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Michigan State University

British Victorian Period Research: Guides to Research and Reference Works

This is a guide to doing research on topics about 19th-century Britain and Ireland, meant to be be useful to students in English literature and in history. Last updated 06-01-2023

Guides to Research and Reference Works

Research Methods Primary Sources

From Adam Matthew Digital, a company from whom we obtain a lot of our English online resources.  Introduces key approaches to working with source materials and historical evidence.  The Learning Tools part has sections on using primary sources, understanding and using various types of archives, guides to research (on visual materials, material culture, GIS, on working with databases and spreadsheets, on  on studying individuals and marginal groups, on using oral histories, on landscape and place research, and on quantitative data).  The Case Studies part offers case studies on different types of sources, topical themes such as food, and on data sets.  The Practice Sources part  includes over 300 historical items drawn from 50 archives around the world and allows you to put the lessons of the Learning Tools and Case Studies into practice.

Guide to Reference Main Z 1035 .G8

Published 1996.  The last paper edition of  the "mother of all reference works."  Now useful historically, if you want to find out what the significant reference works (dictionaries, encyclopedias, periodical indexes, bibliographies) were in the 1990s.

Princeton Guide to Historical Research D 16 .S345 2021 Main

Possibly useful for its tips on writing, organization, different kinds of sources, and software.  Does not offer suggestions for particular reference works, bibliographies, research guides, indexes, etc. in British Victorian studies.

Student's Guide to History D 16.3 .B4 2010 Main, Remote Storage.  Have also older editions.
A handy little book covering reference sources for history and research and writing tips.

American Historical Association's Guide to Historical Literature D 20 .A55 1995 v. 1-2 Reference and Main
Authoritative guide to the best monographs on history topics, periods, and places, the world over.  As of the mid 1990s. 

Reader's Guide to British History  DA 34 .R43 2003 v. 1-3 Reference
Organized alphabetically by topic. Provides bibliographic essays recommending particularly good books on British history topics of all periods.

Women's Lives, Researching Women's Social History 1800-1939.  Main HQ 1122 .N49 2011

Chapters on general sources, on researching women in domestic service, women working on the land, in factories, the middle class, aristocratic women, and women in crime.  Overall bibliography.  Short timeline.  Bibliographic essay format.  B/W illustrations.

History Highway: a 21st Century Guide to Internet Resources Remote Storage and DMC 4 West (CD) D 16.117 .H55 2006

An annotated bibliography of web sites.

Bibliography of Imperial, Colonial, and Commonwealth History Since 1600 Main DA 123 .B53 2002 

Research Guide to Gothic Literature in English  Main PN 3435 .B768 2018

Identifies print and electronic primary and secondary sources pertaining to Gothic literary and cultural studies.  Partially annotated.  Chapters cover reference works, literary organizations, anthologies, periodicals, monographs, edited collections, dissertations, special collections, digital archives, films and TV series, comics and graphic novels, and video games.

Literary Research and the Victorian and Edwardian Ages 1830-1910: Strategies and Sources  Main PR 461 .V36 2011

MLA Guide to Undergraduate Research in Literature Main PR 56 .B76 2019

Walks you through the process of research in literary studies.  Identifies databases and research guides, explains different types of sources and the roles they play in researching and writing about a literary text.  Describes strategies for web searching.  Offers guidance for organizing research and documenting sources using MLA style.

Literary Research Guide, an Annotated Listing of Reference Sources in English Literary Studies.  Main Z 2011 .H34 2008

"...a selective, annotated guide to reference sources essential to the study of British literature, literatures of the U.S., other literatures in English, and related topics.  ... describes... evaluates important bibliographies, abstracts, surveys of research, indexes, databases, catalogs, general histories and surveys, annals, chronologies, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and handbooks."

Nineteenth Century Literature

Resources for the study of English and American literature from the nineteenth century.  Authored by M.S.U. librarian Michael Rodriguez, our U.S. and U.K. literature subject librarian.

Historical Research Using British Newspapers Main D 16 .B25 2016

Parliament, Inventions and Patents, a Research Guide and Bibliography  Business Library oversize KD 1361 .J64 2018

Author is Phillip Johnson, prof. of commercial law at Cardiff University, Wales.  Goal is to identify all the Parliamentary material relating to patents and supporting inventions up to the beginning of the 1976-77 Session, when the European patent system began.  Deals with the development of patent law, oversight of the work of the Patent Office, and [patent] awards given to individuals, in order for scholars to be able to study more completely the history of technology, invention, and patent law.  8 parts: public legislation (acts and bills), private acts and bills, Old Scottish and Irish Parliaments' Acts relating to inventions, list of statutes and rules passed about parliamentary material, rewards granted by Parliament, the various Parliamentary papers and reports into the patent system, the petitions lodged with Parliament relating to patent law and inventions, questions asked of ministers and mentions of patents and significant mentions of inventions.  Indexed by inventor, company, invention/product, parliamentarian (MP), legislation (by year), cases, and general index. 

Victorian Periodicals: Aids to Research: a Selected Bibliography

Victorian Studies, a Research Guide  DA 550 .P76 1992 Main

Historians' Guide to Early British Maps: a Guide to the Location of Pre-1900 Maps of the British Isles Preserved in the United Kingdom and Ireland G 5741 .S1 H57 1994  Map Library Circulating Collection, 2nd floor, East Wing