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Europe 1660-1870: Home

Guide for HIST 3372 course taught by Dr. Shirley, Fall 2018


Welcome to the library research guide for Dr. Shirley's History 3372 class, "Europe 1660-1870," taught in Fall 2018.


The reference section is often the best place to start your research, not only for background information but for bibliographies of other sources--especially primary sources.  The books listed below are only a sample; you’ll find more with similar call numbers for their topics (DA for Britain, DC for France, DD for Germany, etc.), or see me to find books on your specific topics. 

  • Europe:  1450 to 1789, Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World (REF D 209 .E977 2004, 5 vols.)
  • Berkshire Encyclopedia of World History (REF D 23 .B45 2005, 5 vols.)
  • Great Events from History:  The 17th Century, 1601-1700 (REF D 246 .O68 2006, 2 vols.)
  • Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment (REF B 802 .E553 2003, 4 vols.; also online)
  • Research Guide to European Historical Biography, 1450-Present (REF CT 214 .R47 1992, 8 vols.)
  • Oxford Companion to British History (REF DA 34 .O93 1997; 2nd ed. 2015 available online)
  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (REF DA 28 .D577 2004, 60 vols.) [British biography]
  • Encyclopedia of French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars (REF DC 220 .E53 2006, 3 vols.)
  • Historical Dictionary of the French Revolution, 1789-1799 (REF DC 147 H57 1894, 2 vols.)
  • Historical Dictionary of Napoleonic France (REF DC 201 .H673 1985)
  • France:  A Reference Guide from the Renaissance to the Present (REF DC 35 .R644 2004)
  • Italy:  A Reference Guide from the Renaissance to the Present (REF DG 461 .S277 2004)
  • Austria-Hungary & the Successor States:  A Reference Guide from the Renaissance to the Present (REF DB 33 .R66 2003)
  • Germany:  A Reference Guide from the Renaissance to the Present (2006, e-book)
  • Spain and Portugal:  A Reference Guide from the Renaissance to the Present (2007, e-book)
  • Encyclopedia of Russian History (REF DK 14 .E533 2003, 4 vols.)
  • Encyclopedia of World Biography (REF CT 103 .E56 1997, 30 vols.)
  • Women in World History (REF HQ 1115 .W600 1999, 17 vols., also available online in the Gale Virtual Reference Library)
  • The Encyclopedia of Protestantism (REF BX 4811.3 .E533 2004, 4 vols.)
  • Dictionary of the Middle Ages (REF D 114 .D5 1982, 13 vols.)
  • Encyclopedia of the Renaissance (REF CB 361 .E52 1999, 6 vols.)
  • Oxford Encyclopedia of the Reformation (REF BR 302.8 .O93 1996, 4 vols.)

For primary sources:

  • Milestone Documents in World History (vol. 2 1082-1833, vol. 3 1839-1941; REF D 5 .M53 2010)
  • Documents in British History (REF DA 26 .D558 1993, 2 vols.)
  • Documents in German History (REF DD 3 .S55 1975)

If you’re researching Elizabethan times, you may also want to look at:

  • Tudor England (REF DA 315 .T753 2001) (articles on Education, Drake etc.)
  • Historical Dictionary of the Elizabethan World (REF DA 357 .W34 1999)
  • William Shakespeare:  His World, His Work, His Influence (REF PR 2976 .W5354 1985; vol. 1 has an article on “Education and Apprenticeship” but this volume is currently missing; so is a volume that might be useful of The Cambridge Guide to the Worlds of Shakespeare, REF PR 2976 .C295 2016 v. 1)
  • Oxford Encyclopedia of Maritime History (REF VK 15 .O84 2007; article on Francis Drake)


Most reference books on the history of Europe are in the REF D area (see this for a further breakdown).   Books on historiography are in the REF D 13 to REF D 20 range. 


You may also want to check a couple of our databases that provide full text from reference books.

Gale Virtual Reference Library:  provides PDF full-text for several multi-volume history reference sources, including Women in World History, History in Dispute, and the Dictionary of American History; also sources such as the Encyclopedia of Religion and the 28-volume Complete Dictionary of Scientific Bibliography.

Oxford Reference Online:  provides full test for many reference books (though most are only a single volume), including A Dictionary of British History (3rd ed. 2015), Oxford Companion to British History (2nd ed. 2015; our print edition is from 1997), The Kings and Queens of Britain (2009), the Oxford Companion to Military History (2004), the Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea (2nd ed. 2006), and the Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment (2004, also available in print).


For biographical reference sources, you may want to look at the Biographical Resources section of the  Reference guide.


Books and Ebooks

Use the online catalog to find books, e-books, DVDs, and CDs in the Lewis Library.

A "words or phrase" search will usually get some results, e.g., "italian nationalism" (or "ital$ and nationalism"in the catalog $ is the truncation symbol, so ital$ retrieves "Italy," "Italian," "Italians" etc.).  But to search more efficiently, determine the Library of Congress subject heading(s) for your topic (see this guide for tips on how to do this).  For example, do a title search for “glorious revolution,”  then look at the “Catalog record” of a relevant book and you'll see that the subject heading is:

Great Britain--History--Revolution of 1688.


Here are some subject headings that looked relevant for some of the topics submitted:

Great Britain--History, Naval--Tudors, 1485-1603.

Great Britain--History, Naval.


Great Britain--History--Stuarts, 1603-1714.

Great Britain--History--Civil War, 1642-1649.




Napoleonic Wars, 1800-1815.

France--History, Military--1789-1815.

Napoleon I, Emperor of the French, 1769-1821--Military leadership.




Be sure to consult bibliographies for further sources, especially primary sources.  If you find citations for books (or articles) our library lacks, see the reference librarian (or e-mail him at to order them on interlibrary loan.  Try to allow two weeks for interlibrary loan books (the average is 7 days, but some take longer).


Primary sources:  Adding “sources” or “personal narratives” to the “Subject” box may help you find some primary sources:


Thirty Years' War, 1618-1648 Sources.

Great Britain. Royal Navy--History--16th century Sources. 

Napoleonic Wars, 1800-1815--Personal narratives

You can also try an “Author” search for participants in events (e.g., Napoleon I) to find their memoirs, journals, letters, papers, etc.




WorldCatWorldCat allows you to search practically every library in the US (and some in other countries), so it can help you identify books you can order on interlibrary loan.  Again, determine the subject headings for your topic, for example:

Thirty Years' War, 1618-1648 -- Causes. 


As in the online catalog, try including “sources” or “personal narratives” in the subject box. 


Don’t hesitate to ask the reference librarian for help; WorldCat is a valuable tool, but the GALILEO interface isn’t user-friendly (though it’s slightly better than the free site).  Read the “description” and full record to make sure the books you find are appropriate (not too old, or juvenile fiction) and to determine whether they’re scholarly.


If you find books you’d like to order on interlibrary loan, please e-mail the reference librarian at .  You can paste the citations from WorldCat (please don’t use the “Request Item through Interlibrary Loan” button in WorldCat).


Google Books:  Books published before 1922 are in the public domain and may be available free online in Google Books (or similar sites such as the Internet Archive or Hathi Trust).  For example, I found an 1818 book Narrative of a Journey in the Interior of China… that looks as if it should be a primary source for the Amherst embassy; you can download it here.


Use GALILEO databases to find articles from journals.  The best databases for this course will probably be:

Others that may be worth trying, especially if your subject isn’t just historical:


In most databases (such as Historical Abstracts), you won’t be searching the full text of the article, but the bibliographic record (title, subject terms, and abstract; the abstract provides a summary of the article’s content).  Rather than typing many words into the search box, you should type single words or short terms, linked with Boolean operators:  AND, OR, NOT.  We have separate library guides if you want to review database searching or Boolean operators.


You may also want to use truncation; a search for educat* will retrieve “education," "educator(s)," "educated," etc.


A “FullText Finder” link should take you to full text in another database.  If there’s no full text, e-mail the reference librarian; we may have the journal on the shelf, or we can order the article on interlibrary loan.              


As with the catalog, look for “Subject terms” (also called "descriptors") in Historical Abstracts, e.g.:  Stuart Period, Great Britain, 1603-1714



JSTOR provides PDF full text for many scholarly journals from the first issue published up to about five years ago.

Tips for JSTOR:

  • Use the “Advanced search.”  You can limit your search in several ways (e.g., by discipline, such as “History”), and can select “Articles” to exclude book reviews.
  • Enclose phrases in quotation marks, as you would in Google:  “Francis Drake,” “Glorious Revolution," “Elizabethan art.”
  • Use Ctrl-F to determine where your search term appears in the article.  (In JSTOR, you’re searching the full text of articles; there are usually no abstracts or subject terms.  Thus, your subject term may appear only once in the article.)  


Project Muse works like JSTOR; it has full text for many scholarly journals; but often for only the last few years (and has fewer History journals).


Note that Historical Abstracts has citations for far more History journals than JSTOR or Project Muse (and will usually link to the full text of articles that we have in the other databases).

Finding full text for articles:  If you have an article citation from a bibliography, rather than a database, you can determine whether we have full text online by using the Journal Locator, or on the shelf by checking Lewis Library's periodical holdings.  If in doubt, ask a librarian or e-mail us.  Remember that we can order articles for you on interlibrary loan.


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