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University Library


History 498A: Empires in Theory and History

A guide to finding library sources for your research paper..

Organization of the Guide

The guide is organized in broad chronological periods, following the plan of your syllabus. It also includes a section on empire and religion, "Empires of Faith" in your syllabus, but renamed here to reflect the inclusion of additional sources that document the experience of religious groups within empires.

Because the available source base (at this library, and, undoubtedly, most Anglo-American research libraries) for the study of the British Empire and American empire is by far the largest, we have given those two subjects their own sections.

All information on finding newspapers, regardless of region or time period, is also listed in its own section,


Bibliographies and Other Guides to Sources

Chronologies and Factual Information

Example Subject Headings in the Library Catalog

  • Imperialism -- History.
  • Colonization -- History.
  • Colonies -- History.
  • Power (Social sciences) -- History.

Article Indexes

Digital Collections

There is almost no limit on the types of digital collections where you might find historical evidence for a history of empires. In the present guide we have included only those rather narrowly focused on the creation, administration, and dissolution of empires, but obviously you could expect to find important information in digitized book collections, newspapers, magazines, journals, newsreels, and more. To find more digital collections than those included in this guide, please consult our Guide to Digital Collections for Historical Research: