Encyclopedias, Handbooks & Companions

The Library has a large collection of reference works, most of them in electronic format. Discover relevant encyclopedias, handbooks and companions through a search in the Articles & more file of the Library's catalog. Simply limit your search results to Reference under Format.

Gale Virtual Reference Library
Offers access to a collection of digital encyclopedias, handbooks, dictionaries, and directories in the arts, social sciences, business, and sciences.
A self-paced interactive tutorial is available for those new to this resource.

African American Studies Center (Oxford University Press)
Contains a selection of African American studies resources ranging from the authoritative Encyclopedia of African American History to the African American National Biography project. Selected primary sources, maps, images, charts, and tables round out the collection.

Companion to African American History

Oxford Handbook of Slavery in the Americas

Oxford Handbook of the Atlantic World: 1450-1850

Oxford Handbook of the American Revolution

American National Biography Online (Oxford University Press)
Presents authoritative biographies of influential people who lived in what is now the United States. Covers only deceased subjects. Includes portraits, if available, and bibliographies with citations to works by and about featured individuals.

Books and Book Chapters

Explore the Library’s monograph collection with the help of the Books & Media file of the catalog. Books that are not available can be requested through interlibrary loan. Expect to wait for about a week.

Books & Media
Includes records of all print and e-books owned by the Library. Books that are currently checked out can be requested through E-ZBorrow or interlibrary loan.

WorldCat (FirstSearch)
Includes all books published in English as well as many foreign language works. Highlights publications available at Villanova University. Other items can be requested with a convenient link to an online request form.

JSTOR
Includes books and journal articles. This is only a small subset of what is published on any topic, but everything is available in full text online.

Oxford Bibliographies (Oxford University Press)
Written by experts who steer you toward the critical works on selected topics.

E-ZBorrow and Interlibrary Loan
Requests books and journal articles from other libraries. The E-ZBorrow service is limited to books while interlibrary loan requests can be used for books and journal articles.

Journal Articles

The Library subscribes to a large number of history journals. Use the E-Journal Finder or the Articles file in the Library's catalog to look for known references. Request articles from journals that are not part of the Library's collections through interlibrary loan. The Library's blue Findit button serves as a bridge to the full text.

America: History and Life (EBSCO)
Indexes the literature covering the history and culture of the United States and Canada from prehistory to the present. Includes citations for journal and magazine articles, book reviews and dissertations. Abstracts of journal articles are included together with selected full-text. Indexing goes back to 1964.
America: History & Life is a self-paced interactive tutorial for students new to this resource.

JSTOR
Provides a full-text archive of academic journals and books in the humanities, social sciences and mathematics. The most recent three to five years of a journal are usually not included.

Primary Sources

Here are some suggestions for locating primary sources in the Library's collection. Ask for advice and directions if you cannot find what you are looking for. Consult the online Primary Source Research Guide for further details.

Books & Media
Find primary sources in the catalog with keywords such as correspondence, diaries, personal narratives, speeches, documents and sources together with keywords that describe your topic.

African American Newspapers: The 19th Century (Accessible Archives)
Provides access to the major 19th century African American newspapers including The Christian Recorder (1861-1902), Freedom's Journal (1827-1829), The North Star (1847-1851), and Frederick Douglass' Paper (1851-1863).

America’s Historical Newspapers (Readex)
Includes full-text of selected early American newspapers published between 1690 and 1922. Villanova University has access to series 1 through 5 and 7.

Black Abolitionist Papers (ProQuest)
Features newspapers articles, manuscripts, letters, pamphlets, proceedings, and books written by African Americans actively involved in the movement to end slavery in the United States between 1830 and 1865.

Early American Imprints, Series I: Evans, 1639-1800 (Readex)
Features most of the books, pamphlets and broadsides printed in America between 1639 and 1800. Titles were selected based on Charles Evans’ American Bibliography.

Early American Imprints, Series II: Shaw-Shoemaker, 1801-1819 (Readex)
Features most of the books, pamphlets, and broadsides published in America from 1801 through 1819. Contains many state papers and government reports. Titles were selected based on Ralph Shaw’s and Richard H. Shoemaker’s American Bibliography.

Sabin Americana, 1500-1926 (Gale)
Offers digital access to books, pamphlets, serials, and other sources documenting the history of the Americas published worldwide from 1500 to the early 20th century. Titles were selected based on Joseph Sabin's Bibliotheca Americana.

Making of the Modern World, Part I, 1450-1850 (Gale)
Provides access to digital copies of books, serials, and various other works of economic literature published between 1450 and 1850. Presents critical primary sources on European economic history including economic theory, imperialism, wealth creation, and trade. Most of the titles are in English but works in other European languages are also included.

U.S. Congressional Serial Set: 1817–1994 (Readex)
Provides full-text of all reports, documents, and journals of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives from 1817-1994 (15th through 103rd Congresses). Documents of the first 14 U.S. Congresses can be found in the American State Papers collection.

American Founding Era (Rotunda)
Offers digital access to the authoritative print editions of the papers of major figures of the early republic ranging from John Adams to Andrew Jackson. New content will be added as it becomes available.

Citing Your Sources

Chicago Manual of Style Online
The 17th edition of the Manual is the most current. The online version includes a Citation Quick Guide. Access to the 16th edition is also available.