World history: Essentials: starting points

What's here

This guide focuses on principal research resources in a subfield of history, supplementing the main subject guide for the field and the comprehensive guide to online primary historical sources.

This landing page is organized into these sections: Background sources; Indexes to scholarly historical literature; full-text journal archives, and Indexes to popular periodicals.

It identifies selected Primary sources online and reproduces portions of Bruce Pencek's other subject guides: Area studies & comparative politics; Advice for searching/citing/engaging scholarly literatures; and Accessing VT Libraries' resources from off campus.

World history brings a global perspective to the study of historical events anywhere, but information resources tend to treat world history as a catch-all, geographically as history of everywhere-outside-North-America and chronologically as beginning in the European Renaissance. For earlier periods, see the Classical studies and Medieval and early modern studies subject guides.  For prehistory and archaeology, see the guide for anthropology.

Background: overviews and themes in world history

Finding the scholarly literature and sources

Academic journal archives (could be primary or secondary, depending on use)

Indexes to popular literatures

Social Sciences & History Librarian

Bruce  Pencek's picture
Bruce Pencek
Contact:
Newman Library (MC 0434)
Office #3050
560 Drillfield Dr
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Zoom office hours (pandemic period):
T, W, Th 1-3:00 pm, Eastern time
and by appointment
- virginiatech.zoom.us/j/95623507981 -
Email is the best way to contact me at other times.
(540) 231-2140

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 are sent to the mailing address listed on your account.