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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

History 200D: Music in History

How Do I Find Scholarly Articles?

The best place to begin searching for scholarly articles is in an article database that covers the scholarly discipline of your research. Since this course is interdisciplinary in nature, you might want to consider searching in multiple article databases. Because most databases are designed to serve scholars working in a specific field of academic inquiry, it's best to search each article database separately, and to spend some time learning how it is organized, and what search features its interface provides for querying the database. Use article databases to find journal articles, book chapters, dissertations, conference proceedings, and more.

To find article databases covering specific regions of the world, consult the International and Area Studies Library website.

Some useful article databases for history are:

Additional suggestions can be found in the research guides created for history classes and special topics.

You can also consult book-length bibliographies, either general overviews such as:

You can use the article databases listed above to look for review essays (also called review articles) in which a historian who specializes in the subject analyzes recent scholarship; you may find helpful overviews that appear as chapters in collections, journal articles, or even monographs by using the keyword historiography or historiographic; you can read about the topic in a subject encyclopedia and look at the bibliography at the end of the entry; and you can find a major work of scholarship on the topic and follow up on the sources used by the author (footnote tracking).

Most of the time you will find the secondary literature you need by using the online catalog, the appropriate article databases, subject encyclopedias or bibliographies, and by consulting your instructor.

Types of Sources and How to Find Them: Secondary Sources