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Resources for History Graduate Students

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This is a guide to history resources for graduate students.

What's on This Page

This page has a lot on it. You can use the following anchors (links down the page) to jump straight to a relevant box.

    Proximity Searching

    Some select, usually paywall databases permit "proximity searching," allowing users to look for material that has one word or phrase within a certain number of words to a second word or phrase. 

    One of the challenges with proximity searching, however, is that there isn't an established standard for how this should be done. Some databases, for example, use "near" constructions while others use "around" or "within."  

    • In Brill collections:
      • ~# (searches for word/phrase one in the stipulated number of words from word/phrase 2)
    • In Cambridge collections:
      • ~# (searches for word/phrase one in the stipulated number of words from word/phrase 2)
    • In Gale databases:
      • W# (within, will look for word/phrase one within the stated number of words of word/phrase two in the order listed)
      • N# (near, looks for your search terms within the stipulated number of words of one another in any order)
    • In Google (any part):
      • AROUND(#) (will look for word/phrase one within the stated number of words of word/phrase two in the order listed)
    • In EBSCO databases:
      • W# (within, will look for word/phrase one within the stated number of words of word/phrase two in the order listed)
      • N# (near, looks for your search terms within the stipulated number of words of one another in any order)
    • In JSTOR
      • ~# (searches for word/phrase one in the stipulated number of words from word/phrase 2)
    • In Nexis Uni: note W/# and N/# are interchangeable and must have the /
      • W/# (within, looks for your search terms within the stipulated number of words of one another in any order)
      • N/# (near, looks for your search terms within the stipulated number of words of one another in any order)
    • In Oxford products: none
    • In ProQuest databases
      • NEAR/#  (looks for your search terms within the stipulated number of words of one another in any order)
      • N/#  (near, looks for your search terms within the stipulated number of words of one another in any order)
      • PRE/# (previous, looks for the first word within the stated number of words before the second word)

    Note that most Open Access databases do not permit proximity searching.