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History Research Guide: Home

Amazing new resource for historians!

ArchiveGrid is an amazing free searchable database of multiple historical collections' holdings. Why is this so awesome? Until tools like this were invented researchers had to figure out where items might be, write to that archive/library/museum, and often travel there to see the items in question.

Here's an example:

You're writing a paper about Preston Brooks, a nineteenth-century South Carolina Congressman. Most people have never heard of him. You have plenty of secondary sources, but you need some primary sources.

You Google his name in quotes and get close to 100,000. hits. If you add the word "archive" to your search you're down to 13,000 or so. Obviously, that's still too many.

If you go to ArchiveGrid you get fewer than 50 hits, and some of them look very interesting.

Quick Reference

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USCB subject guide for History

Please use the tabs above to help locate quality resources for History research and study. If you have any questions or comments about this guide please feel free to contact us.

Librarians are available to assist you in the research process at both campus libraries. Contact  Mary Alpern, Natalee Reese, Melanie Hanes-Ramos, or Dudley Stutz at the Gateway to Hilton Head Campus Library in Bluffton (208-8022) and Geni Flowers or Stephanie Grimm at the Historic Beaufort Campus Library (521-4122).

What is an Annotated Bibliography?

An annotated bibliography includes a summary and/or evaluation of each of your sources. Depending on your project or the assignment, your annotations may do one or more of the following:

  • Summarize: Some annotations merely summarize the source. What are the main arguments? What is the point of this book or article? What topics are covered? If someone asked what this article/book is about, what would you say? The length of your annotations will determine how detailed your summary is.
  • Assess: After summarizing a source, it may be helpful to evaluate it. Is it a useful source? How does it compare with other sources in your bibliography? Is the information reliable? Is this source biased or objective? What is the goal of this source?
  • Reflect: Once you've summarized and assessed a source, you need to ask how it fits into your research. Was this source helpful to you? How does it help you shape your argument? How can you use this source in your research project? Has it changed how you think about your topic?

Your annotated bibliography may include some of these, all of these, or even others. If you're doing this for a class, you should get specific guidelines from your instructor.

See the following link from Purdue University's Online Writing Lab (OWL) for more information and some samples:

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