Library Resources for A&HH 6041, Historical Method

| October 18, 2011

This virtual research guide is intended an overview of library resources and services of particular relevance for Bette Weneck’s Fall 2011 course A&HA 6041, Historical Method.  The resources, primarily electronic and accessible on and off campus, have been selected as ones supporting the objectives of the course, i.e.,  to introduce students to “the fundamentals of historical thinking and research . . . by examining the different ways in which history has been conceptualized, by analyzing historical interpretation as it applies to topics in American history, and by guiding students through the practice of doing history.”  This guide also includes a section describing research consultation and assistance services and options for document retrieval and delivery available to all members of the Teachers College community.

Library Resources

Online Catalogs

Periodical Indexes

Federated Search Engines

Encyclopedias and Dictionaries

E-Collections (Text, Images, Sound, Etc.)

Archival Catalogs

Local Digital Archives

Handbooks of Research

Reviews of Research

Citation Indexes

Library Services and Publications

All students, faculty, and researchers also have access to a number of important library services and publications provided to support and facilitate research and study in their particular programs and disciplines.



Online Catalogs

Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) are the official subject terms prescribed by the Library of Congress for the cataloging of books and are in use in essentially all academic libraries.  To find works pertaining to historical method and related subjects, it may be useful to use some of the subject terms, or combinations of terms, listed below when searching the online catalogs of libraries at Teachers College, Columbia University, and other institutions.

  • Education — United States — Historiography
  • Education — United States — History
  • Historiography
  • Historiography — History
  • History — Methodology
  • History — Philosophy
  • History — Research
  • History — Study and teaching
  • Paper — Preservation — United States
  • United States — Historiography
  • United States — History
  • Women — Education

EDUCAT – The most definitive record of the holdings of the Gottesman Libraries at Teachers College, including books, e-books, journals, e-journals, dissertations, media, and other specialized collections of all kinds.

CLIO – The union catalog of Columbia University Libraries (exclusive of the libraries of Teachers College, the Columbia Law School, and Jewish Theological Seminary), providing the most definitive record of individual libraries’ holdings of books, e-books, journals, e-journals, dissertations, media, and other specialized collections of all kinds.

  • See our library’s video tutorial on searching CLIO.
  • See also Columbia University Libraries’ video tutorials onCLIO search protocols and other features and functions:

WorldCat – The union catalog of the contents of over 10,000 libraries worldwide, providing the means to do exhaustive searching by author, title, subject, and numerous other criteria and to find locations for specific items in libraries nearby and elsewhere.

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Periodical Indexes

Academic Search Premier – A multidisciplinary database providing full text for more than 4,600 journals, including nearly 3,900 peer-reviewed titles.  PDF backfiles to 1975 or further are available for well over one hundred journals.  See also Academic Search Complete, a scholarly, multidisciplinary full-text database, with more than 8,500 full-text periodicals, including more than 7,300 peer-reviewed journals.  The database features PDF content going back as far as 1887.

America:  History and Life – Index (with some abstracts) of literature covering the history and culture of the United States and Canada, from prehistory to the present.

ERIC – Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education to provide extensive access to educational-related periodical literature, ERIC (which stands for Educational Resources Information Center) provides coverage of conferences, meetings, government documents, theses, dissertations, reports, audiovisual media, bibliographies, directories, books, and monographs.  In addition to this version, made available via the CSA Illumina platform, also accessible via the U.S. government ERIC site, through Ebsco ERIC, and via ProQuest ERIC on the Columbia University Libraries website.

Education Full Text – Provides comprehensive coverage of an international range of English-language periodicals, monographs, and yearbooks. Indexing coverage begins June 1983; abstracts are included beginning spring 1994; full text of some journals is available beginning in January 1996.

Education Index Retro – Provides cover-to-cover indexing for an international range of English-language periodicals and yearbooks; coverage from 1929 through mid-1983.

Education Research Complete – Provides indexing and abstracts for more than 2,100 journals, as well as full text for more than 1,200 journals, and includes full text for nearly 500 books and monographs.

Essay & General Literature Index – Indexes essays and articles contained in collections of essays and miscellaneous works published in the United States, Great Britain, and Canada; areas covered include the humanities and social sciences, with subject coverage ranging from economics, political science, and history to criticism of literary works, drama, and film.

Historical Abstracts – Provides citations and abstracts for publications related to world history, excluding the U.S. and Canada, from 1450 to the present.

Humanities and Social Sciences Retro – Provides coverage of journal articles in the humanities and social sciences from 1907 through 1984.

Humanities Full Text – Abstracts, bibliographic indexing, and full text from scholarly sources and specialized magazines in the humanities. Indexing begins in 1984, full-text coverage in 1995.

ProQuest – Provides broad multidisciplinary coverage of scholarly  journals, newspapers, dissertations, and other types of publications; for international coverage and access to full texts of dissertations only, search Digital Dissertations, a subset of ProQuest.

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Federated Search Engines

Find Articles (via Columbia University Libraries) – To search multiple periodical indexes simultaneously within a variety of subjects and disciplinary subcategories.

Super Search (via Gottesman Libraries) – To search some or all of our periodical indexes, plus EDUCAT and CLIO, simultaneously for books, journal articles, reports, dissertations, etc.

Google Scholar – Provides the means to search for scholarly research across many disciplines and sources:   articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities, and other web sites.

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Encyclopedias and Dictionaries

Print Resources

Encyclopedia of American Cultural and Intellectual History (2001)

Encyclopedia of Higher Education (1992)

Encyclopedia of New York City (1995) [see also 2nd Edition, 2010, at various Columbia University Libraries]

The New York Public Library American History Desk Reference (1997)

E-Resources

American National Biography Online – Biographies of notable men and women from all eras of American history.

Encyclopedia of African American Culture and History:  The Black Experience in the Americas – Covers all aspects of the African-American experience from 1619 to the present day, using biographies, historical essays, and thematic pieces, many written by foremost scholars, to address a wide array of subjects in over 2,300 articles.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography – An illustrated collection of more than 57,000 specially written biographies of the men and women from around the world who shaped all aspects of Britain’s past.

The Reader’s Companion to American History – Comprises more than 1,000 entries covering the critical events, issues, and individuals that have shaped American history.

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E-Collections (Text, Images, Sound, Etc.)

Alexander Street Press Databases – Themed collections of print documents, video, and recorded sound across disciplines; notable databases include Alexander Street Literature (cross-searchable collections covering the literatures of place, race, and gender),  Caribbean Literature (a collection of poetry and fiction produced in the Caribbean during the 19th and 20th centuries),  Ethnographic Video Online (intended to be a visual encyclopedia of human behavior and culture, online in streaming video), and North American Immigrant Letters, Diaries, and Oral Histories (personal views of what it meant to immigrate to the United States and Canada between 1880 and 1950).

American Memory – a gateway to the Library of Congress’s collections of digitized American historical materials.  The site’s mission is to provide ” free and open access through the Internet to written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience.”

Archive of Americana – Comprehensive historical collections, containing books, pamphlets, broadsides, newspapers, government documents and ephemera.

Early Encounters in North America – Provides full-text access to letters, diaries, memoirs, and accounts concerning events that took place in North America between 1534 and 1860.

Ebrary – Online books across a range of subject areas; searchable, under All Subjects, by Education; History (General) and History of Europe; History:  America; and various sub-topics, and by author, title, and other criteria.

JSTOR – An online archive of over 1,200 leading scholarly journals across the humanities, social sciences, and sciences, as well as select monographs and other materials valuable for academic work.  Journals are always included from volume 1, issue 1 and include previous and related titles.  Tthe most recently published issues (the past 3-5 years) are generally not available through JSTOR, though they usually are through other e-sources.

LexisNexis Academic – An interdisciplinary, full-text database of over 18,000 sources including newspapers, journals, wire services, newsletters, company reports and SEC filings, case law, government documents, transcripts of broadcasts, and selected reference works.

Oxford Scholarship Online – Provides the full text of classic and newly published Oxford University Press books in economics and finance, law, political science, and other disciplines.

SAGE Education Full-Text Collection – A subset of Sage Journals Online, provides access to and advanced searching of the full text of 36 education-related journals.

Primary Documents in American HistoryProvides access to digitized versions of collections housed at the Library of Congress, including many of the most important documents in American history.

SAGE Psychology Full-Text Collection – Provides access to the full text of 34 psychology-related journals from SAGE Publications.

SAGE Sociology Full-Text Collection – A subset of Sage Journals Online, provides access to and advanced searching of the full text of 36 sociology-related journals.

Social and Cultural History:  Letters and Diaries Online – Database of English language letters, diaries, autobiographies, oral histories, and other personal narratives providing insight into history dating from the 1550s to the present.

See also a list of the full collection of online historical collections available through Columbia University Libraries.

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Archival Catalogs

Access to Archival Databases (AAD) System – Index to records for files from the National Archives.

Accessible Archives – Searchable collection of U.S. history resources, including the Pennsylvania Gazette, the Civil War coverage of three newspapers, Godey’s Lady’s Book, a group of African-American and abolitionist newspapers, and selections from several 19th century Delaware Valley newspapers.

ArchiveGrid – Archival finding aids and citations for thousands of libraries, museums, and archives.

ArchivesUSA – A directory of archives and manuscript repositories, with some links to web pages for the repositories and to online finding aids.

Guides to Microforms:  Primary Sources in U.S. History – Guides to microform sets in American history, foreign relations, women’s studies published by University Publications of America.

New York City Board of Education Records, 1842-2002 – Records of the Board of Education, from its creation in 1842 to its replacement by a mayoral Department of Education in 2002. Also included are records of the Board of Education of the City of Brooklyn from 1853 to 1897. These records document aspects of educational policy-making and school-system administration.

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Local Digital Archives

Academic Commons – Columbia University’s online repository, where current faculty, students, and staff can deposit the results of their scholarly work and research.

PocketKnowledge – The social archive of Teachers College, including unpublished manuscripts and archives from the library’s collections, documents from other departments and administrative offices College-wide, and the work of TC students, faculty, and researchers.

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Handbooks of Research

Blackwell Reference Online – Provides full-text access to reference works in the humanities, social sciences, and business and management, see research handbooks and companions in Classics, Geography, History, and other subject areas.

See the Columbia University Libraries Subject Guide:  Archives and Manuscripts Collections, a selective guide to finding archives and manuscript collections, including catalogs and finding aids at Columbia, as well as national catalogs and databases; also includes a list of national archives and libraries, college and university collections, and historical society archives.

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Reviews of Research

Annual Reviews – Reviews of topics in social sciences and other disciplines published as annual journals; see series for Economics, Law and Social Science, Political Science, and others.

Review of Educational Research – A publication of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), the RER publishes quarterly critical, integrative reviews of research literature bearing on education, including conceptualizations, interpretations, and syntheses of scholarly work.

Review of Research in Education A publication of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), the RRE provides an annual overview and descriptive analysis of selected topics of relevant research literature through critical and synthesizing essays.

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Citation Indexes

Scopus – Abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature and quality web sources with smart tools to track, analyze, and visualize research.

Web of Science Comprising the Arts & Humanities Citation Index, the Social Sciences Citation Index, and the Science Citation Index Expanded, this database supports searching by topic, author, or publication name, and is also a major means for doing cited reference searching, to find articles that cite a person’s work.

  • See also our library’s Citation Indexes video tutorial on citation searching via the Web of Science and Google Scholar.

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Library Services and Publications

Ask a Librarian a Question – To explore a variety of kinds of research support: enlist basic library assistance via our 24/7 online chat service; submit an email reference query to librarians onsite; request a research consultation with a Gottesman librarian; review frequently asked questions via the library’s Knowledge Database.

E-Reserves – Provides online access to digital course readings, including e-journal articles and book chapters, as well as call numbers for physical course reserves materials (books, DVDs, videos, etc.).

Document Delivery – Interlibrary services for the retrieval of content (books, book chapters, journal articles, etc.) not available through the Gottesman or Columbia University Libraries.

Borrow Direct – Enables Columbia University and TC students, faculty, and staff with library borrowing privileges and active e-mail accounts to borrow books directly from the libraries of Brown University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, and Yale University; beginning in Summer 2011, select libraries of Harvard University and the libraries of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) will join the Borrow Direct partnership. There is a 6-week loan period, plus one 6-week renewal, subject to possible recall by the lending library.

Learning at the Library – The Gottesman Libraries’ blog via the Pressible platform, including content in many topical areas contributed by library staff members.

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