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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.
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.
- America: History & Life (Ebsco)
- CPI.Q (Canadian Periodical Index)
- CBCA Complete
- Project MUSE
Theses and Dissertations
These documents are written by masters or doctoral degrees as a requirement for earning their degree.
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.
- Globe and Mail: Canada's Heritage from 1844
- Montreal Gazette (1878-1986)
- Quebec Historical Newspapers (from Bibliothèque et archives nationales du québec)
- Toronto Star: Pages of the Past, 1892-2002
- Paper of Record
- Manitoba Historical Newspapers
- Prairie Newspapers
- Canadian Newsstream (1970s to the present)
Diaries and Memoirs
These documents are first-person accounts of a person’s private or public life.
- Catalogue (add the words "diaries" or "personal narratives" when searching)
- North American Immigrant Diaries, Letters and Oral Histories
- North America Women’s Letters and Diaries
Government Documents (Electronic Databases)
Citing Your Sources
Use the Chicago Style to format your footnotes and bibliographies.