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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

History 498C: Gender & Sexuality in US History

Guide for finding resources to complete assignments for History 498C

Picking a Topic

Large Digital Reference Collections

You can use "tertiary" reference sources (e.g., encyclopedias, biographies, almanacs, etc.) to learn about possible topics, and to gather helpful background information on these topics. These sources provide broad overviews, but also often contain bibliographies that point to more relevant sources. The following reference websites allow for keyword searching and subject browsing.

  • Credo Reference

    Links to various reference books including dictionaries and encyclopedias from every major subject including art, science, history, music, foreign language, politics and literature.

  • Britannica Online

    Online version of a broad, general-knowledge encyclopedia.


You can keyword search the library's Online Reference Collection using the Online Reference Collection LibGuide.


Specialized Reference Sources

Specialized reference sources particular to a discipline or area of study can be especially good starting points. The following are available online and are keyword searchable and browsable by topic:


Overviews of the Scholarly Literature

Handbooks, Guidebooks, and Companions
  • Oxford Handbooks Online
    • A collection of handbooks across a wide range of subject areas. The series includes articles written by scholars at the top of their fields.
  • Cambridge Histories
    • Over 300 volumes from the Cambridge History of… series. Volumes are full-text searchable. Chapters display as PDF facsimiles of the print originals. Both book level and chapter level citations are easily exportable to Zotero and ten other citation management software tools.

For an alternative way to search for these more in-depth reference sources, do a keyword search in the Library Catalog using the terms 'handbook', 'guidebook', or 'companion'.

  • Oxford Bibliographies Online
    • Offers peer-reviewed annotated bibliographies on specific topics in a growing range of subject areas. There are at least 50 specific topical bibliographies in each subject area. Each of these features an introduction to the topic. Bibliographies are browseable by subject area and keyword searchable. Contains a My OBO function that allows users to create personalized bibliographies of individual citations from different bibliographies.
    • Keyword searchable, also browsable by subject; see, for instance, Sociology (subject)-->"G" for Gender

Developing Your Question

The Writer's Workshop in partnership with the Undergraduate Library offers remote research and writing consultations.  Get help from experts focusing your research question(s) or developing your argument.

Tools for Finding Sources


Hathitrust can be used to find primary and secondary sources. Login using your UIUC NetID to get fullest access.

See also the library's LibGuide: Hathitrust.

Subject Specialists

  • Subject Specialists are experts in finding materials in their subject areas. Contact them for help finding specific materials for your research project. To schedule an appointment using the Library's Calendar Application, please visit the subject specialists web page.
Area Subject Librarian E-mail
African American Studies Courtney Becks
American Indian Studies Cindy Ingold
Gender & Women's Studies Cindy Ingold
Japanese Studies Steven Witt
African Studies Atoma Batoma
European Union Studies Paula Mae Carns
Chinese Studies Shuyong Jiang

Central Asian Studies Joseph James Lenkart
Korean Studies  Yoo-Seong Song
Central European Studies  Marek Sroka
Latin American and Caribbean Studies Antonio Sotomayor
South Asian Studies Mara Thacker