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HIST 301: The Historian's Craft

Use this guide to start locating primary and secondary source literature for your research papers.

These databases are some of our top-recommended resources for locating secondary research in history. View all of the Libraries' databases.



Search for books in the W&M Libraries catalog

Search for books at W&M and beyond

Some strategies for searching for books:

  • Make use of our encyclopedias if you are unclear about the terminology/major issues contained within your overall topic. The Libraries have some great online and print encyclopedias, all searchable in our catalog.
  • Start searching with fairly broad terminology (e.g. women and civil war instead of women working in relief societies during the civil war).
  • Make note of subject headings that might give you more leads for terminology and avenues for focusing your topic. Click on subject headings for other related books in our catalog.
  • Browse the stacks! If you find the location of one useful book, you're likely to find other related books in the same section.