History Subject Guide

Helpful BSD Online Resources for History students:

Welcome, SHS History Students!

The information contained on this page is here to help you conduct your historical research.

Make sure to use a variety of print, reference, academic, and primary sources for your inquiry investigation.

Ask your teacher or Library or Mrs. Cassinelli, the Library and Instructional Technology Teacher, for help if you do not know how to use these sources.

DestinySearch Destiny Library Catalog for print titles in our school’s library collection. We have a large collection of history books so begin your search here! Use the Dewey Decimal Classification to locate titles in the 300s (Social Science), 900s (Geography & History), and Biographies (920 & 921). When you search for history sources in the Destiny Library Catalog, the results will also include eBooks and database results. Web Path Express will also provide curated websites related to your book search.

Reference sources, sometimes called tertiary sources (to distinguish them from primary and secondary sources), are one way to start your research in a new subject area.

Encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, and bibliographies can help you brainstorm research ideas, give you an overview of your topic, and point you to the most important books and articles. 

History students, however, should limit their use of general reference sources for most scholarly writing.

World Book



The Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL) contains encyclopedia and reference eBooks for all major subject areas, including primary source documents.




When you search using EBSCO Discovery Service, you are actually searching all BSD databases at the same time. EBSCO is your premier collegiate database for history students.

EBSCO provides scholarly information and peer-reviewed sources from a wide variety of reference eBooks, academic journals, magazines, newspapers, primary sources, and more. The challenge with EBSCO is to choose correct search terms and use the limiters on the side panel.

This video by EBSCO will show you how to refine the results of your search with limiters using sources types or subject terms.

Another helpful scholarly database from EBSCO is Academic Search Complete:

Academic Search Complete

 Current information on countries and cultures can be found in CultureGrams:

Culture Grams

Educational videos for a variety of subject areas are located in Learn360:

Learn 360


Besides the GVRL, other helpful databases for history students from Gale/Cengage are:

Student Resources in Context – a general use database covering a wide variety of topics.

U.S. History in Context – covers American History topics; includes primary sources, images & video.


Opposing ViewPoints in Context – excellent for controversial topics; presents essays with opposite points of view.

Opposing Viewpoints 

Helpful hint:  Select the “Power Search” icon on your Library database to view the complete listing of databases from Gale/Cengage. A few helpful ones for history students are listed below:

Academic One FileAcademic OneFile is the premier source of peer-reviewed full-text scholarly content across the academic disciplines.

Global Issues in Context

Global Issues In Context offers international viewpoints on a broad spectrum of global issues, topics, and current events.  Rich multimedia – including podcasts, video, and interactive graphs – enhance each portal.

InfoTrac Newsstand provides Info Tracaccess to full-text newspapers and allows users to search articles instantly by title, headline, date, newspaper section, or other fields.

Primary Sources

A primary source is one which was created during the time period being studied. Examples could include documents, speeches/interviews, images, articles (written during the time period), and even artifacts.

This brief guide is designed to help students and researchers find and evaluate primary sources available online. Another helpful site: How to analyze a primary source.

 Primary Sources On the Web

A great place for US History students to search is American Memory, a “digital record of American history and creativity.” It contains documents, audio recordings, images, videos and maps from the Library of Congress.

The World Digital Library makes available on the Internet, free of charge and in multilingual format, significant primary materials from all countries and cultures.

Digital musuem collections can also provide primary sources.

Plagiarism is the use of words and ideas written by others without giving credit to the authors of those words. You should cite the sources of information you use in your academic work because:

  • Citing makes your work more credible
  • Citing tells your reader where you found your information
  • Citing allows your reader to learn more, beginning with your sources
  • Citing gives credit to the people whose words or ideas you are using
  • Citing protects you from plagiarizing

For more information, try Purdue Online Writing Lab’s resources for avoiding plagiarism.


Need help with citing your sources? OSLIS Citation Maker can assist students creating a citation using MLA (8th edition) or APA (6th edition).

Follow the step-by-step directions and fill out the part of your source that is available. You can send your citation directly to Google Drive.

Newsela is now integrated with Canvas and provides Beaverton History students access to high-quality news articles at a variety of reading levels. Your ELA teacher may assign articles to your Binder but Newsela is also great for ELA students looking for text-sets around current event topics. newsela.png



History students can access additional resources with your public library card or use the Teen Homework Help page. Don’t have a WCCLS card? Apply for an e-access card here.

WCCLS patrons can take their library card to a Multnomah County Library branch and receive a Library card from that library too.

History students should do this since Multnomah County Library has additional database resources, such as JSTOR (peer-reviewed and scholarly resources).


 Subject, Course and How to… guides are created by Beaverton LITTS (Library and Instructional Technology Teachers) to help you! These guides provide helpful resources, strategies for research, and tutorials.