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History Research

This Library Research Guide is designed to provide a starting point for students researching history topics. For further assistance, please visit or contact a reference librarian.


Please keep the following definitions in mind while you are searching and evaluating the information you find.


Primary Source:
Sources that contain raw, original, non-interpreted and unevaluated information.

Secondary Source:
Sources that digest, analyze, evaluate and interpret the information contained in primary sources.

Scholarly Publication:
A journal that contains articles that have been reviewed by a panel of subject specialists or experts prior to their publication. Another term for a scholarly publication is “peer reviewed”.  A scholarly article contains a bibliography or work cited section of references. 

Non-Scholarly Publication:
A publication in which the articles are not reviewed by subject specialists prior to its publication.

A brief summary outlining the main content of a journal article or other document.  

Information identifying a publication. Details usually include author, title, date of publication, journal title, volume and page numbers. Also sometimes called a reference or source.

Interlibrary Loan:
Free service available through the Bentley Library that gives you access to materials not available here. You just fill out a form and the materials are "borrowed" from another library for you to use. If you find a citation to something you need whether an article or a book, just fill out the form online and the materials will be requested for you.

Scan on Demand:
Free service available through the Bentley Library that gives you access to materials available in hardcopy in our collection. You just fill out a form and up to 10 percent of the work will be scanned in and sent to you.