History - Recommended Sources

Resources Bought for Your Course

Themes covered include: childhood and family, food, the body, women, dress and fashion, theatre, animals, work, leisure and consumption etc. Each theme goes from antiquity through to the 21st century giving you a vast selection of online chapters to access. You can search by time or place as well as by theme.

Search or browse one of the most detailed primary sources for the history of Britain and its former colonies. Reports from military officers serving abroad are included, as well as Command Papers, Bills, Committee reports. Hansard is available from 1803. (See UK Parliament link if you need more recent papers.)

Oxford History Handbooks offer thorough introductions and a survey of the current state of research in key topics, including oral history, witchcraft, genocide, nationalism, Reformation, Cold War, the English Revolution, end of empire etc. Chapters review key issues and major debates and indicate how the debates might evolve.

Read authoritative, peer-reviewed, regularly updated entries written by experts on African History from across the world. Topics include African Diaspora, Afrocentrism, Oral Traditions, Women's History, Religious History, Slavery and Colonial History.

Audio Visual Resources

This fantastic resource has captured UK terrestrial TV and radio programmes from 1998 onwards for anyone in UK universities to watch for free. You can create playlists and clips to embed in presentations, as well as putting in requests for recording. Look out for all the useful documentaries. (Not available to anyone outside the UK.)

The British Cartoon Archive at the University of Kent lets you search over 90,000 images of socio-political cartoons from British newspapers and magazines. You can download images free of charge for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the source according to this example: British Cartoon Archive, University of Kent: 06646, Michael Cummings, Daily Express, 4 January 1965.

This website holds detailed information on over 6000 films showing images of life in the British colonies. Over 150 films are available to view in full - advanced search lets you limit to those which have videos.

Over 100 films covering different aspects of India 1899-1947 from the British Film Institute National Archive

World War I image archive

Other Key Sources to Try:

A gateway to thousands of the UK’s richest archives held in over 220 institutions across the country. The Archives Hub helps you discover unique and often little-known sources to support your research.

If you want to trace details about a specific person or place, or perhaps need inspiration for creative writing, this could be just what you need!  Connected Histories provides an all-in-one search across electronic content available on various sites such as 19th Century British Pamphlets, the Clergy of the Church of England, Charles Booth Archive, Convict Transportation Registers, Proceedings of the Old Bailey, British Newspapers 1600-1900 etc. If you find something useful on a resource we pay for e.g. British Newspapers, you may need to follow the link to that resource from the Finding Articles page within these Subject Pages.

A variety of reference works, including dictionaries, which tutors may well prefer to Wikipedia, and it even tells you how to set out a reference to what you find. Try out the 'Mind Map' option to see how your keyword links to others - useful for essay planning and dissertation work (use the arrow next to Basic Search to get to it).

Links to primary historical documents that are transcribed, reproduced in facsimile, or translated.

Use one search to look across over 18 million digital items from 48 libraries across Europe. Look out for the Historic Newspapers link which lets you view a range of newspapers from the 19th and early twentieth centuries.

• Hantsphere 

Use this online local heritage resource to search and explore digitised local studies collections from across Hampshire, including Southampton and Portsmouth.

Digitised local studies collections from across Hampshire.

The UK national centre for History based at Senate House, University of London.

This gives a wide range of statistics on population, education, (un)employment, agriculture, industry, motor vehicles, railways, TV and radio etc. 

Data can be viewed as PDF (downloadable) or Excel format which can then be exported. When you use the search box beware - it is not just searching this source but the whole of Palgrave's e-books (which we have bought via Ebook Central where applicable). You can narrow down to this resource by using Advanced Search and selecting International Historical Statistics in the Book Collection box. Click the Reference Products button if you want to get back to the stats home page quickly.

The national record of over 58,000 men and women who have shaped British history and culture, worldwide, from the Romans to the 21st century – extremely useful for detailed biographies about literary figures.

You can log onto this using your Public Library membership number in the Library Card Login box.

Useful advice defining primary sources, then how to find and evaluate them on the web. This is provided by the American Library Association so some of the sources mentioned are most useful for those doing American history.

Your Subject Team

Anne Worden

Faculty Librarian

Email: Anne.Worden@port.ac.uk

Phone: (023) 9284 3243

Sharon Bittner

Assistant Faculty Librarian

Email: sharon.bittner@port.ac.uk

Phone: (023) 9284 3234