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United States History Research Guide

Primary and secondary sources for the study of US History.

What are Reference Works?

Reference works:


  • Provide an overview of your topic
  • Are often written by scholars or experts in the field
  • Provide key people, places, events, and terms that you can use to refine your searches
  • Often offer suggestions for further reading

To find reference materials for your research topic try a search in library search combining keywords.

For example: african americans history bibliography

Find Reference Sources

To find companions, handbooks, or bibliographies you can search library search or your topic and (handbook OR encyclopedia).

You can also try searching the portals to these resources below.

Oxford Bibliographies, annotated bibliographies that provide a gateway to research in particular subfields of History.

Cambridge Companions, guides to various Historical literature topics.

Routledge Handbooks, book-length companions to various topics.

Oxford Handbooks, reviews of scholarly literature.

Annual Reviews Online, reviews of scholarly literature in the sciences and social sciences. 

Biographical Information

Specialized Indexes and Bibliographies

The Robert W. Woodruff Library collects guides to various source types (ie. newspapers and periodicals) as well as guides to archival and rare book collections. Here is a list of a selection of guides from our collection.