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History resources

Links to guides to history resources in the Princeton University Library, plus JP and senior thesis help for history majors.

What to do when Google fails

If you're looking for a known item like a book title or a specific newspaper, and you don't find it, ask yourself:

  1. Is it possible that there’s something wrong with your citation?
  2. Is it possible that you need to choose different keywords?
  3. Is it possible that the information you need is behind a pay wall?
  4. Is it possible that the information you need was not born digital, and has not yet been digitized?

Historical dictionaries

Just looking for a little information about something? Try a historical dictionary. Scarecrow Press / Rowman and Littlefield publishes a series of historical dictionaries for countries, events, concepts and organizations -- e.g. Spain, the Northern Ireland conflict, Zionism, or human rights and humanitarian organizations. For a reasonably complete list, search the Main Catalog for Keyword = historical dictionary scarecrow, and Keyword - historical dictionary rowman.

Encyclopaedia Britannica

The wikipedia entry for "Encyclopaedia Britannica" is helpful: See alsoædia_Britannica for discussion of the American editions.

Editions below are British unless otherwise specified.

The wise searcher will use both "encyclopedia" and "encyclopaedia"

Edition Dates Access
1st 1768-1771 Eighteenth Century Collections Online; Reprint; Firestone Library: Non Circulating (Fnc) AE5 .E363 1771a
2nd 1777-1784 Eighteenth Century Collections Online
3rd 1788-1797 Eighteenth Century Collections Online; Rare Books Off-Site Storage: 0981.325.5 (Contact
pirated Dublin edition also in ECCO
American edition is Dobson's Encyclopaedia (ECCO and Rare Books Off-Site Storage 0981.326)
supplement to 3rd 1801 Supplement to Dobson in America's Historical Imprints
4th 1801-1809 check Worldcat for libraries that hold this edition (Millar)
5th 1817 check Worldcat for libraries that hold this edition (Millar)
supplement to 5th 1816-1824 check Worldcat for libraries that hold this edition (Napier)
6th 1820-1823 RECAP 0981.325.3
supplement to 4th-6th 1824 RECAP 0981.325.4
7th 1830-1842 Rutgers Library Annex Storage Facility (Busch)
8th 1853-1860 Boston, 1860: RECAP 0981.325.2
9th 1875-1889 New York, 1878-89: RECAP 0981.325.6
10th, supplement to 9th 1902-1903 New York, 1903 (reprint of 9th ed.): [lacks vol. 8] [lacks vol. 9]
11th 1910-1911 Firestone AE5 .E36 1910
Scribner Room AE5 .E363 1910
Lewis 0981.325
Rare Books: Reference Collection 0981.325
Internet Archive and see alsoædia_Britannica_Eleventh_Edition
12th, supplement to 11th 1921-1922 supplemental volumes only: RECAP 0981.325.12
13th, supplement to 11th 1926 Trustee Reading Room Reference (DR) AE5 .E363 1926a
supplemental volumes: Firestone AE5 .E363 1926 (also Marquand, RECAP)
14th 1929-1933 London, 1936: RECAP 0981.325.14
revised 14th 1933-1973

Chicago, 1971: RECAP AE5 .E363 1971
Chicago, 1967: Firestone AE5 .E363 1967
Chicago, 1960: Firestone  AE5 .E363 1960
Chicago, 1958: RECAP AE5 .E363 1958
Chicago, 1955: RECAP AE5 .E363 1955
Chicago, 1950: RECAP 0981.325.16

15th 1974-1984 2nd version, Chicago 1992: RECAP AE5 .E363 1992 and RECAP AE5 .E363 1990
1st version, Chicago 1974, RECAP AE5 .E363 1974


Also useful: Britannica book of the year RECAP AE5 .E364 (1938-2014) plus current year in Trustee Reading Room

Searching for Archival Material