Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

History 498D: U.S. Empire

A guide for history majors completing their senior capstone project. Guide presupposes mastery of basic library skills taught in History 200.

Article Indexes

Use article indexes to identify articles from journals and periodicals. When you search an article index, you are searching bibliographic records that describe articles; you are not searching the actual articles. For many of the citations you retrieve in an article index, the database will also provide direct access to the article.

The key distinction between an article index and a full text database is that, in an article index, not every article you identify will be available online. In a full text database, on the other hand, all the articles are available online. Most article indexes began as serialized bibliographies (see explanation under Reference Sources > Bibliographies, Catalogs, and Guides), and many still contain the word "bibliography" in their titles (e.g. Bibliography of British and Irish History).

Article indexes will also contain records for other types of documents, such as dissertations, books, book chapters, conference proceedings, book reviews, and more.

The two main article databases for history are Historical Abstracts and America: History and Life (see their entries below). One or the other of these databases is usually the best starting place to search for scholarly articles in English on topics in history.

Searching these databases directly, rather than through Easy Search, offers you more search options.

IMPORTANT: If you find a journal article that you want to read, but that the library does not own, you can request a copy through Interlibrary Loan. Journal articles are usually delivered very quickly (1-2 days, sometimes the very same day). You can also request books through Interlibrary Loan, though the wait period is a little longer (about a week).

Digitized Periodical Collections

There are several major collections of full-text electronic journals. In these databases you can browse individual issues of journals, or you can do a search across the entire database.

More Digitized Periodicals

Alternative Press

Serial publications of the non-mainstream media, often referred to as "alternative" or "underground" press publications, can be difficult to locate. Publications in this category include newspapers, magazines, newsletters, and other types of serial publications. These periodicals tend to be written from an acknowledged political perspective--for example, liberal or conservative--and they often promote a specific agenda. They might, however, report on news that is of interest to a specific community--often a marginalized one--without endorsing any defined ideology. Examples of these might be African American newspapers, gay and lesbian magazines, military newspapers, or publications of immigrant groups. The guide covers primarily alternative press publications of the United States, with some coverage of Canada and the United Kingdom.

Online Sources

Microfilm Sources

The University Library has hundreds of alternative newspapers on microfilm, with coverage back to 1960 and earlier. The best way to check for availability of specific titles, or to browse by date and place of publication, is to consult the Library's Newspaper Database. Listed below are specific collections of interest.

Reference Sources