TRN150 (National versus International) Course Guide

Finding Reference Articles

A reference book either in print or online is a good place to begin your research. There are specialized dictionaries and encyclopedias for each discipline which will give you summary articles for your topic with a bibliography of authoritative sources for further reading. The following reference books may be useful:

The Cold War, 1945-1991, Edited by Benjamin Frankel. Detroit: Gale Research Co., 1992. 3 volumes.

Volume 1 and 2 provide biographies of leaders and other important figures in the Cold War while volume 3 deals with resources and topics. There is an extensive bibliography. [Trinity Reference Collection, Main Floor D839.5 .C65 1992]

Encyclopedia of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity.  Detroit: Macmillan Reference, 2005.
3 volumes.

Entries ranging in length from 500 to 5000 words provide historical and contemporary examples of genocide.
[Trinity Reference Collection, Main Floor HV6322.7 /E532 2005]

Encyclopedia of Human Rights

This resource offers coverage of all aspects of human rights including theory, practice, law and history.  This title is also available in print as part of the Trinity Reference Collection, Main Floor [JC571 .E673 2009]

Encyclopedia of the Korean War: A Political, Social and Military History, Edited by Spencer C. Tucker.  2nd edition. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO, 2010.  3 volumes.  

This reference book covers logistics, battles, key people, organizations and countries involved.  It contains a large primary documents section.
[Trinity Reference Collection, Main Floor DS918 .E53 2010]

 Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War: A Political, Social and Military History, Edited by Spencer C. Tucker. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO, 1998. 3 volumes.   

[Trinity Reference Collection, Main Floor DS918 .E53 2000]

Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace and Conflict

This title is also available in print as part of the Trinity Reference Collection, Main Floor [HM291 .E625 2008]

World War I Encyclopedia, Edited by Spencer C. Tucker. Santa Barbara, Calif., ABC-CLIO, 2005. 5 volumes.

[Trinity Reference Collection, Main Floor D510 .W67 2005]

Finding Books

Search the University of Toronto Libraries Catalogue for books and journals (the catalogue does not include individual journal articles). Decide on the type of search (Simple in which you can search for terms in any order that may be limited to author, title, subject, or call number; Advanced in which you can do Fielded or Boolean searches). Search results may be refined further by clicking on items listed in the left panel.

Finding Articles

Use an article database to search for articles in newspapers, magazines, scholarly journals, essay collections and conference proceedings. There are a number of different article databases, some useful for interdisciplinary topics, others subject specific. Online journals should be accessed through the web site of the University of Toronto Library System which has purchased subscriptions to the journals; a Google search will yield citations for articles but not generally the full text of the article.

If you want to find a specific journal article (when you know the journal title, volume, year and starting page of the article), use Article Finder or click on the E-Journals link and type in the name of the journal you need.


Google Scholar

Configure your browser to be recognized as a member of the University of Toronto community and get articles free.  Follow the instructions below the link Connect to this resource.


One of the first article databases to provide full text access to complete back runs of journals in the humanities, social sciences and sciences. The ability to search the full text of each journal is a useful feature. Recent volumes are not available as the database adheres to a “moving wall” policy to ensure that publishers collect revenue.

Subject Specific

On the University of Toronto Library Web Site, click on the link “Subjects A to Z". Under the heading "Find the  the best research resources for your topic", choose the area of study that you are doing research in. The article databases that are recommended will provide access to journals specifically in that subject area.  

America: History and Life

This database is an important source on the history and culture of the United States and Canada from prehistory to the present. For coverage of history outside of North America choose Historical Abstracts.

Historical Abstracts

This is the major database for world history from 1450 to the present. It contains abstracts of articles from history journals as well as citations for books, essays from books and dissertations. Canada and the United States are excluded from this database but covered in its companion publication America: History and Life.

 PAIS International

"Provides references in the field of international relations, public affairs and social policy to articles, books, government documents, research reports, internet sites, and publications of international agencies from 1977 on".  Major areas of coverage include AIDS, ethnic cleansing, political persecution and globalization.

Finding Primary Sources

“A primary source is a document that was created at the time of the event or subject you’ve chosen to study or by people who were observers of or participants in that event or topic… The medium of the primary source can be anything, including written texts, objects, buildings, films, paintings, cartoons, etc. What makes the source a “primary source” is when it was made, not what it is” (Brown, Elspeth Writing about History Writing at the University of Toronto retrieved 02 November 2012 from Examples of good web guides on primary sources include:

Primary Sources in Humanities and Social Sciences (University of British Columbia Library)

Primary Source Databases for Historical Research (University of Toronto Libraries)

Primary Sources

Avalon Project: Documents in Law, History and Diplomacy 

The CWIP (Cold War International History Project)

The project disseminates new information and perspectives on the history of the Cold
War especially from the former Communist Bloc.

Digital National Security Archive

This database contains over 63,000 of the most important declassified documents regarding critical US policy decisions.

Documents on Canadian External Relations

This series of volumes represents the basic published record of the foreign policy and foreign relations of the Government of Canada. To date volumes for 1946-1959 have been published online. Print volumes from 1961 on are held by the Graham Library under the call number JX1515 .A2. Earlier volumes available in Government Documents, 5th floor, Robarts Library under the call number CA1..EA…..D51.

EuroDocs: Online Sources for European History

Foreign Relations of the United States Online

Documents for the most part from the Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon administrations are available online. Click on the volume you want and then browse the contents or index. There is also the option to search the text by keyword.

Finding Web Sites

Anyone can create their own website. How do you know whether the website that you’ve found is relevant, authoritative and current?

1. Look at sites which provide lists of websites that have been evaluated:

Virtual Library


2. Use a website evaluation tool:

Evaluating Web Pages (University of California Berkeley Libraries)

Research Using the Internet (University of Toronto Writing Centre)

Recommended Sites

Best of History Web Sites

The site provides links to over 1200 history web sites which have been reviewed for
quality, accuracy and usefulness.

Canadian Foreign Relations Index

This index contains material on Canada’s foreign relations, defence, economic relations, foreign aid, international law and international environmental concerns from 1945-2005. It includes journal articles, monographs, theses, research papers, conference proceedings, unpublished papers, chapters from books, and selected government documents.

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada

Governmental Web Resources University of Toronto Libraries

Compiled by the Data, Map and Government Information Services Library, the site is a gateway to both government and NGO sites.

U.S. Department of State

Finding Writing Aids

Writing at the University of Toronto

This is an excellent site for advice on academic writing.


Use this online personal database and bibliography creator to organize your research. Once you have registered, take the brief tutorial to learn how the database works.

For individual research consultations please email Courtney Lundrigan ( to set up an appointment or drop in to the library (9-5 weekdays).

Revised October 2013.