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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 with me for research assistance specific to your needs.

Selected Free Web Resources

Presented by the BBC, this site provides an overview of how the British Empire was established and gained such global dominance. Featured topics include the British presence in India, trade in the empire and the impact of World War II on the British Colonies.

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.

Search by place name or use the "county gazetteer" to find historical black and white maps of Great Britain.

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

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.
English Poetry Database
Contains the full text of over 175,000 poems by over 1,400 poets from British Commonwealth and ex-colonial countries, between the years 600 and 1900.

English Prose Drama
Offers the full text of 1600 plays written in prose between the 16th-19th centuries. This source is based on plays listed in the New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature.

English Verse Drama
Provides the full text of over 2200 plays by hundreds of different authors from the late 14th century through the end of the 19th century. This source is based on materials listed in the New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature.

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.

JSTOR is an electronic archive of complete journal backruns, current to within 2 to 5 years. The collections include: Arts & Sciences I-VIII, Business Collection I-III, Ecology & Botany, General Science, and Language and Literature. For Kent State University, students and faculty now have access to 381 JSTOR journals representing over 2 million articles.

Selected Resources for Locating Additional 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".

Directory of Online Resources about Victorian England (1837-1901) created and maintained by Academic Info. To be included the primary focus of the site must be academic, with its intended audience at the upper high school level or above. A priority is adding digital collections from libraries, museums, and academic organizations and sites offering unique online content.

Key Database for Locating Secondary 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.
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 locating secondary materials

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.
Dictionary of Literary Biography
Provides information about the lives and careers of authors from all genres and eras. Also includes biographical and critical studies written by scholars, as well as suggestions for further readings and author bibliographies.

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

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.

Victorian Bibliography lists noteworthy publications (including articles, books, and reviews) that have a bearing on the Victorian period. It annually indexes over 400 journals, representing scholarship in a range of disciplines. Prepared by the staff of Victorian Studies and a committee of the Victorian Division of the Modern Language Association of America

Indexes to Periodicals from the Victorian Era

Crime in Victorian Britain: An annotated bibliography from nineteenth century British magazines
Call #: Z 5703 .G7 p35 1993 (Main Library, 4th floor). Of the periodicals indexed in this work, we own 13 titles. Check KentLINK to verify if we have the specific title and date wanted and to determine where it is located as there are four possible locations.

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.

The British Empire in the Victorian Press, 1832-1867: A bibliography
Call # Z 2021.C7 P32 1987 (Main Library, 4th floor). One volume of citations to articles written between 1832 and 1867 dealing with the British Empire. Please check KentLINK to verify we own the cited periodicals.

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.

Selected Periodicals from the Victorian Era

Illustrated London News
Print version of the British edition is shelved on second floor under its title. The print version of the American edition is at the Regional Storage facility and can be requested online in KentLINK. Consult KentLINK for complete holdings.

Print copies are located on the second floor - shelved by the title Punch. Additional volumes are located in Special Collections and Archives. Consult KentLINK for holdings information.

Locating Books and 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.

Some examples of what's lurking in the stacks?


British Diaries: An annotated bibliography of British diaries written between 1442 and 1942 - call # Z 2014 .D5 M3 (Main Library, 4th floor)

Women and the British empire: An annotated guide to sources - call # Z 7964 .G7 B34 1983 (Main Library, 4th floor)

Women in English Social History, 1800-1914: A guide to research - call # Z 7064 .G7 K36 1987 (Main Library, 4th floor -- 3 volumes)

Description and Travel

A Japanese Artist in London - call # DA 684 .M32 (Main Library, 9th floor -- 3 copies)

Knight's London - call # DA 677 .K56 (Main Library, 9th floor -- 6 volumes)

Diaries, Journals and Letters

The Gladstone Diaries - call # DA 563 .A34 (Main Library, 9th floor -- 9 volumes covering the years 1825-1874)

Political Correspondence of Mr. Gladstone and Lord Granville - call # DA 563 .A44 (Main Library, 9th floor -- 2 volumes covering the years 1876-1886)

The Letters of Lord and Lady Wolseley - call # DA 68.32 .W7 A3 1922 (Main Library, 9th floor -- covers the years 1870-1911)

A Lady in Waiting to Queen Victoria: Letters and journal of Lady Ponsonby - call # DA 565 .P85 A3 1927a (Main Library, 9th floor)

The Journals of Lady Knightley of Fawsley - call # DA 565 .K7 A3 1916 (Main Library, 9th floor; the Library also owns a second copy dated 1917)

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 2000 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.

For example, add and crime to the above search, limit to Kent Campus and to items published before 1920 and your search finds 20 items.

Political Sources:

English Historical Documents - call # DA 26 .E56 (Main Library, 9th floor; second copy at the Remote Storage facility; 12 volumes, covers the years 500-1914)

Hansard's Parliamentary Debates:

KSU has these in microformat covering the years 1803-1891. These are in on-site storage and can be requested online or at the Periodicals Desk on the second floor.

The following OhioLINK libraries appear to have Hansard's available in print:

  • Case Western Reserve - Kelvin Smith Library: 1829-1891 - call # J 301 .H22
  • Kenyon College - Main Library: 1803-1891 - call # J 301 .H22 -- these volumes appear to be available for OhioLINK loan
  • Miami University - SW Depository: incomplete set, check holdings information for specifics - call # J 301 .H22 -- these volumes appear to be available for OhioLINK loan
  • Oberlin College - Main Library: 1803-1908 - call # J 301 .H22 -- these volumes appear to be available for OhioLINK loan
  • Ohio State University - Main Library: 1820-1891 - call # J 301 .H63
  • University of Cincinnati - Langsam Library: 1830-1891 - call # J 301 .P3 -- these volumes appear to be available for OhioLINK loan
  • Youngstown State University - Maag Library: 1803-1891 and series 4 through vol 77 (reprint edition) - call # J 301 .H22 -- these volumes appear to be available for OhioLINK loan

Parliamentary Papers:

KSU has no holdings of this set, though we do have an annotated subject index to the set: Catalogue of Parliamentary Papers, 1801-1920 - call # Z 2009 .K55 1972 (Main Library, 4th floor)

Only Ohio State appears to have the Parliamentary Papers available - covering the years 1780-1982 (check their catalog for exact holdings) - Main Library, call # J 301 .K68