Tips for historical research

Encyclopedias and Other Overviews

Researching an historical event or person for the first time? Want an overview to place everything in context before you start digging deeper? Try these sources!


CLIO Notes

CLIO Notes offers a birds eye view of history by permitting researchers to scan history chronologically, select events or movements from that chronology, and read brief synopsis those events. CLIO Notes also offers suggested search terms that can be used to find articles.
CLIO Notes can be found in two databases: America: History and Life (U.S. and Canadian history) and Historical Abstracts (world history).

To access CLIO Notes, choose the appropriate database (for example, if you are researching Tianamen Square, you'd go to Historical Abstracts.
The link to CLIO Notes is in the blue bar at the very top of the screen.



We have many history encyclopedias in K-State Libraries. A quick way to search our catalog for a relevant encyclopedia is to do a keyword search for your topic, plus the words history and encyclopedia. In some cases you can leave off "history." For instance if you are researching the Ottoman Empire, a defined historical period (and empire!) you can forego "history."

For example, I am interested in the history of women, so in the search box, I'll enter: women history encyclopedia and then set the option to Search by: Keyword. Notice that the search tool automatically places an and in between each term. This is just the search engine telling itself to only bring back records that include all of those words.

The cool thing, is that once I've found even one title that looks relevant, I can either write down the call number and go to that section in the library and browse to find more information, or use the subject headings to find other, similar titles.