Library Reference Series



Of all the library resources for historical research, the most recent acquisitions and most powerful tools are two CD-ROM databases: America: History and Life on Disc, and Historical Abstracts on Disc.

America: History and Life on Disc is a bibliographic database covering scholarly literature
on the history and culture of the United States and Canada. The scope and contents of this CD-ROM resource are identical to those of the printed serial America:History and Life:. It includes article citations and abstracts, references to dissertations and information relevant scholarly books. This database is updated three times each year. Each update is cumulative, including previously released as well as newly added material.

This CD-ROM resource indexes more than 2,100 journals published in 40 languages. Of these periodicals, about 900 are published in the United States and Canada.

Historical Abstracts on Disc. is a bibliographic database covering the world's scholarly
literature in history. This resource is the electronic version of Historical Abstracts. It covers article abstracts and bibliographical citations of books and dissertations on the history of the world except the United States and Canada from 1450 to the present..

All branches of world history are included in this resource: political, diplomatic, military, economic social, cultural, religious, scientific and intellectual history. In addition, Historical Absctracts deals with the study of history as a discipline. In this context it includes topics such as bibliography, methodology of history, historiography, philosophy of history, role of individual historians, and the teaching of history. The update methods and schedules for this datatabase are the same as the ones for America: History and Life on Disc.

As good and as powerful as this resources may be, they should not be considered as the starting points for historical research. In order to make the best possible use of the excellent materials indexed in these two resources, students should locate and study first some basic materials related to the topic they are researching.


General Encyclopedias

Encyclopedia Americana (30 vols.) Ref. AE 5 E333 1994

This is a good comprehensive encyclopedia for general use. The major articles are signed and contain bibliographies. The Americana is very strong on information about American towns and cities. The last volume provides an alphabetical index in dictionary form.

New Encyclopedia Britannica (32 vols. + annual yearbook) Ref. AE 5 E363 1995

The Britannica is divided into four sections: 1. The Propaedia, a one volume outline of knowledge. 2. The Micropaedia, a twelve volume ready reference and index. 3. The Macropaedia, a seventeen volume knowledge in depth. 4. The Indexes, a two volume subject listing.

The articles in the Macropaedia are written in depth by top authorities in each field of knowledge. They include selective, briefly annotated bibliographies. The library has also retained the eleventh edition of this work which was released in 1910.

Indexes to Periodicals

(Periodicals are newspapers, magazines and journals).

Poole's Index to Periodical Literature (6 vols.) Ref. AI 3 P7 1938

This index covers the period 1802-1906. Though discontinued many years ago, this source is still an important index to American and English periodicals.

Nineteenth Century Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature(2 vols.); Reader's Guide toPeriodical Literature Ref. AI 3 R 496; Ref. AI 3 R48

The first work is an author, subject and title index to articles published in 51 periodicals between 1890 and 1899. The second resource is a cumulated author and subject index to approximately 200 periodicals published in the United States between 1900 and the present. Both sources originate from the same publisher and cover general topics.

Newspapers in Microform: Foreign Countries; Newspapers in Microform: United States
Ref. Z 6945 U515 1973; Ref. Z 6951 U469 1973-77

These works provide a listing of newspapers in the United States and foreign countries that have been copied into microform. They provide valuable holdings information and, thus, assist in the locating of newspapers that are often difficult to acquire.

C.R.I.S.: Combined Retrospective Index to Journals in History, 1838-1974.
Ref. D 1 C6

The first six volumes of this work deal with parts of the world other than the United States. An additional two volumes relate to American History. The resource covers all the major scholarly journals in the area of history that are published in the United States.

New York Times IndexRef. AI 21 N45

The library has a complete set of the index in microfilm from 1851 to the present. This collection is extremely useful for any research on events after 1851. A word of caution: page listings are not always accurate.


America: History and Life. Shelved alphabetically in the abstract section.

This resource is available in the paper form, but may also be searched in CD-ROM format as indicated above. The work provides article abstracts and citations of reviews and dissertations on the history and culture of the United States and Canada from prehistoric times to the present.

Historical Abstracts. Shelved alphabetically in the abstract section.

Produced by the same publisher as America: History and Life, this resource focuses on areas outside the United States and Canada. It is divided into two parts: Modern History Abstracts 1450-1914, and Twentieth Century Abstracts 1914 to the present. This resource is also available in both paper and as a CD-ROM database.

Dissertation Abstracts International. Shelved alphabetically in the abstract section.

This resource provides access to abstracts of doctoral dissertations that have been submitted to University Microfilms International from more than 500 universities throughout the world. Each abstract is prepared by the dissertation's author. Beginning with vol. 27, it appears in two separate sets: the humanities and social sciences, and sciences and engineering. Dissertation Abstracts may be searched in both paper and computer database formats.


Many online biographical sources are located on the Library web page at

Finding Tools

Biobase.Microfiche located by the microfiche reader in the Reference area.

Biobase is strictly a finding aid, it does not contain actual biographical information. It provides a master index to biographical resources which do contain biographical sketches. Although the majority of the sources indexed in this work covers individuals in the United States, sources that cover individuals in foreign countries are also included.

United States Biographical Sources

Dictionary of American BiographyRef. E 176 D562

This dictionary contains information about noteworthy persons who lived in the territories that are now part of the United States. The most recent supplement was published in 1988 and is current up to 1970. There are approximately 18,000 biographical sketches. The articles are extensive and include bibliographies.

National Cyclopaedia of American Biography.Ref. E 176 N28

This is the most comprehensive American biographical source. The articles are unsigned and do not contain bibliographies. It contains many portraits and facsimiles of autographs. Because the work is not arranged alphabetically, the indexes must be consulted.

Notable Names in American History: A Tabulated Register.Ref. E 176 N89 1973

This is one of the best sources for chronological lists of officeholders such as Presidents of the United States, cabinet members, Congressmen, judges, governors, mayors of major cities, church leaders, presidents of universities, etc. Coverage begins with the Colonial Era and ends with 1973.

Who's Who in America; Who Was Who in America.Ref. E 176 W6422 ; Ref. E 176 W64

Both published by Marquis Who's Who, these works contain biographical material of living and deceased Americans, respectively. The information that is provided has in most cases been supplied by the biographees themselves or in the case of deceased individuals by relatives or legal representatives.

Notable American Women.Ref. CT 3260 N57

This multi-volume work begins with a 50 page discussion of women from the colonial years to the present. Entries are alphabetical by last name, and each article is accompanied by an extensive bibliography.

International Biographical Sources

Current Biography.Ref. CT 100 C8

Current Biography is published monthly with yearly cumulations. It includes hundreds of biographies and obituaries of persons of various nationalities and biographical sketches include portraits, and all include a short list of references.

Dictionary of National Biography.Ref. DA 28 D42

Our library contains this work beginning with its first volume published in 1882. This resource includes the biographies of deceased individuals from Britain and the Commonwealth. The first volume contains references starting from "earliest historical period." The essays are primarily written by people who knew or worked with the noted individual.

McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of World Biography.Ref. CT 103 M27

The emphasis of this encyclopedia is on cultural and social history of the world. The information that it contains is very accurate and the articles are documented with lists of further readings, which are in effect working bibliographies. Most of the articles are accompanied by portraits.

Newsmakers.Ref. CT 120 C663

Introduced in 1985 as Contemporary Newsmakers, the work is now simply called Newsmakers. This work is published three times per year with each issue containing approximately 50 entries, plus an additional yearly cumulative volume. The individuals listed are those who have been at the forefront of international news. Each article provides a portrait and lists of books, magazines, and newspapers where additional information may be acquired. There is also an obituaries section.


American Heritage Pictorial Atlas of United States History. Ref. G 1201 S1 A4 1966

This atlas contains beautiful color maps and good textual descriptions of the events or movements depicted in the maps. It has an excellent section on the United States' role in World War II.

Atlas of American History.Ref. G 1201 S1 F4 1990

Designed to accompany the Dictionary of American History, this work contains about 200 maps, many of which are demographic in nature. It illustrates various social and economic developments.

Historical Atlas of Religion in America.Ref. G 1201 E4 G3 1976

This work provides an excellent background for the examination of the religious history of the United States.

Historical Maps on File. Ref. G 1033 M128 1984

This is mainly a collection of maps designed to be xeroxed and used to illustrate research papers, lectures, etc.

Times Atlas of World History. Ref. G 1030 T54 1984

This work is known for its quality and accuracy. The scope of the atlas is world-wide, and is illustrated with color maps.


Though not extensively used in the context of historical research, almanacs can be very useful for ready reference--to check a date, a name, or to find some statistical information.

Information Please Almanac, Atlas and Yearbook.Current issue available at the Reference Desk; Ref. AY 64 I55

World Almanac and Book of Facts.Current issue available at the Reference Desk; Ref. 67 N5 W7

Collections of Documents

Annals of America. Ref. E 173 A793 1976

The Annalscontain not only documents of great historical significance such as the Constitution of the United States, but also a large number of contemporary accounts of significant events in American history. The texts selected provide an excellent background for the understanding of the life, events, and culture of each period in the history of the United States.

Documents of American History.Ref. E 173 C66 1973c

This work includes significant historical documents from 1492 to 1973. It is indexed by subject and by personal name.

Statistical Sources

Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970.Ref. HA 202 B7 1976

This two volume set is a supplement to the Statistical Abstract including comparative historical statistics.

Statistical Abstract of the United States.Ref. HA 202

Published by the United States Government, this is the best single source for information on quantitative statistics on the political, social, economic and demographic organization of the United States. References are given for the sources of the tables. An online version is available from the Library web page.


Historical Dictionaries and Encyclopedias Related to American History

Concise Dictionary of American History.Ref. E 174 D522 1983

As the title indicates, this work is a concise version of the Dictionary of AmericanHistory. It provides a short summary of a particular event.

Dictionary of American History.Ref. E 174 D52 1976

This work contains some 7,200 articles on political, economic, social, military and cultural history, but it omits biography. The articles are signed and include very brief bibliographic notes.

Encyclopedic Dictionary of American History.Ref. E 174 H8

This encyclopedia is geared to the non-specialist in the field of American History. It covers movements, events, organizations, book titles, and more than 400 brief biographies.

Guide to American Law. Ref. KF 156 G 77

This is an excellent source on the legal and constitutional aspects of American History. Of the twelve volume set, the eleventh volume contains a collection of legal documents and the twelfth is an index to the entire set. Yearly supplements are available.

Oxford Companion to American History.Ref. E 174 J6

This single volume is a very good reference work on American History. It is concise and precise.

Webster's Guide to American History.Ref. E 174.5 W4

The guide is divided into three major divisions plus an index. The first part is a chronology of events with excerpts from contemporary documents. The second part contains tables and maps. The third part presents biographical sketches of more than 1,000 individuals.

Historical Dictionaries and Encyclopedias Related to World History

Encyclopedia of World History. Ref. D 21 L27 1968

An excellent single source on world history, this work contains tables, maps and genealogies of royal families. It is devoted primarily to political, military, and diplomatic history.

Harper's Encyclopedia of the Modern World: A Concise Reference to History from 1760 to the Present. Ref. D 205 H35 1970

This work is divided into two parts: a basic chronology and a topical chronology. The first part approaches history by state and religion. The second deals with it on a world-wide basis.

New Illustrated Encyclopedia of World History.Ref. D 21 L276

This work is an illustrated edition of the Encyclopedia of World History.

Books of Dates and Chronologies

Encyclopedia of American Facts and Dates. Ref. E 174.5 C3 1987

This work is arranged both chronologically and in columnar form. Each of the four parallel columns covers a different area of American history and life.

New York Public Library Book of Chronologies.Ref. D 11 W47 1990

A relatively new work, this is an excellent source of chronologies on various subjects. At the end of the book is a selected bibliography.

Timetables of History. Ref. D 11 G78 1982

This work provides a columnar time-line of people and events dating from 5000 B.C. to modern times.


Guide to Reference Books.Ref. Z 1035.1 S43 1986

Also known by the name of the author, Sheehy, this source provides a subject listing of the major reference sources in most major fields. One of the books five sections is specifically devoted to history and area studies. The author describes the intention of each work. An effort is make only to include high quality resources.

Harvard Guide to American History. Ref. Z 1236 F77 1974

This is a basic reference bibliography on American history. It is considered an indispensable source in the field.

History of the United States of America: A Guide to Information Sources.Ref. Z 1236 C33

Annotations are included in this bibliography of more than 2,000 works on American history. Although most of the books listed are scholarly in nature,some popular sources are also provided.


A comprehensive listing of history-related journals held by La Sierra University is located in the colored pages at the back of the periodicals holdings list. The following list is a selection designed to show the variety of periodicals which are available.

American Historical Review
American Quarterly

Center for Reformation Research. Newsletter.
Current History
Fides et Historia
Historical Journal
History of Religions
History Teacher
History Today
Journal of American History
Journal of Interdisciplinary History
Journal of Modern History
Journal of Social History
Journal of the History of Ideas
Oral History Association. Newsletter
Oral History Review
Reviews in American History
Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society

19th Century Journals for Women's History

Godey's Lady's Book and Magazine
Godey's Magazine
Harper's Bazaar
Ladies' Repository