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* History

Sources for the study of history at the University of Rochester

What is a Scholarly Article?

Scholarly articles are written by experts as a way to communicate their research findings and ideas to other scholars and researchers in the field.  Typically published in journals, scholarly articles (also called academic, peer-reviewed, or refereed sources) contain new and original research, while also building on the research of others.  These sources typically undergo a rigorous publication process that includes a peer-review system in which other content experts provide feedback on an article's content and methodology before the article is accepted for publication.

Using scholarly articles can help you:

  • Build context around your topic and find evidence to support your arguments or ideas
  • Interpret and analyze primary sources or historical events effectively
  • Understand the scholarly conversation that already exists on a topic
  • Identify other sources or authors that might be relevant to your research
  • Develop your skills at assessing research material in the field

For an example of the peer-review process, check out the Journal of American History (March 1997) – it includes Referees' Reports for Joel Williamson's article, "Wounds Not Scars: Lynching, the National Conscience, and the American Historian."

Databases with Scholarly Articles

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The University of Rochester provides access to a wide array of databases including many focused on history.  The databases listed below represent some of the most commonly used tools for history research and serve as a good starting point for almost any topic or research question. If you need help searching in any of these databases, remember you can always reach out to a librarian!


History Databases


Multidisciplinary Databases