Academic Search Complete is a good multi-disciplinary tool for finding journal articles. Do a broad keyword search, then use limiters such as "peer-reviewed" to focus in on most relevant results. Good for book reviews. Comparable to Google Scholar but with more useful features.
The two main article indexes for history are Historical Abstracts and America: History and Life. One or the other of these databases is usually the best starting place to search for scholarly articles in English on topics in history.
America: History and Life covers journal articles, book reviews, and dissertations on all periods of North American history published since 1964, and in some cases it provides links to the full text of the articles online.
Indexes over 1,000 periodicals and journals in the humanities and social sciences. Digitized version of H.W. Wilson's Humanities Index and Social Sciences Index. Coverage: articles published between 1907-1984.
Collection of 40 indexes to 19th century periodical literature, including major titles like Poole's Index to Periodical Literature, Index to Legal Periodical Literature, and the Contents-Subject Index to General and Periodical Literature.
Indexes journal articles, books, manuscripts, and dissertations published primarily in Russia and Eastern Europe. Emphasis is on Slavic studies and social sciences. Coverage: documents published or created 1980-present.
Over 67,000 records for journal articles, newspaper articles, books, and book chapters on all aspects of the Chicano and Latino/Latina experience in the United States. Coverage: documents published 1960s-present.
Identifies articles on all aspects of Black studies, in journals from North America, Africa, and the Caribbean. Coverage: articles published 1902-present. Includes the Marshall Index, which covers 1940-1946. Prior to 1940, coverage becomes less complete.
Article databases associated with other disciplines will also be useful for locating sources on European cities. Your choice of these databases will depend on your particular topic. Some possibilities to explore:
Indexes journal articles, books, conference papers, on all aspects of sociology, including sociological history, ethnic and racial studies, gender studies, marriage and family studies, political sociology, religion, rural and urban sociology, social development, social structure, and social theory. Coverage: documents published 1908-present.
Indexes journal articles, book chapters, conference proceedings, and trade journal articles on historical geography, human geography, and other social aspects of geography. Coverage: documents published 1989-present
Indexes policy reports, government documents, documents of NGOs, journal articles, books, statistical directories, grey literature, research reports, conference papers, and web sites. Coverage: documents published 1914-present.
Identifies journal articles, books, and dissertations on all aspects of European and American visual arts. Indexes publications from 1975-2007. For recent coverage, see International Bibliography of Art.
Indexes journal articles, books, essays, exhibition catalogs, dissertations, and exhibition reviews on all aspects of the modern visual arts, including history of modern visual arts from the 19th century forward. Coverage: Documents published 1960s-present.
Indexes scholarly journals, popular periodicals, and publications of professional associations on architecture, archaeology, city planning, interior design, and historic preservation. Coverage: documents published 1785-present.
3. Full Text Periodical Collections
There are also several online collections of journals and periodicals. In these databases you can browse individual issues of journals, or you can search across the entire collection. Because these databases are collections of digitized texts rather than article indexes (see above), they does not use subject headings (of if they do, the subject headings tend to be very broad). You can only search by keyword (i.e., the words used in the articles published in these journals), so it is prudent to try several synonyms for any given topic.
A digitized, fully searchable version of the full content of more than 2,500 scholarly journals from their inception (sometimes as early as the 18th century) up to the last 1-5 years (recent issues are often excluded). Several key historical journals are included in JSTOR, such as:
Urban History Review
Zeitschrift für Historische Forschung
Journal of Interdisciplinary History
Journal of Social History
Journal of Modern History
Past and Present
French Historical Studies
Journal of African American History
New York History
Journal of Asian History
Journal of British Studies
Slavonic and East European Review
Central European History
Note that only about 10% of the articles in JSTOR have abstracts, so limiting your search term to the abstracts might cause you to miss relevant material. When a Boolean keyword search produces a large set of results, try using the proximity (“near”) operator to limit the results to a combination of terms occurring within 10 or 25 words of one another.
Periodicals and some weekly newspapers that began publication between 1741 and 1900. Coverage for some titles extends into the 20th century if the periodical began publication earlier. Fully searchable by keyword, but there is no subject indexing, so you have to be careful to construct your searches using the language of the original articles (e.g., terms in use in the 19th and early 20th centuries, such as “travel diary,” “grand tour,” and “journey,” but not contemporary terms and concepts, such as “travel narratives,” “colonial discourses,” or “ecotourism”).