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Major Indexes for Historical Research

See: Research Guides

Major indexes, or starting points, for historical research are described below. Depending on the topic you are researching, you might be better off using other indexes to which the library subscribes. If you are uncertain where to begin, please consult with a librarian at the Reference Center.

America: History and Life, 1964 - (ABC-Clio)

AHL is an easy-to-use product that provides the user with bibliographic citations and abstracts about the history and culture of the United States and Canada from prehistoric times. AHL is a comprehensive indexing and abstracting service that covers books, journal articles, dissertations, and reviews. The researcher is provided with a number of search options including author/editor, publication type, subject, language, journal title, and time period. The search template can be filled in from a list of terms or the researcher may supply their own language. A nice feature of this system is the ability to cross reference an item in the search result with a subject search. Search results may be printed or downloaded. The CD-ROM covers from 1982 and has quarterly updates; it is available through WKUNet. One must consult the print index for earlier years (REF PER/IND E11 .A35x).

C.R.I.S.: The Combined Retrospective Index Set to Journals in History, 1838 - 1974

A comprehensive index to English language journals in history, political science, and sociology that covers all areas and periods of history. Its subject categories and keyword indexing make for easy use. Volumes 1 - 9 are subject category indexes and volumes 10 and 11 are author indexes. World history is covered in the first four volumes, while United States history can be found in volumes 5 - 9 (REF INDEX TABLE X Z6205 .C18).

Early American Imprints (Readex)

Two distinct microfiche collections reproducing every existent book, pamphlet and broadside published in America from 1639 through 1800 (Series I, Evans) and from 1801 to 1819 (Series II, Shaw-Shoemaker). These are complete non-serial source materials of American history for the 17th and 18th centuries. The collections are located in Microforms on the 2nd floor of Helm. The library has print indexes to both of these collections in the Reference Center (REF Z1215 .E27x 1981). Additionally, there is a CD-ROM index to the Evans collection located on workstation # 11 in the Electronic Reference Area. We have the CD-ROM on a temporary basis only, until the full bibliographic records are made available in TOPCAT 2000.

FirstSearch (OCLC)

This service provides over 15 indexing and abstracting services and databases with a similar web-interface search protocol. Of particular interest to historical researches are WorldCat, the cataloging records of over 22,000 member libraries; ArticleFirst, indexing to journals; NetFirst, the records for cataloged Internet resources; and UnionList, the serial holdings of member libraries. To use FirstSearch you must have an authorization number and password. Contact the reference desk for this and more information about the array of databases available through this service.

Historical Abstracts, 1955 - (ABC-Clio)

HA is a very comprehensive indexing and abstracting service that covers all areas of history and related humanities and social sciences. Time period coverage begins with 1450 A.D. Books, dissertations, and over 2100 journals in 40 languages are indexed by this service. As with AHL, the researcher is provided a number of search options and Boolean logic may be used. Search results, citations and/or abstracts may be printed or downloaded. The CD-ROM covers from 1982 and is updated quarterly; it is available on workstation # 11 in the Electronic Reference Area. One must consult the print index for earlier years (REF PER/IND D299 .H5).

Humanities Index, April 1974 - (H.W. Wilson)

An index to English language periodicals in the fields of history, folklore, literature, philosophy, theology, classical studies, archaeology, and area studies. Its combined author and subject indexing make searching this index very easy. A separate listing for reviews follows the index (REF Index Table X). Prior to 1974 this title was combined with the Social Sciences Index.

Monthly Catalog of United States Government Publications, 1895 - (US Government Printing Office)

The most comprehensive index to materials, including primary sources, issued by U.S. federal agencies. Since July 1976 the subject index has used the Library of Congress Subject Headings. Indexes prior to July 1976 are located in the Reference Center while print indexes after this time are located in the Government Documents Area on the ground floor of Helm Library. The library currently subscribes to Impact/ACCESS GDCS,(tm) a web-interface indexing service from Auto-graphics, Inc. This index covers from July of 1976.

New York Times Index, 1851 -

Discover how events, as they were happening, were covered by the New York Times. This index provides access to the Libraries' microfilm edition of this "master key to the news." (REF ALCOVE AI21 .N44)


TOPCAT is the online catalog of holdings of the University Libraries. Although most of the records in the database are for books, journal holdings may be found as well. Not included in TOPCAT are government documents, maps, microforms, and Kentucky Museum artifacts. If you have a telnet application configured for your system, you may search TOPCAT from here. Search guides are available to help you with this system.

Voice of the Shuttle Web Page for Humanities Research

Parts of this page are devoted to history of different countries and regions, and it includes links to most categories in the humanities.

Some of the links on this page may require additional software to view.

 Last Modified 7/2/18