Library Research Guide
This page is focused on how to find materials that you might need when researching for your history of gaming projects. In particular, we focus on finding primary sources through the Libraries' databases and through public archives with digitized collections.
Information about essential sources for history, like databases with scholarly journal articles, ebook databases, and Interlibrary Loan is covered on the main page for this research guide.
As a special bonus, we've also included a cache of documents that intrepid librarians found that related to the mass production of penicillin during World War II.
These databases are good starting points for primary source materials. The “best” primary source databases in History will vary depending on your research question.
Reading the database description and the dates covered will help you decide which one to use.
We have many more databases with primary source materials. Find them by using the "Primary" tag on our databases page.
These databases cover a diversity of publications and time periods and are typically digitized copies of documents, so that you can see them in as close to their original form as possible.
Documents and materials like photographs, maps, audio interviews that are no longer in use may be stored by an organization in an archive so that they can be consulted by researchers (and the curious) in the future.
An archive may include:
Typically, an archive is created by a government entity (usually because the law requires it), a cultural entity (like a university that wants to preserve its history), or a corporation (because they need records to understand how products were created, business decisions were made, etc...).
A digital archive is simply when an institution or, more rarely, an individual makes digital copies of archival material available online.
Finding digital archives is a mix of experience and perseverance. It's easier if you have at least some basic background information about your event or person, so be sure to look for some articles using the Libraries' databases.
We recommend these digital archives as good starting points for many research topics:
Still not finding what you need?
The trick is that the document that you would love to find may not have been created, or preserved, or digitized. But that kind of makes this like a treasure hunt! You never know what materials you'll actually find and what you can learn from them.
Contact your friendly librarians if:
Consult these documents related to the scientific advances leading to the mass production of penicillin during World War II.
[Pamphlets re Penicillin Treatment in the Second World War, bound into a volume.] 1943-1945. (Digital archive: Wellcome Library.)
"Penicillin Past, Present and Future: The Development and Production of Penicillin, England, 1944," (Photograph Collection) United Kingdom Ministry Of Information, [n.d.] (Digital Archive: Imperial War Museum)