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HIST 314: American Society and Culture


Omni includes content from the various research databases to which QUL subscribes but not everything is included.

If you are looking for information on a very specific topic, or a topic that is subject specific, it is recommended that you search databases that specialize in that subject area for more thorough results.

Specific databases, e.g. America:History and Life; Historical Abstracts and Academic Search Complete, are supplied by the company ESCOhost, so only searching Omni for articles could be problematic.

Why Use a Index?

Use an article index to find journal articles on your topic, as well as other related materials. Some will contain the full text of journals but if not, click

 Get It Link Icon

If the Get It link does not find anything, don't assume that the Library does not hold the item. A search in Omni for the title of the journal (or book) might find it. 

If clicking on a full text link does not take you directly to the article, you will need to navigate a bit to get the article you want - depending on the resource provider.

History Indexes and Databases

America: History and Life 
Indexes the literature covering the history and culture of the United States and Canada from pre-historic times to the present

Historical Abstracts
Indexes and abstracts journal articles, books and dissertations. Covers the history of the world from 1450 to the present (excluding the United States and Canada)

Academic Search Complete
Multi-disciplinary database of both scholarly and general interest articles. 

A multidisciplinary database of archived scholarly journals, which contain a great deal of historical material. However, JSTOR does not contain the most recent 3-5 years. If you only search JSTOR, you may be missing a lot.

Database Search Tips

Use the advanced search interface and some combination of the following techniques to increase the effectiveness of your searches:


Search Technique  

What It Does

quotation marks

Searches for exact phrase

Truncation (usually an *)

Searches for all forms of a word

Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT)

Lets you broaden or narrow your search

Database thesaurus or index            

Allows you to pinpoint the exact indexing terms the database uses


Topic: Japanese internment in the U.S.

Search:  japanese and internment and "united states"

Revise search:  (internment or detention or "prisoners of war") and "japanese americans" [as subjects]

Consider limiting by peer reviewed, type of publication or language.

Evaluate Articles

Articles are important in your research as they contain the most-up-to-date research in a given field and often focus on a particular aspect of a topic.

But not all journal articles will be useful for your essay so you will need to evaluate before you use them. 

In Omni, the limit Peer-reviewed Journals can be helpful, but it is not 100% accurate.  Omni is drawing upon data from innumerable resources (mostly full-text databases, indexes and abstracts) so there are bound to be differences in opinion, errors or omissions.  The interpretation of what is academic, peer-reviewed, or a journal can vary from resource to resource. 

Consult our guide, Distinguishing Scholarly from Non Scholarly Periodicals, to discover the difference between scholarly, trade and popular periodicals.

There are many scholarly journals which focus on American history and which you will find indexed in the database, American History and Life.  Top ranked history journals include: the Journal of American History and the American Historical Review