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Starting Point
History 101: World History


This guide will provide you with a starting point for research in your subject area.


Step 1: Define Your Topic


To help you in this process, use specialized encyclopedias and handbooks located in the reference collection, or chapters from a current textbook to give you a short overview of your research subject.  These articles are written by experts on the topic and they often include other references listed at the end of the article. You can be assured that the references listed there are authoritative sources and well worth obtaining for your paper. Some reference books that may be useful:

Ref FC 23 .C36 Canadian Encyclopedia - online version

Ref FC 23 .O94 Oxford Companion to Canadian History

Ref D 11 .W635 Cassell's chronology of world history: dates, events and ideas that made history

Ref D 9 .L33 Chambers dictionary of world history

Ref D 419 .P32 A Dictionary of Twentieth-Century World History
Ref D 114 .O94     The Oxford dictionary of the Middle Ages

Step 2: Look for Books


Begin your research by checking for your topic in the  library catalogue. Remember to click the TITLE to display the longer ITEM DETAILS record, and then examine the Subject terms at the bottom of the record. Click on appropriate relevant Subject terms to see if there are any other items available on your topic. Some useful World history Subject Terms include:

Asia, Southeastern - History - 20th Century
Chronology, Historical
Cold War
Europe - Civilization

Europe - History - 476-1492

Europe - History - 1945-

History - 1945-
History, Modern - 20th Century
History, Modern - 21st Century

Rome - History - Empire, 284-476
Russia - History
Social history - 1945-
Social history - 20th Century
World history
World politics - 1945-
World politics - 20th century
World politics - 21st century
World War, 1939-1945
World War, 1939-1945 - Campaigns

Other Reference Sources


Ref G 1105 .A8 Atlas of North America

Ref  G 1115 .C37 The Canadian Atlas

Ref G 1021 .O88 Canadian Oxford World Atlas

Ref G 1106 .S12 H3 America Discovered: a Historical Atlas of North American Exploration

Ref G 1021 .H2735 Hammond New Century World Atlas

Ref G 2081 .S1 M3 Historical Atlas of East Central Europe

Ref G 1030 .T54 The Times Atlas of World History

Step 3: Use Periodical Articles


Periodicals offer excellent information. To locate articles in your subject area, use the online indexes - Proquest's Canadian Newsstand and Canadian Business and Current Affairs Index  - and Ebscohost's Academic Search Elite, Canadian Reference Centre, MAS Ultra School and Military and Government Collection. Once you have located article citations, if the article is not in fulltext online, click on the  Where can I get this?  button to see if the journal is available in either the CNC or UNBC libraries.  If the article is not available locally, get it from another B.C. library by clicking on the Check other library catalogues button to request the item online via Interlibrary Loan. Remember to order items early!

Step 4: Check World History Websites

From the Library page click on Web Subject Sites - History to find a list of recommended Canadian history websites.


Have fun! If you have comments or suggestions, email me at



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