Last Updated Sept. 2009

Primary sources:

-Historic documents, eg .Annals of America, Historic Documents, Great American Speeches, etc.

-Diaries, memoirs, letters or journals

-Eyewitness accounts of the event or from the time found in books, magazines or newspapers

-Interviews of people from the era found in books, magazines or newspapers


Books: Use the online book catalog. Search by subject.

-Non-fiction: general history is the 900s, but you can also find the history of specific subject areas,

       e.g. sports history in 700s, science history in 500s, social history in 300s, etc.

-Biographies: located in Biography section (B); collected bios in 920s

-Chicago history books are generally located in 917.73 and 977.31 or 973.311


Reference books: Use the online catalog or ask the librarian for assistance

-Biographical encyclopedias, R 920-928

-Subject specific references, e.g. Encyclopedia of World Religions, Encyclopedia of American Social History,

 Lincoln Library of Sports Champions, Halliwell's Film Guide, etc.

-History encyclopedias and dictionaries, R 900-

-American history reference books and encyclopedias, R 973 -

-Illinois and Chicago history reference and encyclopedias, R 977- (eg. Encyclopedia of Chicago R 977.311)

-Time-lines, chronologies, and almanacs, e.g. The Timetables of Technology, Chronicle of America, Chronicle of

the Twentieth Century, This Day in Sports, etc.
- Use Gale Virtual Reference Library to search a large full-text Reference e-book collection online

      - Use ABC-CLIO History Reference Online
      - Use Gale Biography Resource center to search for biographical reference articles
      - Use Wilson biographies Plus to search for biographical reference articles


Newspaper Sources:

-Birth of America, Forging a More Perfect Union, the Federalist Years: indexes to colonial and United States

      newspaper microfilm from 1756s –1800, see periodical reference area.

-Large online newpaper collections in Proquest, Ebsco, and Newsbank, provide full-text articles from

          international, national and regional newspapers. Check title lists and date ranges.

      -Historical Newspapers online collection includes the New York Times Historical Archive (1851-2005),
                Chicago Tribune Historical Archive (1848-1986) and 7 more historical newspapers (date ranges differ)

      -Chicago Tribune, Sun-Times and Daily Herald : hard-copy at desk and full-text in Newsbank's Chicagoland Newspapers



Magazine Sources:

-American Heritage Magazine: index volume located in periodical reference area

-Other history magazines, e.g. American History, Smithsonian, History Today, Magazine of History,

       Negro History Bulletin, Jrnl. of Modern History, Jrnl. of American History, Jrnl. of World History

        Chicago History Magazine: (index at circ desk); also Illinois Historic Journal, Historic Illinois, Illinois Heritage, 

        Illinois History, Illinois Issues, Illinois Magazine

 -Use the following indexes and subscription databases to find magazine and journal articles:

                  -Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature: indexes magazines1957-1986

                  -EBSCO magazine archive online : indexes magazines 1980-present, provides mostly full-text

                  -Proquest Direct– online periodical index 1985-present provides mostly full-text

                        - First Search - use Wilson Select Plus online periodical index.

            -JSTOR - online historical collection of journals (date ranges vary)


Other Online sources: use library homepage to launch these resources:

-American History database-in ABC-CLIO Social Studies online

-Facts on File World News Digest for archived news and some primary source documents

-Utilize the Social Studies Web pages from the Library's Web Subject Directory 

-Chicago Historical Society's homepage for digital archives and image collections

- Chicago Public Library's digital collections on Chicago history