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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

History 381: Exploring the Modern City: New York, London, Paris, Berlin, St. Petersburg, Shanghai, and Beyond

A course guide.

1. Start here!

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.

2. Other Article Indexes

If you didn't find what you needed in the core indexes, here are several multidisciplinary online article databases that provide indexing of articles on historical topics:
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:

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.
  • Project Muse
    Over 600 scholarly journals, with emphasis on recent ten years of issues. (Originally intended as a complement to JSTOR--see above). Here you will find, for example,

  • Journal of Interdisciplinary History
  • Journal of Social History
  • Journal of Women’s History
  • Radical History Review
  • Victorian Studies
  • Periodicals Archive Online
    Over 700 European and American periodicals in the humanities and social sciences, with coverage back to 1665.
  • American Periodicals
    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”).
  • African American Periodicals
    About 170 serials published by, for, or about African Americans. Part of the Archive of Americana.
  • British Periodicals
    Cover periodicals of Britain and Ireland. British Periodicals covers late 17th to early 20th centuries, and emphasizes scholarly and canonical periodicals.
  • 19th Century UK Periodicals
    Emphasis in 19th Century UK Periodicals is on periodicals that appealed to a broader range of audiences (women, children, and working class readers).