Last updated: May 2009

Guide to materials available in the PHS library, through subscription databases, and through previewed free websites.

Use the topic you are researching as your keyword. To narrow your search to a specific aspect, use that term with your topic. For example:

Vietnam War AND protest

Martin Luther King AND Assassination

Print Resources: Use the Library Catalog to locate print resources in the PHS Library
Library Catalog
(click link)

Subscription Databases:
See library staff for user names and passwords.
  • American History Online: Spans more than 500 years of political, military, social, and cultural history, highlighting the important people and events of the American experience.
  • Modern World History Online: Covers the people, places, and events in the broad expanse of history—from mid-15th century to the present.
  • SIRS Knowledge Source: SIRS Knowledge Source (SKS) is a comprehensive database portal which is comprised of several distinct reference databases including SIRS Researcher®, SIRS Government Reporter®, SIRS Renaissance®, SKS WebSelect™, SIRS Discoverer®, and Discoverer WebFind™. Updated daily, SKS provides relevant, credible information on social issues, science, history, government, the arts and humanities. Full-text articles and Internet resources are carefully selected from thousands of domestic and international publications and respected organizations. Begin your research by performing a subject heading search. That will bring up a list of LC Subject Headings related to your search terms. If you are not returning many results through subject heading searches, try a keyword search. SIRS is not as intuitive as some of the other databases, so you need to be more flexible in your search terms and strategies. SIRS has an online Quick Start Guide with more detailed search strategies.
  • World Book Online: Encyclopedia, reference, and multimedia sources. Good starting point for a general overview. Includes links to reviewed web sites.

The following databases are published by Gale and have similar interfaces and use similar search strategies. You can search each database individually or search them simultaneously by using Gale’s . Click Subject Guide to begin your research.
· Biography Resource Center: This database integrates biographies from Gale Group sources with related full-text articles from hundreds of periodicals, as well as tens of thousands of images and links to hand-picked web sites.

  • Gale Virtual Reference Library: Gale Virtual Reference Library is a database of encyclopedias and specialized reference sources for multidisciplinary research. These reference materials once were accessible only in the library, but now you can access them online from the library or remotely 24/7.

  • Opposing Viewpoints: Information on today's hottest social issues. Features include viewpoint articles, full-text magazine and newspaper articles, primary source documents, statistics, images and podcasts, and links to Websites.

  • Student Resource Center: Broad database offering resources in literature, cultures, science, history, and geography. Full-text articles from reference works, primary sources, and periodicals.

Free Websites:

  • http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/index.html American Memory provides free access through the Internet to written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience. These materials, from the collections of the Library of Congress and other institutions, chronicle historical events, people, places, and ideas that continue to shape America.