World Civilizations


Do you have an idea what topic you might wish to pursue? Is it a current event or recent happening? You may want to visit Newspapers and Current Periodicals. Something more remote? Primary Source Archives. (Keep in mind that the Possible Topics we offer are VERY broad -- you must narrow farther as you begin to research.) Do you need some help evaluating an author or work? Click Tools for Research or Search Engines. Do you need help citing interet sources? Are you thoroughly lost, or would you like a little more structure as you explore the web? Click Help

Source List

Newspapers and Current Periodicals
The Detroit News
Searchable Archive
The L.A. Times
Searchable Archives from 1990 to the present.
The Nando Times
Nando Times is a new media news and information group. Drawback: Archive is only searchable for last 14 days.
Searchable Archive.
Time Magazine
Searchable Archive for the year.
The New York Times
Searchable Archive.
Caspar Wyoming Star-Tribune
The Washington Times
The London Times
Australian National Newspaper
Our Favorite Archives of Primary Source Documents
And Why We Love Them
The Medieval Sourcebook
This is one of the best sites on the web. It has a rich treasury of well-known and not so well-known medieval documents representing many European countries. Possible General Topics: Specific persons (such as Dante, Heloise, or Pope Gregory VII), role of women, early church leaders (views on a particular doctrine--celibacy perhaps?), Islam, national mythology (Song of Roland, Beowulf, Njal's Saga)
The Kennedy Assassination Home Page
There are lots of good sites out there with information on the Kennedy Assassination, but this one is our favorite because of the breadth of their collection and the finding aids they feature. You can actually download the home video which was constantly replayed on television stations accross the country that fateful day. (The entire video, not just the clip deemed appropriate for T.V. audiences.) They also offer access to the entire Warren Commission Reports, and a text search function. Again, you'd have to narrow your field of focus to some smaller element of the assassination, but the materials are here for a fine paper.
Chinese Texts
There are other asian texts sites out there, some with more bells and whistles, but we like this straightforward list of many, many Confucian, Daoist, and Buddhist texts compiled by a college professor for his students. At the end of his link list, you'll also find some handy guides to writing papers, and a discussion list which may give you some ideas and help you explore the world of Asian literature and religious texts. (Possible Topics: Compare several works; analyze attitudes toward government, education, women or war; compare Confucian ideas of government with western political theorists or philosophers such as Locke or Montesquieu)
The Valley of the Shadow
We like this collection because it offers a broad range of sources (newspapers, journals, receipts, government records, personal letters) for a very specific area and time period -- two counties during the American Civil War. This kind of collection makes for fascinating comparison studies, and offers the researcher a great depth and variety of sources. (Possible Topics: personal recollections of the civil war; attitudes toward slavery; comparison studies based on demographic data; comparison or analysis of newspaper coverage of an event or events;)
The WebMuseum
If you have not had the privelege of visiting this site while surfing, please, please indulge yourself. This is a visually stunning, beautifully crafted and presented collection of great works of art. There is a wealth of historical and biographical information posted here along with large, superb quality scans of famous art. If art is your passion, consider doing a paper on a certain period or artist. (Possible Topics: Nationalism emerging in Eighteenth Century art; westerners as depicted in Japanese art; Cezanne; Gothic art)
Project Vote Smart
Not strictly a historical site, but if you did some supplementing with other sources we think you could craft a really interesting paper with the data this source provides. They tabulate and offer statistical counts of votes taken on every issue in the U.S. Government. They also provide a history of current officials' voting records and other information which could be the foundation for a comparison paper, an analysis of party politics on a specific bill or issue, or a even a demographic study of the age, sex, and party of current elected officials. Number crunchers, you'd love this place!
American Memory
Another of our all-time favorite resources. The United States governments has a truly phenomenal set of historical (PRIMARY!) sources which are made available here at American Memory. It is well organized, searchable, and divided into collections for ease of use. Whether you want to study the Civil War Photographs of Matthew Brady or the California Gold Rush, these collections will fascinate.
Tools for Research and Evaluation of Evidence
H-Net Reviews
Michigan State University's project allows the student to search by author or title and find out what scholars have to say about recent publications in history. Let's say you have an article you've discovered online written by Dennis Wainstock. Do you have a question about your author's credibility, or the availablity of certain sources? Try searching on his name. You'll find a review of his book, and get another scholar's perspective on his work. Reviews can also provide you with references to other authors of note. For example, read the review of Wagnleitner's work Coca-colonization and the Cold War. You will note that the reviewer analyzes the work and offers the names of two other prominent historians engaged in like studies. You should know who the prominent historians of your topic and era are, and what their work contributes to the study of that topic. In higher level history classes, you would be required to learn that literature, and make some new contribution to the study with your work, rather than simply rehashing old debates.
Discussion Lists
Visiting threads (collections of messages which discuss a particular topic) from old discussion lists can also put you in touch with active scholars and introduce you to new debates. Take a look at all the topics available at H-Net.
Avoiding Plagiarism
This is a serious issue, and a crime. Often students who plagarize do not do so intentionally. If you have ANY questions about what requires citation and how to eliminate improper use of the sources please review these pages. Avoiding Plagiarism features examples of properly and improperly cited passages. Another great checklist is found at How to Lessen the Chances of Plagiarism.
History Journals Online
Check out Yahoo's list of Historical Journals. Everything from South East Asia to Nineteenth Century studies is represented. Historical journals can give you an idea what questions modern historians are asking. They can put you in touch with the historians doing the research. They can provide secondary source evidence to support your theory. And they often provide reviews of new literature. Do you need to check out a particular author? Look him up in a peer-reviewed journal.
History Departments Around the World
This an exhaustive list of the colleges and universites with departments of history. Get in touch with historians really working in your field of inquiry. To get you started, we've provided links to the U.S. News and World Reports (1995) top five history departments in the United States. Enjoy! P.S. Want to see where your school ranks? Take a look at The Rankings at U.S. News.
Searching for (and finding) History on the World Wide Web
Information on Searching
Spiders and Worms and Crawlers, Oh My!
This is a great page at the University of California at Santa Barbara. It offers explanations of the popular search engines and links to each site. If you're interested in how the search is conducted, and what the differences are between search vehicles, this is a great place to start.
Understanding and Comparing Web Search Tools
If you still want more information, visit this site for a list of over fifteen (1995-1997) articles on this topic.
Index Lists
American Journalism Review
For easy access to american news media sources online, visit this site. It features a very comprehensive list of American newspapers listed by state, as well as links to radio and television news features. CNN, NPR, CSPAN and many other news services have excellent sites online.
World Newspapers
Though technically this is a directory service and not an index list, it's such a good collection we've included it here. This will provide links to newspapers outside the U.S.
Librarians' Index to the Internet
This site features a marvelous list of history resources which have been evaluated by library professionals. Their index is annotated, and this researcher is familiar with almost every history site they've chosen to feature. They are all excellent. (Click History from this search page for the list of history related resources or try keyword searching for cross disciplinary information.)
Link and Index Lists for Historians
This page provides a more comprehensive list of our favorite indices and link lists, and gives brief comments about each collection.
Search Engines and Directory Services
To search, key in a keyword or phrase. To use the Directory Service, scroll down to categories, choose something related to your topic -- usually education, humanities, or social sciences for history topics.

For more specific instructions and further assistance, visit Help!.


World Civilizations

RESEARCH: Ralph'sWorld Civilizations
Page created by Thomas Pearcy, Ph.D. and Mary Dickson.
We welcome your comments. Please contact Steve Hoge, Editor.
Last revised June 5, 1997.
Copyright (c) 1997. W. W. Norton Publishing. All Rights Reserved