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HIS 124 - History of the United States to 1877

Background & Secondary Sources

sECONDARY sources


Once you identify your subject for research, you'll want to discover some basic background information to answer the following questions:

  • Who: names of significant people, movements, or organizations
  • When: beginning and ending dates for individuals or events
  • Where: watch for place name changes in the past
  • What: significance of subject can affect how many records from the past still exist
  • More Info: watch for further references or citations that you'll want to uncover for additional information


Armed with names, dates, and other details from the background sources, you'll dive into Primary & Secondary Source search tools. This page highlights Secondary Source tools while the previous page covered Primary Sources.

* Special thanks for the librarians at Loyola Marymount University (LA) with their creation of much of the content regarding primary source searching on this guide.

Background Info Resources

Background Information Resources


The series, Oxford History of the United States, is a major scholarly work that provides background, factual information covering U.S. history. In these volumes, you will discover content as well as cited sources you can search for in order to identify additional sources.

History Background Info Sources

Oxford History of the United States

Other Background Resources


Secondary Sources

Secondary Sources (Peer-reviewed)

History Databases

History-Specific Tools

These resources offer a plethora of history-specific articles, books, essays, etc. Dive in!

General Research Tools

More General Research Tools

It never hurts to explore other multidisciplinary databases to discover what history-related content they hold. Try these Library tools.

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