Journal Articles

  • America: History & Life
    Your guide to the contents of scholarly journals, historical magazines and dissertations. This database indexes articles on the history of America (North and South) published in academic journals such as the Social History of Medicine and the Bulletin of the History of Medicine to name but a few. The FindIt button links to the full text of the articles in the Library's collection as well as to an interlibrary loan form. Interlibrary loan can only be used for those journals to which the Library does not have a subscription. It can take up to a week to process an interlibrary loan request. 
    Suggested subject keywords: epidemics, influenza, yellow fever ...
    Sample articles:
    Noymer, Andrew, and Beth Jarosz. 2008. "Causes of death in nineteenth-century New England: the dominance of infectious disease." Social History of Medicine 21, no. 3: 573-578.
    Wirth, Thomas. "Urban neglect: the environment, public health, and influenza in Philadelphia, 1915-1919." Pennsylvania History 73, no. 3 (Summer 2006): 316-342.
    Smith, Mark A. "Andrew Brown's "Earnes Endeavor": the Federal Gazette's role in Philadelphia's yellow fever epidemic of 1793." Pennsylvania Magazine of History & Biography 120, no. 4 (October 1996): 321-342.
  • Historical Abstracts
    This database indexes articles published in scholarly history journals such as Medical History and the Nursing History Review. Please note that Historical Abstracts does not cover ancient and medieval history. U.S., Canadian and Latin American history are excluded as well.
    Suggested subject keywords: epidemics, influenza, yellow fever ...
    Sample articles:
    Christiansen, John. "The English Sweat in Lübeck and North Germany, 1529." Medical History 53, no. 3 (July 2009): 415-424.
    Mooney, Graham. "Infectious Diseases and Epidemiologic Transition in Victorian Britain? Definitely." Social History of Medicine 20, no. 3 (December 2007): 595-606.
  • International Medieval Bibliography (Brepols)
    Indexes and abstracts articles, book reviews, and book chapters. Covers all aspects of medieval studies within the date range of 400 to 1500 for the entire continent of Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa.
  • Social Sciences Full Text
    Index to international, English language journals in sociology, anthropology, geography, economics, political science and law.
  • Humanities Full Text
    Indexes and abstracts articles in more than 300 periodicals in archaeology, art , classics, film, folklore, journalism, linguistics, music, the performing arts, philosophy, religion, world history and world literature.

Background Research

Still looking for ideas for a topic?
Start with Epidemics and Pandemics: Their Impacts on Human History. The book lists 50 different epidemics, from Malaria in Ancient Rome to "French Disease" in 16th Century Europe and Typhoid Mary's "Epidemics". Each chapter discusses when and where, significance, background, how it was understood at the time, responses, and unresolved historical issues. At the end of each chapter are references and a list of suggested additional reading.
Or take a look at The Cambridge World History of Human Disease. This book "explores the patterns of disease throughout the world as well as the variety of approaches that different medical traditions have used to fight it." It "traces the concept of disease as medicine developed from an art to a science, then addresses the history of disease in each major world region. The final and largest part offers the history and geography of each significant human disease - both historical and contemporary - from AIDS to yellow fever."

This is but a small selection of the subject encyclopedias available in the Library. Ask a librarian for help if you would like to find more encyclopedias.

Selected Primary Sources

The Library has many more digital collections with primary sources. Ask a librarian for further suggestions.