This is the "Home" page of the "History: Secondary Sources" guide.
Alternate Page for Screenreader Users
Skip to Page Navigation
Skip to Page Content
San Francisco State University
Guide to history research at the San Francisco State University library, including finding books, journal articles, dissertations, government documents, statistics, and more.
Last Updated: Nov 5, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Home Print Page

Primary Sources


Research tools

Two research tools that you may find useful:

  • LIBX
    A FireFox (web browswer) plug-in that allows you to search for items in ourLibrary collections from any web page. It allows you to search for books, articles, and other kinds of research resources in InvestiGator, Google Scholar, WorldCat and elsewhere right from the webpage where you found it (like Amazon, Google and Yahoo, Worldcat, etc.).
    A FireFox (web browswer) plug-in that allows you to collect, manage, and cite your research sources. It lives right where you do your work — in the web browser itself.

Getting Started

Are you new to historical research? Don't panic, it's not as overwhelming as you might think.

Generally, you should start your research by looking for secondary sources. The two main secondary sources in history are Books and Journal Articles. Secondary sources provide context and background for your research, and will help you to narrow your topic and help to identify which primary sources you wish to find.

More specialized research may require you to find other types of information, such as biographies, book reviews, chronologies, geographical information, and statistics.

Advanced students may wish to look for dissertations and theses.

Don't forget that there are books and websites that are guides to history research sources & methods.

If you are looking for primary sources, please see the History: Primary Sources research guide.


Quick Research Tutorials

Intro to College Level Research
An overview of college research, including the web and library resources.


Creating a Research Strategy
How to turn your topic into a search that will WORK!


Evaluating Information
How to evaluate the information you locate, including the difference between scholarly and non-scholarly sources.

Why and how to format your citations in APA and MLA style.


Citation Help


Profile Image
Kendra Van Cleave
Contact Info
Main Library - 3rd Floor
Send Email
Office Hours:
By appointment

Loading  Loading...