Guides to Writing a Research Paper:
Excellent guide with to-the-point advice on research and structure:
William Kelleher Storey, Writing History (Oxford University Press, 2003)
More Detailed Guides:
Anthony Brundage, Going to the Sources: A Guide to Historical Research and Writing (Harlan Davidson, 2002)
Martha Howell and Walter Prevenier, From Reliable Sources (Cornell Univ. Press, 2001)
Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 6th ed. (Univ. of Chicago Press, 1996)
Online Guide to Citation methods:
Research Resources on the Web: Primary Sources
Proceedings of the Old Bailey: 1674 to 1913: A fully searchable edition of the largest body of texts detailing the lives of non-elite people ever published, containing 197,745 criminal trials held at London’s Central Criminal Court. (free web resource)
London Lives: London Lives makes available, in a fully digitized and searchable form, a wide range of primary sources about eighteenth-century London, with a particular focus on plebeian Londoners. This resource includes over 240,000 manuscript and printed pages from eight London archives and is supplemented by fifteen datasets created by other projects. It provides access to historical records containing over 3.35 million name instances. Facilities are provided to allow users to link together records relating to the same individual, and to compile biographies of the best documented individuals.
Legacies of British Slave-ownership: A database containing, first, the identity of all slave-owners in the British colonies at the time slavery ended and, second, all the estates in the British Caribbean colonies.
British History Online is a digital library of key printed primary and secondary sources for the history of Britain and Ireland, with a primary focus on the period between 1300 and 1800. BHO was founded by the Institute of Historical Research and the History of Parliament Trust in 2003, and aims to support the learning, teaching and research of our users from around the world. The collection currently contains over 1,280 volumes and is always growing.
The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database: Information on almost 36,000 slaving voyages that forcibly embarked over 10 million Africans for transport to the Americas between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries. The actual number is estimated to have been as high as 12.5 million. The database and the separate estimates interface offer researchers, students and the general public a chance to rediscover the reality of one of the largest forced movements of peoples in world history.
Parliamentary Papers: Parliamentary material (from 1066 to present) has been digitized and made available on the Internet by various organizations. The website of the UK Parliament contains lists on this page that summarize the main series of material which are available in electronic form. Some material is not available without a library or personal subscription, but much of it is open access, especially for resources on the eighteenth century and earlier.
The British Newspapers Archive: The British Library has placed over 460 newspapers covering the period from 1710 to 1960 into a single database. Searches of the site are free and downloads of full-text articles are available by purchasing a pass (from 24-hours to one year) starting at around £10.
Irish Newspaper Archive: The world’s largest online database of Irish Newspapers, with many of Ireland’s leading national and regional titles. The archive ranges from the 1700’s to present, and is composed of scans of the entire newspaper page. Full-text searching is available for all titles included. Individuals are able to conduct an unlimited number of searches within a set time period for flat fees starting at 10 Euros.
The Jamaica Gleaner: This archive begins with 1834 and runs up to 2008. The entire newspaper is digitized, so you not only get article content, but also the pictures and ads. It is a paid subscription – $7.95 for one day’s unlimited access or a year for $50
British Museum Collection Online: Use this link to look for images within the British Museum Collection. I use it primarily to search for nineteenth century satirical prints.
Punch: or the London Charivari: Free Access to most years of this influential nineteenth-century illustrated humor periodical.
Greenwood’s Map of London 1827: This page allows you to browse the entire map. (free web resource)
1893 Map of London, layered over Google Earth. Amazing level of detail on this one when you zoom in, and a much more fun/intuitive interface than what’s used for Greenwood’s Map.
Studies in Scarlet: Marriage and Sexuality in the U.S. & U.K. (1815-1914): Drawn from the Harvard Law School Library’s extensive trial collections, Studies in Scarlet presents images of the texts of more than 450 separately published trial narratives printed in the United States or the United Kingdom from 1815 until 1914. The cases involve divorce, domestic violence, adultery, bigamy, breach of promise to marry, the custody of children, rape, and murder. Includes trials of Queen Caroline and Oscar Wilde.
Internet Library of Early Journals: A joint project by the Universities of Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester and Oxford. Freely available digitized runs (thirty years or longer) of three 18th and three 19th century journals.
Gentleman’s Magazine Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society
The Annual Register Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine
Notes and Queries The Builder
Jamaican National Library: The Jamaican National Library is making portions of their collection freely available on the web. There are currently several digital archives up now, including a slave trade collection.
Spartacus Educational: A free, reliable, and a helpful way to keep yourself away from Wikipedia, especially when looking for biographical information on Britons.
BBC History: A free web resource with reliable information on British history.
Multimedia Timeline of British History: Created by the British Library, contains an extensive collection of primary source document images and commentary. More for education than research, but very well done.
Basic Timelines of British History:
Timeline of Modern British History (1495 to 1950)
Timeline of Nineteenth-Century British History (1783-1914)
Research Databases for Visual Images:
National Portrait Gallery Image Database: Search more than 12,000 records from the collections of the National Portrait Gallery.
British Museum Image Database: There are currently 2,215,850 records available, which represent more than 3,500,000 objects.
Research Databases for Film
British Pathé: Archives over 90,000 Historic Clips of British film from the late nineteenth century forward.
Yorkshire Film Archive: Contains hundreds of films reflecting Yorkshire life, landscape and culture from the 1890s to the present day.
Digital History: Research Tools and Methods
The Programming Historian offers novice-friendly, peer-reviewed tutorials that help humanists learn a wide range of digital tools, techniques, and workflows to facilitate their research.
Documenting the Stonewall Riots: A Bibliography of Primary Sources . This is an online research supplement to The Stonewall Riots: A Documentary History (NYU Press, 2019). While the book reprints 200 primary source documents from 1965 to 1973, the online research supplement contains thousands of primary source references for documents related to the items reprinted in the book. As of September 2019 there are bibliographies posted for the following:
Chapter 1: Gay Bars and Antigay Policing (1965-1969)
Chapter 2: Activist Agendas and Visions before Stonewall (1965-1969)
Chapter 3: Political Protests before Stonewall (1965-1969)
Chapter 4: The Stonewall Inn (1968-69)
Chapter 5: The Stonewall Riots (1969)
Chapter 8: Pride Marches and Parades (1969-1973)
Some Useful Links for Those Interested in British History
NACBS: North American Conference on British Studies (primary professional organization for British historians)
British Scholar: A complement to the NACBS (with greater emphasis on Empire and post-1688)
H-Net: Featuring the H-Albion Discussion Group on British History
IHR: Institute of Historical Research (London)
Online Gallery of the British Library: Excellent rotating exhibits
For Graduate Students
Funding and Research Resources, British History: Comprehensive guide to Funding Sources for the study of British history, maintained by the North American Conference on British Studies.
The Archives Wiki of the American Historical Association (AHA): Excellent source for holdings and other other information on archives around the world.
ArchiveGrid: This website includes over four million records describing archival materials, bringing together information about historical documents, personal papers, and family histories, with over 1,000 different archival institutions represented.
Planning a Research Trip to Britain: Regularly updated by the webmaster of the Victoria Research Web, this site contains a great deal of useful information. The guide to dorm rooms for summer research trips is especially useful for inexpensive stays.
Kew Accommodations: Good guide to relatively inexpensive bed and breakfast options around the National Archives in Kew.
Bibliography of British and Irish History (BBIH): The most extensive guide available to published writing on British and Irish history. The Bibliography is hosted by the Institute of Historical Research, which is part of the University of London. (As of 2010 this became a subscription-only service).
Academic Jobs Wiki: This wiki keeps updated information of Current Job Searches in academic disciplines. Look under the “AHA Fields” for history positions.
MUNDUS: A web-based guide to more than four hundred collections of overseas missionary materials held in the United Kingdom.
Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives: Nashville, TN – Contains microform copies of everything that is housed in the Angus Library, Regents Park College, Oxford, which holds all of the Baptist Missionary Society (BMS) records. The SBHLA gives the Lynn E. May Research Grant to help cover expenses (travel, photocopies, hotel) up to $700 (approximately).
U.S. Newspaper Directory, 1690-Present: A national directory from the Library of Congress of over 140,000 newspaper titles. The directory provides a list of libraries from around the country that have the newspapers in their collections.
FSU Digital Scholars: A cross-department discussion group meeting monthly.
Research Resources Available in Strozier Library, Florida State University: Primary Sources
The Times Digital Archive: 1785-1985 – Allows for full-text searching of the entire London Times for a two-hundred year period. Easy to use and extremely valuable for any number of research projects.
AVAILABLE AT STROZIER – search the “Databases A-Z list” on the Strozier homepage.
House of Commons Parliamentary Papers – Online Digital Access for Nineteenth-Century Parliamentary Papers: Digital access to the complete sessional papers issued by the House of Commons from 1800 to 1900. High-quality scans of all original documents and detailed subject indexing allow quick and easy searching, including accompanying illustrations, charts, and maps. AVAILABLE AT STROZIER – search the “Databases A-Z list” on the Strozier homepage.
Print Access for Other Parliamentary Papers Resources in Strozier Library: click to download PDF handout.
Eighteenth-Century Collections Online (ECCO) – Based on The English Short Title Catalogue, listing the holdings of the British Library and more than 1,500 university, private and public libraries worldwide. This includes the full text of over 150,000 English-language books published between 1701-1800.
AVAILABLE AT STROZIER – search the “Databases A-Z list” on the Strozier homepage.
The Burney Collection: 17th and 18th Century Newspapers – Based on the British Library newspaper collection, allows for full-text searching of nearly three million pages and over 20 million articles.
C19: The Nineteenth Century Index (Nineteenth Century Masterfile)
A super-index to more that 16.8 million documents that includes the Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals, Poole’s Index to Periodical Literature, and the Nineteenth Century Short Title Catalogue.
AVAILABLE AT STROZIER – search the “Databases A-Z list” on the Strozier homepage.
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
A ground-breaking and engaging reference work providing 50,000 specially-written signed biographies of the men and women who shaped all aspects of the British past, from the earliest times to the end of the year 2000.
AVAILABLE AT STROZIER – search the “Databases A-Z list” on the Strozier Library homepage.
Other Online Databases for British History (currently not available at Strozier)
Empire Online: Database of primarily British primary sources. Access is via full-text searching and through various tabbed links (essays, documents, biographies) as well as via the “View Names” “View Topics” and “View Places” links under the search button.
Section I: Cultural Contacts, 1492-1969
Section II: Empire Writing and the Literature of Empire
Section III: The Visible Empire
Section IV: Religion and Empire
Section V: Race, Class and Colonialism, c1783-1969
The Making of the Modern World: The Goldsmiths’-Kress Library of Economic Literature, 1450-1850 (available from Gale)
This collection follows the development of the modern, western world through the lens of trade and wealth – the driving force behind many of the major events during the period 1450-1850. It can be used to study slavery, colonization, social history, Latin America/Caribbean history, and gender, as well as economics, nation-state development and more. Strozier has the Goldsmiths’-Kress collection on microfilm, but not in this electronic database form (see below for call number information).
(Available at Strozier on Microfilm only)
British Periodicals (available from Proquest)
British Periodicals consists of collections that include over 500 periodicals from the late 17th century to the early 20th century – some 6 million pages. Allows for searching by content type for advertisements, letters, maps, and illustrations; detailed title histories with key editors and contributors; and integration with the Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals (available separately) that reveals authors for unattributed articles or articles written under a pseudonym.
. African Times, 1862-1892 (see Strozier online catalog)
NP417 African Herald; Royal Gazette and Sierra Leone, 1817-1828
NP314 Bahama Gazette, 1784-1821
NP313 Quebec Gazette, 1764-1817
NP263 Canton Register, 1827-1843
NP265 Canton Press, 1838-1844
NP315 Royal Gazette, 1804-1837
NP258 Chinese Times, 1886-1891
NP264 Chinese Courier, 1831-32; 1850-1941
NP65 North China Herald (title varies) 1850-1941
NP261 Peking Daily News, 1909
NP262 Peking Post, 1910
NP259 Peking & Tientsin Times, 1894-1902
NP407 Early English Newspapers, 1620-1840 (analyzed; see guide below)
NP401 Daily Advertiser, 1731-1795
NP345 London Gazette, 1665-1800
NP404 St James Chronicles, 1801-1866
NP12 Times (London) Index available online for years after 1905)
NP353 Sunday Times (Index available online for years after 1905)
NP347 Workers’ Dreadnought, 1914-1924
NP263 Hong Kong, Late Canton Register, 1827-1833
NP257 Daily Advertiser and Shipping Gazette, 1871-1876
NP255 Hong Kong Mercury and Shipping Gazette, 1866
NP448 Bombay Courier, 1793-1821
NP449 Calcutta Gazette, 1794-1816
NP450 Madras Courier, 1791-1818
NP52 Dublin Journal, 1809-1810
NP47 West Africa, 1917-1965
NP48 Hampshire Chronicle (Winchester), 1798-1816
NP49 Hull Packet, 1793-1816
NP50 Morning Chronicle (London), 1801-1815
NP51 Shrewsbury Chronicle, 1797-1815
. Manchester Guardian (See Strozier online catalog)
REFERENCE BOOKS AND INDEXES
Cox, Susan M., Early English newspapers: bibliography and guide to the microfilm collection.
STROZIER LIBRARY – Micromaterials – PN5114 .C68 1983
Palmegiano, E. M., The British Empire in the Victorian press, 1832-1867: a bibliography. New York : Garland Pub., 1987.
STROZIER LIBRARY — Reference — Z2021.C7 P32 1987
Ward, William Smith., Literary reviews in British periodicals, 1821-1826: a bibliography with a supplementary list of general (non-review) articles on literary subjects. New York: Garland Pub., 1977.
STROZIER LIBRARY — Reference — Z2013 .W36 1977 Shelved on Index Shelf 7
The Wellesley index to Victorian periodicals, 1824-1900: Tables of contents and identification of contributors, with bibliographies of their articles and stories.
STROZIER LIBRARY — Reference — Z2005 .H6
MICROFORM SETS WITH GUIDES/INDEXES
Mif 796-811 – Annuals (Various titles)
Index: Micr Z2014 D7 E5 1985
PR15 – English literary periodicals, 1681-1914
CD-ROM Index to set: STROZIER LIBRARY — Reference — PN5124.P4 I532 1995
Index to London Magazine (Reels 79-84) Micr AP4 R53
NP268 – Early British periodicals
Guide and Index: Micr Z6956.E5 B72 Index Reels 1-902
Mif 486 – History of the English Benedictine Congregation, 1558-1850
Guide: Micr BX3016 S64
Film 9441 – Papers of Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton, 1786-1845
Guide: Micr DA 535 P37 1984
Film 9440 – Papers of John Cam Hobhouse, 1786-1869
Guide: Micr DA536 B75 A3 1987
Film 9393 – Repetories of the Court of Aldermen (London) 1495-1835
Guide: Micr DA676 C68 pt. 1-2
Film 9497 – India in the age of Empire: The Journals of Michael Pakenham Edgeworth (1812-1881)
Guide: Micr DA475.2 E34 I53 1997
Film 9331 – John Stuart Mill: the economic, political, and feminist papers (The J.S. Mill, Harriet and Helen Taylor collection from the British Library of Political and Economic Science, London).
Guide: Micr H59 M54 J64 1988
Film 9465 – Civil disturbance, Chartism, and riots in 19th century England
Guide: Micr HD8396 C58 1980 pt.1-2
Film 9447 – Condition of the English working class: the papers of the Rev. Henry Solly, 1812-1903
Guide: Micr HD8399 E5 E447 1989
Film 9255 – Sex research: early literature from statistics to erotica
Guide: Micr HQ60 S49 1983
Film 4256 and Mif 4458 – Gerritsen collection of women’s history, 1543-1945
Guide: HQ 1121 G47 1983
Film 9302 – Radical and reforming periodicals for and by women
Guide: Micr HQ1593 S62
Film 9535 – Women’s language and experience, c1500-1940: women’s diaries and related sources
Guide: Micr HQ1593 W67 pt.1-3
Film 5870 – Anti-slavery collection from the Library of the Society of Friends
Guide: Micr HT857 A52 1978
Film 9409 – Shanghai Municipal police files, 1894-1949
Guide: Micr HV7850 S5 G85 1984
Mif 557 – Diary of Beatrice Webb, 1873-1943
Index: Micr HX243 W4 A73 1978
Film 9292 – Helen Blackburn pamphlet collection from Girton College, Cambridge
Guide: Micr JN979 B57 1987
Mif 1821 – British trials, 1660-1900
Guide: Micr KD370 B72 units 1-5
Film 9674 – Old Bailey proceedings
Guide: Micr KD7865.2 C4 1984
Mif 1397 – 19th century women writers
Guide: Micr PR1110 W6 N56
Film 9309 – Charles Dickens research collection
Guide: Micr PR4581 C46 1990
Film 1460 – 19th century children’s literature
Guide: Micr PZ5 N56
Mif 1404 – 19th century publishing, the book trade, and the diffusion of knowledge
Guide: Micr Z279 N56
Film 5868 and 5869P – History of photography
Guide: Micr Z7134 H572 1892
Film 4318 – Goldsmiths’-Kress Library of economic literature
Guide: Micr z7164 E2 G64
Film 9195 and Mif 1281 – Archives of the Fabian Society
Guide: Micr Z7164 S67 A72
Film 5244 Great Britain. Foreign Office – Slave trade, 1858-1892: Correspondence with the British Commissioners at Sierra Leone, Havana, the Cape of Good Hope, Loanda, and New York; and reports from British Vice-Admiralty Courts, and from British Naval officers, relating to the slave trade.
Guide: Micr Z7164 S6 G84
British Documents on Foreign Affairs (Print Sets) – Reports and papers from the Foreign Office confidential print.
Part I, From the mid-nineteenth century to the First World War.
Series A, Russia, 1859-1914 – STROZIER LIBRARY JX632 .B74 1983 v.1-6
Series B, The Near and Middle East, 1856-1914 – STROZIER LIBRARY JX632 .B745 1984 v.1, v.3-20
Series C, North America, 1837-1914 – STROZIER LIBRARY JX632 .B746 1986 v.1-15
Series D, Latin America, 1845-1914 – STROZIER LIBRARY JX632 .B747 1991 v.1-9
Series E, Asia, 1860-1914 – STROZIER LIBRARY JX632 .B748 1989 v.1-30
Series F, Europe, 1848-1914 – Remote Storage 2 Ask at Circulation JX632 .B7414 1987 v.1-35
Series G, Africa, 1848-1914 – STROZIER LIBRARY Subbasement – Ask at Circulation JX632 .B769 1995 v.1-25
Great Britain. Foreign Office. The Affairs of Kuwait, 1896-1905
STROZIER LIBRARY — Oversize — DS247.K87 G73 1971 v. 1-2
Great Britain. Foreign Office. British and Foreign State Papers
Remote Storage 2 Ask at Circulation JX103 .A3 v. 1(1812/14)-v. 166 (1976)
Use the comment space below to suggest additions to these research resources. Periodically, those suggestions will be debated by subject specialists, and the list will be updated. Ideally, though, readers will find a cluster of original resources in the course of doing their research projects, and then submit those resources as a group to Projects in History, along with a brief explanation of the rationale behind their choices. All authors of new lists will have the option of attaching a brief biography and contact information (see example below) to their list.
Charles Upchurch is an Associate Professor of British history at Florida State University. He received his Ph.D. in modern British history from Rutgers University in 2003, and his research focuses on nineteenth-century British gender and social history. His book, Before Wilde: Sex Between Men in Britain’s Age of Reform was published in 2009 by the University of California Press, and explores the ways in which family and class influenced the interpretation of same-sex desire in the period between 1820 and 1870. His work has been published in Gender and History, the Journal of the History of Sexuality, and the Journal of Social History. His current book project investigates a group of men in the British Parliament who were working to reduce the penalties for homosexual acts in the early nineteenth century. Chuck tweets from @cupchurch2