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Undergraduate Research in History



This is a guide for Boston College's undergraduate student population in how to approach historical research.

Finding Books

Books are often an excellent place to begin historical research in part because their authors have the space to explain background and context in greater detail than in articles - which means they are a great place to start. That said, consider limiting your search to the last twenty years in order to get the most up-to-date scholarship. And, if you aren't sure the book is a good one, try reading a couple book reviews to find out what other experts in the field think.

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.

    Find Books at BC

    Boston College's eight libraries have a world class research collection with more than a million books for your perusal. The bulk of the history collection sits physically in O'Neill Library and/or online. Use our Library Catalog (Primo) to search for specific titles or authors or look for material on specific subjects using keywords. Don't forget to limit your search by date. 

    BC Library Catalog

     Keyword     Keyword in Subject

    Use the BC catalog to explore the books we have here.

    Order Books from Beyond BC

    Your local libraries have excellent monographs and anthologies located in O'Neill library as well as through the BC libraries portal. Try searching for books (only books) through the WorldCat library system to see if we have what you need. If we don't, you can order material through Interlibrary Loan (ILL).

    WorldCat Catalog

    Books Only   All Formats  


    A selection of databases Boston College subscribes to with extensive eBook collections. To browse (look through titles), try exploring some of the content. To search (look for specific titles), try using the Boson College Libraries' catalog

    For additional help

    For additional recommendations, contact your subject liaison (Dr. Bee Lehman) at or schedule an appointment with them.