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HIST1992 Honors Workshop for Prospective Thesis Writers

Assistance in identifying materials for research on historical topics in the collections of the Brown University Library and elsewhere

Defining Secondary Sources

Secondary sources are forms of writing and critique that offer interpretations or critical analyses of historical and primary source material.

  • Examples: monographs (books about a single subject), scholarly journal articles and review essays, biographies, encyclopedias, and textbooks.
  • Explore secondary sources related to your research interests in order to:

1) identify themes and trends in your field

2) generate historical context 

3) formulate research questions that will lead to unique contributions to your field

  • Use the tabbed boxes below to explore print and digital books and search key databases for journal articles. 

Locating Secondary Sources

*Begin your search with BruKnow, the Brown Library's catalog!

*If you can't locate what you need in BruKnow, use WorldCat (link below) to make an Interlibrary Loan (ILL) request or explore some of the Open Access (OA) repositories listed below.

Open Access Repositories

This is a curated list. Visit A-Z Databases to explore all of Brown's database subscriptions.

Note: BruKnow searches do not always capture everything contained in a subscription database. Navigate to the database platform via the links below for full-text searching, which may yield better results.