HIST 203 - Canada since 1867

Liaison librarian

  • eamon.duffy [at] mcgill.ca (Email) 514-398-4697


Background Information


Encyclopedia articles

An encyclopedia article is often the best place to look when you need to know the context of a situation, the basic outlines of a person’s life or why a place is important.  Encyclopedia articles are a good first step; but they are never all you need.  Remember, this is background material to help your understanding of the historical events.  These are not materials to base your research papers on, but they can provide you with the knowledge and vocabulary necessary to search for more substantive material.


Secondary Sources



The difference between a scholarly book and a popular book is the intended audience. There are several indicators that a book might be scholarly, such as the inclusion of footnotes/endnotes and a bibliography, if it is published by a university press or written by an academic.



Popular articles appear in magazines and other publications aimed at the general reader. Scholarly articles appear in academic journals that put submissions through the peer-review process before they are published. Many databases will allow you to limit your results to scholarly articles only.


Theses and Dissertations

These documents are written by masters or doctoral degrees as a requirement for earning their degree.



Primary Sources

The best way to identify relevant primary sources is by finding a good secondary source first and using its bibliography. You can also use the library catalogue in addition to the resources below.






Diaries and Memoirs

These documents are first-person accounts of a person’s private or public life.


Government Documents (Electronic Databases)





Citing Your Sources


Use the Chicago Style to format your footnotes and bibliographies.

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