Innovation and Inspiration: The Campaign for Kansas University

HIST 300 - Introduction to Historical Thinking

Secondary Sources

Secondary sources interpret historical events within a social or historical context. They rely both on primary sources (to represent the historical event under question) and other secondary sources (to place the event within the context existing research and theories.)

Researchers writing secondary sources may disagree with each other or focus on different aspects of an historical event. Researchers approach historical events through the lens of:

  • the time period in which they are written
  • theories or attitudes like manifest destiny, feminism, critical race theory, colonialism

A more complete understanding is gained when multiple sources are consulted. 

Searching databases for journal articles & reports

K-State Libraries subscribes to many databases for historians.

Start your search with these history databases:

Other Relevant Fields

History is an interdisciplinary field; you may discover valuable information in our databases for other disciplines.   

American Ethnic Studies

Dissertations & Theses

Finding articles in JSTOR

Click through each tab for a step-by-step guide explaining how to find articles using JSTOR.

The databases link is located on the Libraries' homepage in the Search It box. 

1. Find databases by name. If you know the name of the database, click on the first letter of it's name. To access JSTOR, click on the letter "J".

2. Find databases by subject/discipline. These are roughly organized by College/Department. For History, click on: Humanities & Social Sciences, then History.

Bonus: Tags are used to label databases with unique features (lexile scores) or types of sources (primary sources, music, or videos) 

 

how to use databases

 

 

Find JSTOR at the bottom of the "J" page. 

 

Finding J-Stor using databases

 

Advanced Search offers options to focus your search so that you don't get 100,000 irrelevant articles. 

 

Screenshot of JSTOR home page with link to Advanced Search

1. Each line is for a separate concept

2.  Insert OR between synonyms or related terms to tell JSTOR that you will accept results with any of those words. 

3. Click "Articles." This removes the hundreds of book reviews that will appear otherwise. 

4. See the next slide for more selections you can make on the bottom of this search page. 

 

 

Screenshot of JSTOR Advanced Search screen

5. Limit your search to articles from journals relevant to your topic. (JSTOR's default search looks at all of the disciplines.)

  • Not sure what is included in a discipline? Click the arrow to the left of the check box to reveal a list of all the journals grouped under that heading.
  • You can un-check or check specific titles from this list, too.
  • You can choose multiple disciplines just by checking them.
 

 

Screen shot of limiting options on JSTOR's Advanced Search page

 

  • Article title
  • Author(s)
  • volume: 47, Issue (No. 4) (Winter, 2005) Page numbers: 551-570
  • Journal title
  • Read or download articles
  • Sentences from article that include your search terms

Screenshot of JSTOR search results page

 

 

  • Citation tools–saves to programs like RefWorks. Does not create the citation for you.
  • Use the stable URL to share or save the link to the article.
  • The arrow turns the pages.

Screenshot of an article page in JSTOR

 

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