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HST 310: The Historian's Craft  

Last Updated: Aug 27, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Getting Started Print Page

Get Background Information

Dictionary of American History

Describes key events in American History.

Browse other encyclopedias and dictionaries in Valley Stacks by E174.


Current Newspaper Articles

Alternative Press Index

Lexis Nexis Academic Full-text to hundreds of national and international newspapers, some from 1980's-present. For the full-text of The Oregonian, 1987-present, choose News and checkmark The Oregonian as a Source. Tutorial.

Oregon Index Citations to Oregon newspapers, 1975-present.

PressDisplay Full-text to international and some U.S. newspapers, last 60 days.







Check out Cornell University Library's 2-minute video "Research Minutes: How to Identify Substantive News Articles."

Photo by Trois Têtes


Writing Tools and Guides

General Help
The OSU Center for Writing and Learning offers free help with any writing task at any stage of the writing process, from brainstorming and organization to questions of grammar and usage, and it is open to all OSU students. Call (541) 737-5640 for an appointment. Students may also submit their work-in-progress to the Center's Online Writing Lab. Purdue University and the University of Toronto each host excellent on-line guides to academic writing, covering a wide range of questions and problems:

Proper Style and Citations
If you are using the Chicago Manual of Style it is located in the Valley Library at call no. Z253.U69 2003. Some information is also on-line:

Perhaps the best short guide to grammar-all you probably need to know in a half-hour's reading-can be found in William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White, The Elements of Style, available in the Valley Library at call no. PE1408.S73 1972 and PE1408.S772 1979a. You can find an online version of the first, 1918 edition of this classic text. There are many other on-line grammar guides; two especially strong ones are:


Finding Books

Use these catalogs to find books at OSU & elsewhere:

OSU Libraries Catalog: search for books located at Valley library and OSU's other libraries.Click Try Summit Libraries to check if libraries in Oregon/Washington have your book or others on your topic.

Summit/WorldCat Catalog: searches Oregon/Washington libraries and, libraries throughout the world. Summit books take 3-5 business days to get to OSU. If Summit doesn't have it, we'll find a library that does-just click the Request from Interlibrary Loan button. Tip! If OSU has the item it will show.

Tip! By using the catalogs' date limits in the advanced search, you may uncover primary sources.

Google Books: Use the advanced search and limit by publication date, full view and public domain to find primary sources. 

library stacks

Finding Scholarly Journal Articles

Search tips!

  • In general, start your searching with just one or two keywords. Add more as needed.
  • Be sure to try your topic in more than one database.
  • Read citations and abstracts to get ideas of different keywords that represent your topic.

Locating articles: Once you find your citation, you will need to locate the journal to read the article. Some citations will have the full-text of the article available online. For others, click on this button:Image of the 360 link to full text. to see if OSU has an electronic or paper copy of the journal. 360 will open a new window and will display a link to full-text if available. If not click the link the library catalog to check if a paper copy is available. If neither is available request the article through Interlibrary Loan (

  • Historical Abstracts  Icon
    Historical Abstracts covers the history of the world (excluding the United States and Canada) from 1450 to the present, including world history, military history, women's history, history of education, and more. Type medic* to find the words medicine or medical. Use quotes, "Mary Wollstonecraft", so the terms are searched as a phrase.
    Coverage Dates: 1955 - present
  • JSTOR  Icon
    A multi-disciplinary archival collection of scholarly journal articles. Type islam* to find the words islam or islamic. Use quotes, "Thomas Paine", so the terms are searched as a phrase. Under the advanced search, check mark articles to limit to scholarly articles.
    Coverage Dates: - Varies by Journal
  • Project Muse  Icon
    Interdisciplinary collection of full-text, peer reviewed journals. Type islam* to find the words islam or islamic. Use quotes, "american west", so the terms are searched as a phrase. Use parentheses to search for multiple concepts ("muslim" or islam*) and history. Use the limit to articles on the Advanced Article Search page.
    Coverage Dates: - Varies by journal
  • Google Scholar  Icon
    Google Scholar searches a variety of academic publishers. Some articles are available in full-text; others you can link to and get through OSU's print or electronic journal subscriptions. If the article is not available through OSU, you can request it from InterLibrary Loan. Use quotes, "american west", so the terms are searched as a phrase. Use parentheses to search for multiple concepts ("muslim" or islam*) and history.
    Coverage Dates: coverage range - unknown
  • America: History and Life  Icon
    The definitive index of literature covering the history and culture of the United States and Canada, from prehistory to the present. Type islam* to find the words islam or islamic. Use quotes, "american west", so the terms are searched as a phrase.
    Coverage Dates: 1964 -

Government Documents Collections

Government documents can be a great source of information, including archival or primary sources.

Use the OSU Libraries' guide to Government Information to identify congressional publications (hearings, serial set, house/senate reports and documents, etc.) from 1789 to the present. Once you have identified them, then find the full text in print, microfiche, or online depending on availability.  gives an overview of government publications and how to get them.

GPO Information


Library Session Powerpoint


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