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HIS 420: Historiography

WISE - Books, Articles, and more

WISE Search box

What is WISE and how can I use it?

WISE is the Library's search engine, it searches:

  • Everything we have in the building
  • Everything we pay to have access to online
  • A lot of stuff we don't have, but can get for you through a service called Inter-Library Loan (ILL)


WISE is a user-friendly, all-in-one search tool, but is important to know when to use WISE, and when you may be better served by using the Library's other electronic resources. 

  • Print books and eBooks: WISE is the only place you can search our print book collection.  WISE is also the most convenient place to search our eBook collection.
  • Known items: If you know the exact book, journal, article, DVD, or other item you want, WISE will quickly show you if Westminster College owns or has access to that item.  If that item is not available through Westminster College, WISE provides an easy way to place an ILL request.
  • First-year or intro-level studies: WISE is the most user-friendly, all-in-one search option available and provides an adequate amount of relevant, appropriate sources for basic research needs.
  • Interdisciplinary research: WISE contains materials from all subjects taught on campus. Use WISE when you want Interdisciplinary (from many subjects) resources..

Use the Online Journals and Reference Sources page for:

  • Discipline-specific research: Searching specific databases (e.g., PsycINFO, SciFinder, ScienceDirect, MLA International Bibliography) is a better search strategy for more in-depth, advanced research.These databases allow for tailored search strings and provide citation tools.
  • Other types of electronic sources:
    • Newspapers:  U.S. Major Dailies, NY Times, Nexis Uni
    • Reference: Credo, Oxford, SAGE
    • Discipline-based: Birds of the World, Mergent Online
    • Streaming: Video (Kanopy, Swank) and music (NAXOS)
    • Primary Sources
    • and more!

Finding Scholarly Articles

The following indexes and databases are suggested for historical research.  HOWEVER, there may be other relevant or useful information in other resources depending on your topic.  See our full list, or talk to a librarian for more information.

Use a Bilbiography to Find More Sources

Plenty of people have done research on your topic. In writing historiography, your job is to think critically about different secondary sources and their analysis of the topic. You can use these sources for broad background information and use their bibliographies to locate influential secondary sources

Finding Book Reviews (& Books)

A large percent of historical research is published in books, so they are a great resource to use for your historiography. Many academic journals publish book reviews, which discuss the topic of the book, the expertise of the author, the viewpoint and/or methodology, the contributions the book makes, and the strengths/weaknesses of the book.

Use the filter options to limit your search results to Book Reviews.

Reminder: The pdfs you access may include several book reviews from that journal, so you may need to scroll or hit "ctrl + F" to find what you're looking for.

Finding/reading book reviews will help you find the most influential books which represent different views on your topic. Once you find a book, search for it in WISE to see if we have it!


We also have a collection of academic eBooks that you can search: EBSCOhost and ProQuest