History: Essentials: starting points
What's on this page
This main subject guide for history identifies principal online resources for historical research at Virginia Tech.
It incorporates some guides to primary sources that also stand on their own: Primary sources online, Social research data sources, and VT Library's Special Collections & University Archives. Related, subordinate guides that build off this one include American History, World history, and Medieval and early Modern studies.
This guide also reproduces tabs that also appear in other subject guides: Recent news/journalism/streaming video; Advice for searching/citing/engaging scholarly literatures; and Accessing VT Libraries' resources from off campus.
This page is organized into these sections: Indexes to scholarly historical literature; Indexes to archives; Biographical sources; Background sources; and contact information for the history librarian.
Essential indexes to historical scholarship
Indexes to archives
Find out about people in history
Reference collections and background information
Social Sciences & History Librarian
560 Drillfield Dr
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Email is the best way to contact me with questions or appointment requests.
Office hours (walk-in and/or Zoom): T 1-3:00 pm, W-Th 2-4:00 pm (Eastern time), and by appointment.
Ask a Librarian
Interlibrary Loan Services
All current Virginia Tech students, faculty, and staff, regardless of your location, may request through ILLiad for materials:
- not owned by Virginia Tech (books, articles from journals and conference proceedings, book chapters, standards, and technical papers)
- owned by Virginia Tech but are unavailable for use (print books)
- owned by Virginia Tech and available in print (scans of articles from journals and conference proceedings, book chapters, standards, and technical papers)
We ship requests via UPS to users outside the immediate Blacksburg area (Montgomery, Giles and Pulaski counties).
Articles, book chapters, and many technical papers are delivered in PDF format to your ILLiad account. Occasionally, due to copyright restrictions, a paper copy of an article or standard is held for your at the Newman User Services Desk or sent o the mailing address listed on your account.
Temporary, trial access only -- use while you can
The University Libraries at Virginia Tech regularly secure short-term, trial access to online resources in order to gauge their appropriateness to our university's teaching and research missions. These trials run in October, February, and sometimes April. Most trials run 30 days.
This box highlights some of these opportunities. All active trials are listed in a sidebar in the main Databases A-Z directory and as a tab atop this libguide.
Each entry includes a link to a user survey. I and other subject librarians invite you to email us your detailed assessments of resources. Responses from the Virginia Tech community are vital to the library's deliberations about whether and when to acquire or enhance databases and the like.
As appropriate I will list trials and user survey links a resource trials tab in this and my other libguides. Entries for trials I may include in the body of my libguides will go away when the trial period ends.