Subject encyclopedias can provide detailed and authoritative background information that can help you to begin your research. The articles can define terms, give an overview of a topic and suggest directions for narrowing your research. They can also provide bibliographies of books and articles for more in-depth research.
Companion Encyclopedia of the History of Medicine. 1993. 2 volumes. Brown Science and Engineering Library Circulating Collection. Call # R 131 .C65 1993
Cultural Encyclopedia of the Body. 2008. 2 volumes. Current emphasis, but some historical topics. Alderman Library Circulating Collection. HM 635 .C85 2008.
.Encyclopedia of European Social History from 1350 to 2000. 2001. 6 volumes. Alderman Library Reference Room. Vol. 4 contains articles on "Body and Mind," and "Sexuality," but other voumes may be of interest as well.Call #: HN373 .E63 2001
Encyclopedia of Medical History. 1985. Brown Science and Engineering Library Circulating Collection. Call # R133 .M34 1985.
New Catholic Encyclopedia. 2nd ed., 2003. (Check VIRGO for individual volumes.) Covers all aspects of the history, doctrine, and discipline of the Roman Catholic Church.
Oxford Encyclopedia of the Reformation. 1996. Covers all aspects of the social changes affecting Europe in the sixteenth century, including politics, economics, art and literature as well as church and theology.
Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment. 2001 2 volumes. Covers topics rather than personalities. Includes an essay on "Body, Representations of," but many other topics may be of interest. Alderman Library Reference Room.Call #: B802 .D491613 2001
Keyword search should be "Google-like," just enter whatever terms you want; no need for connectors like and.
Will search the title, author's name or description of the item.
There are also some Subject keyword searches that will be helpful [Change drop-down menu to "Subject," will search only the subject headings that have been applied to the item]:
Ex., ("witchcraft Germany") sources
Other subject keywords also indicate primary source:
Early works to 1800
Notebooks, sketchbooks, etc.
Personal narratives (used in relation to specific events only)
Songs and music
Speeches, addresses, etc.*
*Used with individuals' names,classes of persons (e.g., soldiers), and organizations.
Early English Books Online (EEBO) Every significant work published in English from 1475 to 1700. Searchable text and page images. Because of early modern variants in spelling, it may be easier to take advantage of the subject terms. Take advantage of the "Select from a List" options. (You can search within the list.) You can do the same thing for full text keywords, as well as search for variant spellings.)
Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) Searchable full text and page images for books, almanacs, broadsides, magazines, pamphlets, etc in any language from the British Isles and North America, and in English from the rest of the world, 1701-1800.
Journal Finder —Perhaps the Library’s best-kept secret. Type in the title of your journal to see which databases provide access to it in full text. (Access from the Library’s main page using the drop-down for “Also Try” beneath the VIRGO search box.) This and Google Scholar are the best ways to track down citations.
Historical Abstracts Find articles about the history of the world from 1450 to the present, published in over 2,000 journals from many countries. Includes book reviews. Does not include articles about the US or Canada. For these see America: History & Life.
Can use a wildcard to expand searches: Ha?sburgs (for Habsburgs or Hapsburgs)
Or truncate: pira* to search for pirates or piracy
Limit search to a specific time period- Search: Inquisition AND heresy
Historical Period from 1517 CE to 1650 CE
International Medieval Bibliography Lists articles from books and journals on any topic relating to the European Middle Ages (ca. 400-1500). Click the blue Enter Databases button to start and choose the IMB from the menu on the next page.
ATLA Religion Database -- The most comprehensive collection of scholarly literature related to religious topics. Can use wildcard or truncate similar to Historical Abstracts, but there is no way to limit to historical period except by keyword search (ex., domestic violence and early modern).
Project Muse Full-text articles from humanities and social science journals, in some ways updating content found in JSTOR. A good database for articles related to gender studies and social history.
Art Full Text Articles and art reproductions in all arts media from selected periodicals. Art Index Retro covers 1929-1984 and Art Index Full Text 1984-present. Abstracts are included from 1994 on; full-text of articles from some journals from 1997 on.
JSTOR Full-text backfiles of many important scholarly journals. Coverage is usually from the first issue to 3-5 years before the present.
SocIndex with Fulltext Can search by specific time periods as keywords (ex., Robbery AND Seventeenth Century).
Women's Studies International Find articles related to women's experience during all historical periods. Can use wildcard or truncate similar to Historical Abstracts, but there is no way to limit to historical period except by keyword search (ex., domestic violence and early modern).
Unavailable through VIRGO or unavailable in full-text via our article databases does not mean inaccessible or even seriously inconvenient. U.Va. Library has a great interlibrary loan service that should put the needed article in your inbox or the book in your hands within a few days of your requesting it.
Create an account with our Interlibrary Loan Department (login through VIRGO).