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HIST 3372 / HIST 5380: Historiography

Get started researching topics in historiography.


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Kristina Claunch
Library (NGL) Room 223G

Historiographical Background

To begin understanding the historiography in a certain area of history, it can be helpful to consult reference books such as specialized dictionaries and encyclopedias.


Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL) is one powerful tool for this. A search for historiography along with a keyword related to a certain area of history--for example, historiography and "American Revolution"--will find relevant entries from encyclopedias and other reference books.


If your first search for a historical topic is unsuccessful, try browsing instead:
- Search for just historiography;
- After the results are displayed, look in the left side-bar for the heading Subjects;
- C
lick the View More link;
- (Note that the Subject list shows narrower subject options each time you click on a subject;)
- Browse the list of subjects for a relevant concept and click on it to see reference book entries.

Once you identify a promising entry on a topic's historiography:
- Read the entry's sub-headings;
- These often reflect major periods or schools of thought in the historical writing on this topic;
- Each sections will then explain the perspective used in that school;
- Usually it will name the most important or representative historians that wrote with that school's perspective.


Other useful tools for digging into reference works include Oxford Reference Online and Reference Universe. You can also search the SHSU library catalog for books and ebooks that cover the historiography of specific areas of History.


Best Bets to Search for Historical Background Information


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