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History Guide Ask Us

Guide Sections


This guide presents various types of resources that you can find through the Library for research in History. You'll find a brief description of each type of source below.

When researching a new topic, it's usually best to follow the process of moving from general (background) sources to gradually more specific (detailed) sources. This is why we highly recommend that you start with the Reference Materials tab, and then move through the other tabs from left to right. To learn more about how to conduct library research, visit our Research Help page.

Research process diagram

Reference Materials
These resources will give you overviews of your subject, define terms, list useful books and journals, and help you frame your topic. Start with these and return to them when you encounter concepts or terms later in your research that you don’t understand.

Books generally provide more in-depth information on your topic. Scan the Table of Contents and the Index of the books you find, to see if they focus on your topic or on aspects of it.

Journal articles are shorter than books, and tend to provide less background information and focus instead on very specific topics.

Primary Sources
These are original documents (e.g. letters, newspapers, diaries, etc.) from various historical periods.

Citing Your Sources
Learn how to cite the sources you use using the Chicago Manual of Style.

If you need help using this Guide, please don't hesitate to contact your local librarian, Joanne (Fredericton) or David (Saint John).


Talk to me about your research and teaching needs including working with primary sources, literature searches, building a research question, evaluating online sources, effective reading and organizing sources, and more.

Last modified on March 1, 2024 01:19