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University of York Library
Library Subject Guides



Finding Resources


As a History student, you are expected to find and use high quality literature. You'll need to use a range of different sources and demonstrate your ability to find good results in order to impress your tutors and to develop your research skills.



Books can be a great place to start your reading around a topic.

History books are located in the Q section on the second floor of the JB Morrell Library. Many books will also be available online as e-books. Look for the links in YorSearch, under the View It section of each book.

Shelf location Subject
Q History
Q 30 Ancient History
Q 40 Europe
Q 50 Asia
Q 60 Africa
Q 70 North America
Q 80 South America
Q 90 Australasia and islands of the Pacific

Key History E-book Collections

Journals & databases

All journal titles are listed on YorSearch, and can be found by searching the journal title.

If you don't have a specific title in mind, you can browse journals in your subject area on Browzine. Journals are organised by field of research, such as:


You can also search across hundreds of journals simultaneously using one of our journal databases:

Websites and e-resources

UK and European history resources freely available online

Global history resources freely available online

Freely available newspaper resources

Freely available multimedia resources

Official publications

The Library holds print and microform collections of UK government publications. Guides are available to help you use these publications:

Much of the current government information is available via the Web. The Politics Subject Guide is also a useful place to start.

Historical government publications

Historical legislation

See the Law Subject Guide for full details of searching for legal sources.

Printed copies of law reports are available in the Morrell Library at J REPORTS. These include:

  • Selden Society publications: for Medieval and Tudor law reports containing the original text and a modern translation
  • English Reports and The Law Reports: semi-official publications of cases available via Westlaw UK. These are more authoritative than the All England Law Reports
  • All England Law Reports: a commercially produced alternative to the "official" reports. Print copies cover 1558-present. Available online via Lexis Library or Westlaw UK for 1936-present

Historical legal resources online

We have a large microform collection in the library. These are in a number of different formats: microfilms, microfiche and microcards. To search for this material in YorSearch, enter a term (for example British Library) and filter the resource type in the right hand menu to ‘Microform’. You can ask for help with using microforms at the Library Help Desk.

If we don’t have the microform material you need you can request it through our Interlending service and we will try and source it for you. You can also make use of our free minibus service to the British Library at Boston Spa to consult the material held there in person.

All University PhD and MPhil theses are available via the library catalogue. Masters theses for some subjects are held in the Library for 6 years. 

All York research students registered in or after October 2009 are required to upload their thesis into the White Rose Research Online, a shared online repository for academic publications from the Universities of York, Sheffield and Leeds.

You can also access theses from outside the University:

Newspapers & Magazines


Historic and contemporary newspaper & magazine collections. These resources can be a valuable tool when researching, giving insight into how a specific topic has been perceived by the general public over time.

Bibliographic Databases


To start a more detailed search for articles and other research evidence, you'll need to use bibliographic databases. These are large indexes that allow you to search for articles from hundreds of different journals at the same time. The databases do not necessarily give you access to the full text, instead they will usually include the citation information and a brief abstract that gives a summary of the work. If you find citations for resources that we don't hold at York you can request the full text via the "Tell us what you need" link on YorSearch.

The University holds many subject specific bibliographic databases as listed below. If your work is more interdisciplinary we recommend using one of the larger databases such as Web of Science which, despite the name, covers all subject areas and allows you to search effectively across multiple disciplines.

Interdisciplinary Databases

Humanities Subject Specific Databases

Archaeology/History/Medieval Studies



History of Art

Language & Linguistics



Resources by period

Texts and translations:

Historical Documents


Primary texts & documents

Other sources


Primary texts & documents

Other sources


Primary texts & documents

Film material

Other sources


Language Reference Resources