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Research Guides

19th Century Resources

Why use article databases?

Article databases, or indexes, are useful for finding articles in a range of sources, including scholarly and popular journals, books, articles in books, government documents, and conference proceedings.

Categories of resources on this page:

  • e-Resources
  • Print resources


19th Century Masterfile 

  • Contains many relevant contemporary indexes to pre-1925 materials in a single searchable form
  • Includes 60 indexes to periodicals, books, newspapers, patents, US, and UK government documents, and the university subscribes to the following:
    • Multi-title Periodical Indexes
      • Includes Poole's Index to Periodical Literature (1802-1906), Jones and Chipman's Index to Legal Periodical Literature (1786-1922), An Alphabetical Subject Index and Index Encyclopedia to Periodical Articles on Religion, 1890-1899 (Ed. E. C. Richardson), The Psychological Index (1894-1905), Index to Periodicals (Ed. William T. Stead, 1890-1902), and Cumulative Index to a Selected List of Periodicals (1896-1899)
    • Book Indexes and Serial Records
      • Includes ALA Index to General Literature, Wright American Fiction II (1851-1875), 19th Century monograph records, and 19th Century periodical records
    • Periodical Indexes with Full Text Links
      • Includes detailed indexes of major periodical titles from the 19th Century
    • Patent and Government Document Indices
      • Includes Congressional Record File, Descriptive Catalogue of the Government Publications of the U. S. (1774-1881), A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents (1789-1897), Hansard's Index to Debates, House of Commons (1803-1830), Hansard's Index to Debates, House of Lords (1803-1830), Cobbett's Parliamentary History of England (1066-1803), and Subject Matter of Patents Issued by the U.S. (1790-1873)

The Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals, 1824-1900 

  • Lists journal contents for 45 major Victorian periodicals, identifies anonymous authors and pseudonyms, and provides a bibliography for each contributor
  • Online version of The Wellesley Index provides seamless linking between article records, contributor and pseudonym records, and periodical introductions, and includes links to article full text for selected titles in Periodicals Archive Online

Periodicals Archive Online 

  • Includes over two centuries of scholarly publication in 40 languages and dialects indexed, including English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and other Western languages
  • Search tip: limit Year of publication to the 19th century in Article Search

House of Commons Parliamentary Papers (British) 

  • Rich resource of primary sources, and fundamental to understanding current legislation, policy making, and the political environment
  • Includes detailed subject index, and searchable full-text available for 19th century (1801-1900) and 20th century bills, reports of Royal Commissions, reports of Select Committees, Accounts and Papers, and Command Papers
  • Vital to the historical record of Britain, the former Colonies, and the wider world

Index to Pre-1900 English Language Canadian Cultural and Literary Magazines

  • CD-ROM, available at main desk, Robarts Library Reference Department, 4th floor
  • Index to 190 early Canadian magazines whose contents deal mainly with cultural, intellectual, and literary concerns
  • Provides valuable insight into the intellectual and cultural values of English-speaking 19th century Canada, and reflect the country's social and political development
  • Magazines include The Nova-Scotia Magazine, The Literary Garland, Canadian Methodist Magazine, Dominion Illustrated, Massey's Illustrated, New Dominion Monthly, Rose-Belford's Canadian Monthly, The Week, and The Harp; also includes university publications, such as The Dalhousie Gazette, The [McGill] University Gazette, Acta Victoriana, The Queen's Gazette, and the McMaster University Monthly 

Readers' Guide Retrospective, 1890-1982 

  • Users may find this resource useful for late 19th century studies due to its early start date

Print resources

Cumulative author index for Poole's index to periodical literature, 1802-1906 Compiled and edited by C. Edward Wall, with the technical assistance of Wayne Somers
  • AI3 .P723
  • Included online within the 19th Century Masterfile, listed under e-Resources
Nineteenth century readers' guide to periodical literature, 1890-1899, with supplementary indexing, 1900-1922 
  • AI3 .N5
  • Provides author/subject/illustrator index to material in fifty-one periodicals (1003 volumes), an index to the book reviews, and a title index to the short stories/novels/plays/poems
Poole's index : date and volume key 
  • AI3 .P72
Poole's index to periodical literature 
  • Available online, and in print at AI3 .P7
Review of reviews
  • AP4 .R485, 1(1890)-86.

Secondary sources

Victorian Database Online 

  • Contains information on publications from 500+ journals on the following:
    • Painting, architecture and music
    • Philosophy and religion
    • Histories of England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, and the British Colonial Empire
    • Sociology, women's studies, law and education
    • Science, technology and medicine
    • Literature - drama, poetry, prose, and fiction

Historical Abstracts: from America: History and Life 

  • Historical Abstracts covers the history of the world from 1450 to the present (excluding the United States and Canada)
  • America: History and Life covers the history of the United States and Canada from prehistory to the present 
  • Search tip: users can search Historical Abstracts and America: History and Life simultaneously or separately