history and culture of the United States. The site offers more than 7 million digital items from more than 100 historical collections.

Digital library of sources for British History developed by the University of London and the History of Parliament Trust. Contains some of the core printed primary and secondary sources for the medieval and modern history of the British Isles.

Collection of links, screened for content, for a broad range of historical subjects. Also available from the site are high quality articles, books, essays, documents and historical photos.

A digital library of primary sources in American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction. The collection is particularly strong in the subject areas of education, psychology, American history, sociology, religion, and science and technology. The collection currently contains approximately 8,500 books and 50,000 journal articles with 19th century imprints.

This collection includes accurate transcriptions of many important and representative primary texts from nineteenth century American history, with special emphasis on those sources that shed light on sectional conflict and transformations in regional identity.

Contains over 25,000 primary sources from 330 of Ohio's archives, historical societies, libraries and museums. Documents Ohio's past from prehistory to the present.

Since its establishment in 1999, the project has collected thousands of pages of material on security-related issues of the Cold War, published a large number of online documentaries on central issues such as mutual threat perceptions and alliance management, and organized several major international conferences on war planning, intelligence, and intra-bloc tensions.

The Avalon Project will mount digital documents relevant to the fields of Law, History, Economics, Politics, Diplomacy and Government. We do not intend to mount only static text but rather to add value to the text by linking to supporting documents expressly referred to in the body of the text.

Contains information on the literature, politics, arts, social issues, economics, science and technology of the Victorian Age.

Selected Resources for Locating Additional Free History Web Resources

Best of History Web Sites is an award-winning portal created for history teachers, students, and general history enthusiasts. BOHWS contains annotated links to over 1000 history web sites.

Google is a Web search engine that uses a search algorithm to return sites based on relevancy. Advanced search capabilities allow you to further customize search query. Use quotes to search for phrases, ex. "constitutional convention".

Librarians' Index to the Internet provides a well-organized point of access for reliable, trustworthy, librarian-selected Internet resources. Covers a broad range of subjects. Has both a topical directory arrangement and search capabilities.

Excellent list of links of sites on military history and related topics. Created and maintained by the Society for Military History, an organization devoted to stimulating and advancing the study of military history.

Historical Full-Text Resources

these resources are provided by the Libraries for your use. If you are off-campus, you must authenticate in order to access them.

You need to connect to the Kent State VPN to access the research databases listed on this page. Click this button for instructions. OhioLINK Authentication users can ignore this alert.
American History in Video
Online collection of video available for the study of American history allowing students and researchers to analyze historical events, and their presentation over time, through commercial and governmental newsreels, archival footage, public affairs footage, and important documentaries.

American National Biography Online
Covers more than 18,000 people from all eras who have influenced and shaped American history and culture. Includes illustrations and links to select web sites. Also includes articles from The Oxford Companion to United States History, which gives context to the lives included in ANB Online. All articles originally included in the ANB Online were on biographical subjects who died before the end of 1995. Articles on important figures who have died since 1995 are being added in quarterly updates, but coverage of people in this category is not yet complete.

American Periodicals Series Online (1741 - 1900)
American Periodicals Series Online contains page images of more than 1,100 historic American magazines, journals, and newspapers. These resources illuminate the development of American culture, politics, and society across some 150 years. Articles can be searched by author, source, and words in the complete text. Updated quarterly.

AP Images
Contains approximately 500,000 photos and selections of pictures from the AP image and print negative library. Pictures cover local, state, national and international subjects. (Formerly AccuNet/AP Multimedia Archive.)

ARTstor is a digital library of nearly one million images in the areas of art, architecture, the humanities, and social sciences with a set of tools to view, present, and manage images for research and pedagogical purposes. Images are available for use in presentations for educational or other noncommercial uses.

Biography Reference Bank
Biography Reference Bank provides biographical information on approximately half a million people, from antiquity to the present, along with thousands of images.

This site allows you to search and view newspaper pages published between 1880 to 1922 in a small group of states; some newspapers from Ohio are available. The site also includes directory information, including a link to library holdings, about American newspapers published between 1690-present.

HarpWeek (1857 - 1871)
Full-text archive of Harper's Weekly, a national publication during the American Civil War and Reconstruction eras. Contains illustrations, articles, advertisements, and editorials. Search by date, keyword, literature genre, and individuals' standing in society or occupation.

Offers full-text of back-runs of core journals in history and related fields. Coverage starts with the first issue of most titles and usually goes until 3-5 years of the present.

Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps (1867 - 1970)
The Sanborn Maps are large scale street plans produced by the Sanborn Fire Insurance company from 1867 to 1970. Sanborn Maps show the outline of each building including the location of windows and doors together with street names, street and sidewalk widths, property boundaries, building use, and house and block numbers. These maps are used by a wide range of researchers including local historians to locate and identify buildings and neighborhoods, urban historians to study the growth of towns and cities, and environmentalists concerned about impact of new developments.
Sanborn Map Keys and Legends

Sharpe Online Reference - all titles
Includes full-text, searchable versions of seven reference encyclopedias: Colonial America; Encyclopedia of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era; Encyclopedia of the Jazz Age; Postwar America; Encyclopedia of American Folklife; Encyclopedia of American Social Movements; Social Issues in America. These titles can be searched simultaneously or reviewed individually.

Key Databases for Locating Journal Articles

You need to connect to the Kent State VPN to access the research databases listed on this page. Click this button for instructions. OhioLINK Authentication users can ignore this alert.
America: History and Life (1960 - Current)
Use this database to find scholarly articles and book reviews on topics in United States and Canadian history. Searches can be limited to specific historical time periods.

Historical Abstracts (1967 - Current)
Use this database to find scholarly articles and book reviews on topics in world history, from 1450 to present. Searches can be limited to specific historical time periods.

Also recommended for both United States and World History

You need to connect to the Kent State VPN to access the research databases listed on this page. Click this button for instructions. OhioLINK Authentication users can ignore this alert.
Academic Search Complete
Indexes numerous titles in history and related fields. Many of the articles are available full-text.

An online digital library of scholarly resources from and about Africa, Aluka includes a wide variety of high-quality scholarly materials ranging from archival documents, periodicals, books, reports, manuscripts, and reference works, to three-dimensional models, maps, oral histories, plant specimens, photographs, and slides. One of the site's primary objectives is to provide African scholars and students with access to scholarly materials originally from Africa.

Arts and Humanities Citation Index (1980 - Current)
This "Web of Science" database covers the journal literature of the arts and humanities, indexing 1,100 of the world's leading arts and humanities journals, and relevant items from over 6,800 major science and social science journals. Updated weekly.

A premier index to journal articles, book reviews, and collections of essays in all scholarly fields of religion representing all the major religious faiths, major denominations, and numerous language groups. Major areas of coverage include: Archaeology & Antiquities, Bible, Church History, Human Culture & Society, Missions & Ecumenism, Pastoral Ministry, Philosophy & Ethics, Religious Studies, Theology, and World Religions. Updated twice per year.

Bibliography of Native North Americans (1600 - Current)
The multi-disciplinary database covers many areas of literature regarding Native North Americans in the United States and Canada: books, essays, journal articles, and government documents. Coverage is from the 16th century through the present.

Book Review Digest Plus (1905 - Current)
Information on book reviews. Gives citations and some full text of reviews for more than 550,000 books of adult and juvenile fiction and non-fiction.

Communication and Mass Media Complete
Contains quality research articles in the areas related to communication studies and mass media. Provides access to bibliographic references, reviews, recent encyclopedias and handbooks and full-text of journal articles. Depending on the journal, coverage may extend back to the first issue of a title.

CQ Historic Documents Series Online (1972 - Current)
Includes the full-text of each of the annual volumes of the CQ Historic Documents set. The volume for each year includes approximately one hundred documents covering the most significant events of that year. These documents range from presidential speeches, international agreements, and Supreme Court decisions to U.S. governmental reports, scientific findings, and cultural discussions.

CQ Researcher (1923 - Current)
Offers a balanced overview of contemporary political and social issues. Each report includes background information, both sides of the debate surrounding the issue, and suggested resources to consult for further information.

Declassified Documents Reference System, U.S.
Provides access to over 500,000 pages of previously classified government documents. Covers events from the Cold War to the Viet Nam war and later. Valuable material for researching international relations, American Studies, United State foreign and domestic policy studies, journalism, and more.

Early English Books Online (1473 - 1700)
"Early English Books Online (EEBO) contains digital facsimile page images of virtually every work printed in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and British North America and works in English printed elsewhere from 1473-1700."

EconLit (1969 - Current)
Covers the international literature on economics. Provides bibliographic citations, with selected abstracts of journal articles, books, dissertations, working papers, collected works, conferences, book reviews, and more. Topics include economic development, forecasting, and history; fiscal and monetary theory; business and public finance; international, healthcare, regional and urban economics, and more. Updated monthly.

eHRAF World Cultures
A systematically organized collection of thousands of full-text books and articles on cultures from all regions of the world; provides information on particular cultures, ethnic groups, or immigrant groups, their beliefs and superstitions, or subjects such as political structure, architecture, kinship units, or settlement patterns. The information is organized by cultures and ethnic groups.

European views of the Americas, 1493-1750
An index to European works relating to the Americas, which were written prior to 1750. The database is based on “European Americana: A Chronological Guide to Works Printed In Europe Relating to The Americas, 1493-1750.”

Use to search for scholarly literature, including peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts and technical reports from all broad areas of research. Includes articles from a wide variety of academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories and universities, as well as scholarly articles available across the web.

History of Science, Technology, and Medicine (1975 - Current)
Describes journal articles, conference proceedings, books, book reviews, and dissertations in the history of science, technology, medicine and allied historical fields. Updated annually.

Humanities International Complete
Humanities International Complete provides cover-to-cover indexing and abstracting for over 1,900 titles, and full text of hundreds of journals books and other publications. The database includes citations and abstracts for articles, essays and reviews, as well as original creative works including poems, fiction, photographs, paintings and illustrations.

International Index to Black Periodicals
An interdisciplinary index that includes over 150 scholarly and popular journals, which cover art, cultural criticism, economics, education, health, history, language and literature, law, philosophy, politics, religion, and sociology, and more.

International Political Science Abstracts (1975 - Current)
The International Political Science Abstracts has provided non-evaluative abstracts of articles in the field of political science since 1951. The articles are published in journals and yearbooks all over the world, including the major political science journals.

Physical Education Index (1975 - Current)
CSA Physical Education Index allows all researchers and professionals in the field to acquire accurate and scholarly information in this comprehensive database. These abstracts feature a wide variety of content, ranging from physical education curricula, to sports medicine, to dance. Other coverage includes sport law, kinesiology, motor learning, recreation, standardized fitness tests, sports equipment, business and marketing, coaching and training, and sport sociology/psychology. Health education and physical therapy are also covered as they continue to become more prevalent in our society.

Readers' Guide Full Text (1890 - Current)
Reader's Guide covers general-interest periodicals published in the United States. Full text is provided for 215 magazines back to 1994; indexing or abstracts available for 360 magazines back to 1890.

SPORTdiscus (1975 - Current)
Provides international coverage of sports and fitness literature, including physical fitness, physical education, sports medicine, exercise psychology, biomechanics, psychology, training, coaching, fitness, social and psychological aspects of sport and leisure, play, games, dance, and more. Full text is available for many of the articles covered.

Television News Archive (1968 - Current)
Contains listings, summaries, and descriptions of news broadcasts found in the Vanderbilt University television news archive. Segments of the evening news as well as special broadcasts covering political conventions, presidential campaigns, international events, and more are included. Names of reporters, anchors, persons involved in an event, and a summary may be searched. Major networks covered are ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN, as well as ABC's Nightline since 1989.

Locating Books, Government Documents and Repositories of Primary Source Materials

KentLINK is the library catalog for all 8 campuses of the University. It identifies what books, journals, government publications, and media (computer files, films, CDs, etc.) are owned and indicates their availability.

The OhioLINK Library Catalog is the database of all books and other materials owned by the 85 public and private colleges and universities that are OhioLINK member libraries. For any item not available at KSU, it is possible to request the item online and have it sent to any KSU library or another OhioLINK institution for pick up.

Contains records to over 100 million items in most (if not all) subject areas. Materials may include books, computer data files and programs, films, journal and magazine titles, newspapers, manuscripts, musical scores, and more. Not included are individual articles, stories, or book chapters. Updated daily.

Tips for finding primary resource materials using KentLINK:

Keyword searching will usually yield your best results. Try combining the topic you are interested in with words like personal correspondence, letters, journal or diaries. Standard subject headings include "description and travel" and "social life and customs". It is important to watch date ranges of your results; also check to see if the author is the same as the individual mentioned in the title or subject heading -- that is one of the best ways to determine it's a personal memoir.

A keyword search might look something like this:

London and (social life or description or letters or diaries or personal correspondence)

Since that keyword search finds over 2500 items, you might want to limit your search by adding an additional keyword, using a date restriction or limiting to a location of Kent Campus -- Main Library.

For example, add and crime to the above search, limit to Kent Campus--Main Library and to items published before 1920 and your search finds 22 items.

Remember that while limiting by date can help you focus your results, you may exclude primary materials published at a later time. For example of a primary source published significantly after the events discussed, check the record for First into Nagasaki and read the summary included in the record.

Finding Periodical Articles from Your Era

Palmer's index to the Times newspaper (London)
Call #: AI 21 .T52 (Main Library, 9th floor). Index to the Times of London Newspaper. Begins in 1790, continues through 1941. The Library has the newspaper on microfilm from 1788 to present. The microfilm of 1788-1979 is in storage and may be requested either online or at the Periodical Desk on the second floor.

Poole's Index to Periodical Literature
Call #: AI 3 .P7 1958 (Main Library, Reference Collection, 1st floor). In six volumes, covers periodicals published between 1802 and 1902.

Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature - retrospective (1890 - 1982)
Covers the years 1890-1982. Excellent source for locating articles written during a specific historical period. Publications covered are largely popular titles, such as Time and Newsweek. Search by topic.

Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals, 1824-1900
Call #: Z 2005 .H6 (Main Library, 4th floor -- 5 volumes). An invaluable bibliographic reference work of major 19th century British periodicals. Arranged chronologically by periodical title in table-of-contents order, with two indexes: contributors, and initials and pseudonyms. Final volume provides "collected and corrected bibliographies" of contributors and adds individual dating of each title. Indexes 43 major quarterlies and monthlies.

You need to connect to the Kent State VPN to access the research databases listed on this page. Click this button for instructions. OhioLINK Authentication users can ignore this alert.

Print Resources Which Might be of Interest

another list can be found at

American Decades
Call #: E169.12 .A419 1994 (shelved in the Reference Collection, 1st floor, Main Library). Each volume presents an overview of events in American history during one decade in the twentienth century.

Encyclopedia of American Cultural and Intellectual History
Call #: E169.1 .E624 2001 (shelved in the Reference Collection, 1st floor, Main Library). In 3 volumes. Includes sections organized by historical period and by topics, such as the Social Order and Social Identity.

Facts on File Yearbook
Call #: D410 .F3 (current years shelved in Reference Collection, 1st floor, Main Library; older years on 9th floor, Main Library). An annual overview of important events; arranged by date. Index by topic available in each volume.

Greenwood Encyclopedia of Daily Life: a tour through history from ancient times to the present
Call #: GT31 .G74 2004 (shelved in the Reference Collection, 1st floor, Main Library). In 6 volumes, each volume focusing on a given era (volume 6 is the modern world). Presents a complete overview of life in that era, including domestic life, economic life, recreational life and religious life. See also the "Daily Life in" series (search in KentLINK by title: daily life in)

Electronic Books in History

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Electronic Book Center (OhioLINK)
Contains thousands of scholarly and reference e-books in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences.

Electronic Reference Books (ABC-CLIO)
Full-text collection of encyclopedias, handbooks, biographical works, guides, and more in most subjects, from the educational reference publisher, ABC-CLIO.

These titles are now included in the OhioLINK Electronic Book Center.

Humanities E-book
Produced by the American Council of Learned Societies, the Humanities E-book is a digital collection of over 1500 full-text titles, including most humanities disciplines and area studies. This is an online, fully searchable collection of high-quality books in the Humanities, recommended and reviewed by scholars and featuring unlimited multi-user access available 24/7.

Full-text, searchable versions of many Oxford reference dictionaries and encyclopedias in history.

Oxford Scholarship Online
Contains the full text of important scholarly books from Oxford University Press. Coverage includes both classic and newly-published works in the humanities and social sciences. Subject collections are available in Economics & Finance, Philosophy, Political Science, and Religion. New books are added regularly.

Sharpe Online Reference - all titles
Includes full-text, searchable versions of seven reference encyclopedias: Colonial America; Encyclopedia of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era; Encyclopedia of the Jazz Age; Postwar America; Encyclopedia of American Folklife; Encyclopedia of American Social Movements; Social Issues in America. These titles can be searched simultaneously or reviewed individually.