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History of the British Empire: Reference Works

Tips, techniques & links to help you find answers for your research papers & projects

Online Reference


Search Reference Works in Gale Virtual Reference Library

Paths Through Historical Sources

  • Find a good secondary source (book, article), and mine its bibliography.  Look for primary sources and types of primary sources used to create the secondary source.
  • Use sources to find: synonyms/contemporary terms - people's names - place names - dates - distinctive quotations and phrases that will lead you to further sources via databases and Google Books.
  • Use Google Books Advanced search to find key phrases such as names or dates or event names in books written during a certain period and/or with a certain word in the book title, and/or by a certain author
  • In the Historical Abstracts and/or America: History and Life databases, you can search specifically for articles written about the time period you choose.
  • Use the C19 database.  There's no full text here, but many articles indexed here are held at the MU Libraries.  Check the MERLIN catalog to see where, and in what format, we own the periodicals - use the Journal Title search in MERLIN.  They may be available in print (in Ellis Library or requestable from the Depository), or they may be on microfilm.  The Parliamentary Papers can also be searched from C19.


Rachel Brekhus's picture
Rachel Brekhus
168 Ellis Library

I am working primarily from home during the Fall 2020 semester, so not listing an office phone.

MU faculty and staff can reach me quickly in Teams chat.