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Introduction to History

History: Starting Points

What's in this guide?

On this page you can:

On other pages of this guide you can:

  • Get citation and writing help.
  • Find resources for specific courses and areas of History, including Ancient, Modern European, and Non-Western history. See the menu on the left side of the page.

Not sure what to do or where to start?

Do you know what part of history you're interested in?

  • Look to the tabs on the left of the page. You'll find more detailed information in the specific pages for U.S. History, Modern European History, etc.

Are you looking at a subject that's not limited to a time or place?

  • The resources on this page are general and cover all of History.

Need more help?

About Primary Sources

What are Primary Sources?

Rampolla's A Guide to Writing in History (p. 8) defines a primary source as

materials produced by people or groups directly involved in the event or topic under, either as particpants or as witnesses

Examples of primary sources include:

  • Diaries
  • Letters
  • Newspapers
  • Speeches
  • Autobiography
  • Official Documents.

Not sure where to start?

  • Try one of the General History sources listed below. They cover a wide range of topics.

Primary sources in specific areas:

Looking for a particular time and place?

  • Go to the page covering your particular subject. There will be a list of primary sources there.
  • Don't forget to check the General History sources below as well!

General Primary Sources for History

  • Websites with sources from many different historical periods and places

Get Ideas and Information

Looking for general information or ideas for a topic?

These books and resources can help.

  • The ones marked Best Betare a good place to start.

Don't ignore the Print Sources.

  • Just because they aren't online doesn't mean they can't help you!
  • You might find better or different information in them than you can using the online sources.

These books can be useful to get started on your History project. For more books on general history, try a CLICnet Classic Subject search on World History.

Online Sources

  • Reference Databases   |  Reference books with online versions   |  Websites selected by librarians

Print Sources

  • Reference books and other books held at the library.

Find Books and Articles

Looking for material for your project?

Starting out? Try the Augsburg search bar below, or try one of the links marked Best Bet

Need more focused research? Try looking in one of the more specialized journal databases below.

No full text? Click the Find It!button by the article to get it elsewhere, or to order it.

Search Augsburg

  • Books at Augsburg and other CLIC libraries  |  Scholarly articles from a selection of our databases

Search Journals

  • Scholarly articles in specific databases

New Books and Other Resources

Other Resources for Historical Studies

New History Books

  • Books that have been recently added to Augsburg's collection.

The History News Network

The HNN is forum for the discussion of current events within a historical framework. The "discussion" is presented through blogs, editorials and topical articles.  HNN-History News is for History Geeks!

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