How to Find Articles through Historical Abstracts
This short Library video will show you how to identify journal articles and other scholarly sources through the database Historical Abstracts, one of the key search tools for history researchers at University of Guelph.
How to find sources through Historical Abstracts. Historical Abstracts is a database that allows you to search listings of scholarly journal articles, books, and other sources, including many in full-text. It covers world history from the year 1450 to present. Please note, however, that this database does not cover subjects related to North America. If you are looking for sources on U.S. and Canadian history, check out the database America: History and Life instead.
At the main search page for Historical Abstracts, enter combinations of your search terms at the top. In this example, I've indicated that I want to find sources that mention the words "Louis XIV" and "nobility."
At the bottom of the same page, you can add limits to your search in advance, like specifying the historical period you're studying or the language of publication. Click "Search," then review the list of results that come up. If your search has produced too many results, try adding further limits using the options to refine your results in the column on the left side of the page. If your search hasn't brought up the results you were hoping for, try changing the search terms you're using. This can produce results that you might not otherwise come across.
Selecting a Source
Once you've found a source that seems promising, click on its title to get further information and, if available, to access the full text. Before accessing and reading the whole source, review details such as the abstract to determine if it's going to be useful. An abstract is a short description. The official subject terms listed in the record are particularly useful. If you see one that's relevant, click on it to see if there are other sources classified in the same way.
Links on the left side of the page will indicate if the full text of the source is available in the database. If the source isn't available in full text in the database itself, click on the "Get it! Guelph" icon to check if full text is available through another one of our databases. Don't forget to try a variety of different searches using different combinations of terms to achieve different results. And if you have any further questions, just ask us.
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