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Research Guides

History Research

Comprehensive guide to research resources in History at the University of Toronto, with a particular emphasis on primary sources. For beginning to advanced researchers.


Interdisciplinary and general databases

Subject-specific databases

Historical Periodicals

Retrospective journals and indexes: 20th century

Retrospective journals and indexes: 19th century

Retrospective journals and indexes: 18th century

Major Collections

By Theme

Transatlantic Slavery and Abolition 




This section provides access to historical newspapers up to the mid-20th century. For a more comprehensive guide use: Newspapers Current and Historical

Sources for historical international newspapers

Canadian historical newspapers

U.S. Historical Newspapers

U.S. Individual Historical Newspapers 

United Kingdom and Ireland Historical Newspapers 

Audio / Video Historical Resources


See the Image and Visual Resource Collections guide for a comprehensive links to image and visual resource databases. A few major resources are listed below.

Oral History

Oral history may be in manuscript, print, microform, audio, or video format. It may be identified through a variety of tools throughout this guide, using relevant keywords.

For example, to find oral histories in the library catalogue, use keywords such as the following with your subject:

oral history

oral histories



Archives and Special Collections at the University of Toronto

Indexes to Archival Collections

Locating archival collections (including those in U of T Libraries) often requires searching archival databases or visiting the website of the archival repository. Some key databases are listed here.


For more details on finding theses, consult the Theses & Dissertations research guide.

Encyclopedias and Dictionaries

Finding Encyclopedias and Dictionaries

To find history research related encyclopedias and dictionaries in the library catalogue follows these steps:

1) Access Subjects A to Z on the Library home page, and choose a subject, such as:


2) Use the library catalogue advanced search

Enter your topic followed by "encyclopedia" or "historical dictionaries" as in the following examples: 

holocaust encyclopedias 
Africa history encyclopedias 
Peru historical dictionaries


Finding Biographies

Use the following guide to identify national and international biographical databases and dictionaries:

Biography & Autobiography Research Guide


To find biographical dictionaries in the library catalogue, do a keyword search, as follows:

Enter the 'name of the country' and 'biography' and 'dictionary'

Example: india biography dictionary

To find biographical monographs in the library catalogue, enter the name of the person and the keyword 'biography.' To focus, once you are in the catalogue, choose biography under subjects on the side menu.

Example: louis riel biography

Citation help