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History Research Guide

This guide provides some of the best current sources for history, including links to other websites which feature various aspects of the past.

National History Day Resources

National History Day in Iowa is a year-long program that helps students learn about historical issues, ideas, people and events.

Students participating in the program research a topic related to the annual NHD theme, analyze the information, and present their interpretation through projects that include papers, posters, websites, and performances.

See the National History Day in Iowa website for more information:

General Tips for Getting Started

Keep the theme for this year's National History Day in mind: "Frontiers in History"

Start by learning more about the background for your topic. Remember these questions to keep yourself oriented: 

  • Who were the people and organizations involved in your topic?
  • What were the main events that happened around your topic?
  • When did the events you are researching happen?
  • Where were the important locations based around your topic?

Start your research with a few simple keywords to see how much you can find, and add more specific terms or filters later, to narrow your search results. 

Find Books with Quick Search

Quick Search will find both ebooks and books available through the University Library.

ISU Library Quick Search - Books Only

Searches using the box above are filtered to show only books but there are more filters you can apply to narrow down your results on the right side of the page.

Paid Databases (Login on Campus)

Free Databases (Access Anytime!)

Primary Sources

About the Library

The Iowa State University Library is big and a little confusing! To help you navigate around it, a few resources are available below: 

1. Maps: Maps are available on the library website to show you where all the computer labs, books, and other important locations are in the library building.

2. Logging in: To access the paid databases in the library, you need two logins: one to open the computer and one to access the database. 

  • Ask at the Main Desk to get the current login information for the library's computers and databases on campus.

More information about logging in can be found on the "How do I access electronic resources?" webpage:

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Abbey Elder
150 Parks Library
Iowa State University