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A Guide to World History

Reference Sources

Oxford Bibliographies - combines the best features of an annotated bibliography and a high-level encyclopedia to guide researchers to the best available scholarship. Bibliopgraphies relevant to this class might include Atlantic History, British and Irish Literature, and Renaissance and Reformation. Each article includes an introduction written by a top scholar in the field. Also includes expert recommendations on the best works available in each discipline – whether it be a chapter, a book, a journal article, a website, an archive, or data set – to streamline the research process.

Bibliography of British and Irish History (BBIH) - guide to what has been written about British and Irish history from Roman period to present day. This service is a partnership between Royal Historical Society, Institute of Historical Research and Brepols Publishers. A "help pack" (user guide) is available here

Bibliography of English Women Writers (1500 - 1640) - contains a bibliography of numerous known and unknown women writers. Offers short descriptions of many of the texts described.

Gascoigne, Bamber. The Encyclopedia of Britain (New York: Macmillan Pub. Co., 1993) - a rare and unique reference works that is informative, entertaining, easy to use, and attractively packaged. At 720 pages, it has much broader coverage than The Cambridge Historical Encyclopedia of Great Britain and Ireland. The preface provides clear explanations of how the book is arranged and how headwords, population figures, titles, and dates are used. Cross-references are scattered throughout the body of the work, which is arranged alphabetically. There is no table of contents or index. Nevertheless the work is easy to use and arranged in a manner that allows for the rapid location of a subject.

Wagner, J. A. (John A.) Historical Dictionary of the Elizabethan World: Britain, Ireland, Europe, and America (Phoenix, AZ: Oryx Press, 1999) The first dictionary of history to focus exclusively on the reign of Elizabeth I, Wagner's guide provides its users with clear definitions and descriptions of people, events, institutions, ideas, and terminology relating in some significant way to the Elizabethan period.

Encyclopedia of Early Modern History - the online English version of the Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit, a fifteen-volume reference work published in print between 2005 and 2012. Over 4000 entries offer a multi-faceted view on the decisive era in European history stretching roughly from 1450 to 1850.

Cambridge Histories Online - First published in 1902, the is a globally respected series of over 400 volumes spanning fifteen subject areas across the humanities and social sciences, with a concentration on political and cultural history, literature, philosophy, religious studies, music and the arts. Continually updated and searchable by author, title and subject, this collection represents an impressive breadth and depth of scholarship that offers an unmatched resource for today's historians.

Cambridge Companions Online - 829 authoritative guides, written by leading experts, offering lively, accessible introductions to major writers, artists, philosophers, topics, and periods. It is fully searchable by author, title, topic, or theme.

Literary Encyclopedia - over 5100 authoritative profiles of authors, works and literary and historical topics, written by over 2000 specialists from universities around the world. Also lists over 22,000 works by date, country and genre. Covers canonical literature originally written in English, French, German and Russian, and is extending its coverage of Italian, Spanish, Latin and Greek. Data can be arrayed by date, country and genre.

Subject Headings

England -- Civilization -- 16th century
Great Britain -- Civilization -- 16th century
Great Britain -- Politics and government -- 1485-1603
Great Britain -- History -- Tudors, 1485-1603
Tudor, House of 

Academic Journal Article Databases


Historical Abstracts (1955-) historical coverage of the world from 1450 to the present (excluding the United States and Canada), from over 2,000 journals published worldwide.

Modern Language Association (MLA) International Bibliography - an index to literary, linguistic, and folklore scholarship (books and articles) published throughout the world. Indexes material published from 1926-present.


JSTOR database with full texts of journal articles and eBooks in the social sciences and humanities

Google Scholar


Primary Sources

Early English Books Online (EEBO) (1475-1700) - contains over 125,000 titles listed in Pollard & Redgrave's Short-Title Catalogue (1475-1640), Wing's Short-Title Catalogue (1641-1700), and the Thomason Tracts (1640-1661).

Early European Books Collection, series 1-4 - drawn from major repositories including the Danish Royal Library, the National Central Library in Florence, the National Library of France, the National Library of the Netherlands, and the Wellcome Library in London. Offers a diverse array of printed sources from the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries. Browsing by country can give you a sense of what EEBC has from England.

Medieval and Early Modern Sources Online (MEMSO) - a searchable database of rare books on medieval and early modern Britain and Ireland

Making of the Modern World: The Goldsmiths'-Kress Library of Economic Literature (1460 - 1850) - presents more than 61,000 books from the period 1460-1850, and 466 pre-1906 serials.