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General sources for conducting historical research Note:The classical period in Western history, Byzantine history, and the history of modern Greece are collected by the John Miller Burnam Classical Library. • See

Archives: How to Find Archives

Archives: How to Find Repository Holdings [See also Archives in Primary Sources "A" this guide]

Published Primary Sources: How to Find Print and Digital in the Library Catalog and OhioLINK Catalog

Step One: Add sources to an established subject heading as these examples demonstrate

  • France--History--Sources
  • Great Britain--Politics and Government, 1553-1558--Sources
  • United States--Race Relations--History--20th Century--Sources

Step Two: Use keyword combinations as this example demonstrates

Enter Search Terms

SUBJECT:    Australia  and

SUBJECT:     History      and

ANY FIELD:   Sources

Enter Search Terms

Note: Default has been changed to subject for "Australia" and for "History" but left as is for "Sources"  This will retrieve "sources" from anywhere in the catalog record, expanding the search beyond the use of "Sources" as part of a subject heading.  The search will  not be as precise however as using "Sources" as a subject and may return items that are not relevant.

Step Three: Use descriptors other than "Sources."  Consider types of primary sources such as diaries, memoirs, and personal narratives and use these descriptors in conducting subject and keyword searches as these examples demonstrate

  • Bunin, Ivan Alekseevich, 1870-1953 -- Diaries
  • China -- History -- Boxer Rebellion, 1899-1901 -- Personal narratives, British

Enter Search Terms

Any Field:  Memoir AND

SUBJECT:  Africa

Enter Search Terms

NOTE: The asterisk used with "Memoir*" will truncate the word in this keyword search, retrieving "Memoir;" "Memoirist;" "Memoirists;" and "Memoirs."

Follow these examples to construct searches for other types of primary sources accessible in print, micro, or digital formats such as "correspondence," documents," "letters," "interviews," "oral history," "testimony," and the like.

ADDITIONAL NOTE:  Personal names may always be used as a subject in library catalogs.

Step Four:  Search for dissertations on or close to the topic of your research.  Go to the Bibliography/Sources section of the dissertation to see what sources the author used.  Published sources may be searched in the library catalog, the OhioLINK catalog, and in WorldCat. 

See the "Dissertations and Theses" section of this guide for additional sources.

Step Five: Check the sources listed in any secondary works about your topic.

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