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Undergraduate Research in History


Do History of Science Research

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

Writing the History of Science

For a paper in the history of science, you'll want to:

  • Write a research question
  • Understand your topic(s) using reference material
  • Find primary materials on your subject (such as scientific research reports/articles)
    • These are the text/images that bring you closest to your research question
  • Access scholarship of your topic(s)

This page provides a brief guide to some, few select sources to do just that. If you have questions, remember to contact your librarians.

Reference Shelf


Finding Scientific Research

If you are research the history of science, your primary source material might be scientific research reports and articles. Below are three excellent databases to find titles and abstracts (some full text) for those reports. As you explore, make sure you are reading the scientists' actual reports and not research reviews. To figure it out, look for:

Title Discussion
Author Conclusion
Author Summary Materials and Methods


Introduction Author Contributions



For more on how to dissect an article, check out this guide.

Finding News

For historical newspapers and television, visit BC Libraries' Historical News page.

Finding Historical Scholarship

Need a text Boston College does not have? Request it through Interlibrary Loan (ILL).

Evaluate the Library Session

For additional help

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