Skip to Main Content

University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Library Guide for History and Religious Studies Graduate Students

Basic information on using the Library for new History and Religious Studies graduate students.


Use article databases to find journals articles (as well as dissertations, book chapters, and other resources) on a specific topic. In some cases, you will be able to link directly from the article database to the full text of the article. In other cases, you will need to search the title of the journal (not the author or title of the article) in the online catalog, to find out where it is located.

By "article databases" we mean both bibliographic databases (databases that contain records or citations to journal articles) and online full-text journal archives. Many bibliographic databases include some full text.

There are many article databases you can use to find scholarly articles on historical topics. These can yield secondary or primary sources, depending on how you have formulated your research topic. You may need to search several databases and indexes to find a range of articles on your topic. A comprehensive search may include both print and online indexes.

Bibliographic Databases

The main article databases for historians are:

The main article database for religious studies scholars is:

In addition to these databases, there are several other article databases that will be useful to both historians and religious studies scholars:

For even more article databases that might be relevant to your research, see the list here of article indexes and online bibliographies in our guide to the:

Full-Text Databases

Although article databases are usually the best place to start a general search for journal articles, if you have very specific keywords in mind, full text journal article collections can sometimes yield good results.

For older journals, use:

Several major journals in JSTOR include:

  • American Historical Review
  • Eighteenth-Century Studies
  • English Historical Review
  • French Historical Studies
  • Hispanic American Historical Review
  • History and Theory
  • Journal of African History
  • Journal of American History (and its predecessor, Mississippi Valley Historical Review)
  • Journal of Black Studies
  • Journal of Interdisciplinary History
  • Journal of Modern History
  • Journal of Negro History
  • Journal of Southern History
  • Past and Present
  • Speculum
  • American Jewish History
  • Buddhist-Christian Studies
  • Islamic Studies
  • Japanese Journal of Religious Studies
  • Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion
  • Journal of Africana Religions
  • Journal of Mormon History
  • Die Welt des Islams

For recent issues of hundreds of scholarly journals:

Some of the major journals in Project MUSE include:

  • American Quarterly
  • Catholic Historical Review
  • Eighteenth-Century Studies
  • Ethnohistory
  • French Colonial History
  • Hispanic American Historical Review
  • History and Memory
  • Journal of Cold War Studies
  • Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History
  • Journal of Interdisciplinary History
  • Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies
  • Journal of the History of Medicine
  • Journal of the History of Sexuality
  • Journal of Women's History
  • Radical History Review
  • Victorian Studies
  • American Catholic Studies
  • American Journal of Theology & Philosophy
  • Buddhist-Christian Studies
  • Catholic Historical Review

Finally, a very useful, but often overlooked, source of journals for historians and religious studies scholars is:

As more and more journals become available online, some through commercial "aggregators" and others individually, it becomes difficult to keep track of all the e-journals available in a particular discipline. How can you determine if a particular journal is available electronically?