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History 4296: Battle Front and Home Front: The United States in World War II: Home

This guide lists credible library and open-web resources supporting Dr. Greg Urwin's American History Writing Seminar, Battle Front and Home Front.

Featured Book Series

WWII - Background Info

Reference books, whether in print or online, help researchers to contextualize their topics. Reference books set the stage for more efficient database searching; researchers cannot effectively search databases such as JSTOR if they do not know which keywords (or search terms) will elicit the most relevant results. Last but not least, scholarly reference books often contain bibliographies that lead researchers to the most respected secondary and most useful primary sources. In other words, reference books are a great way to begin your research.


RefWorks logo

Manage your citations with RefWorks, a tool that allows researchers to easily import, export, search, and create automatically formatted bibliographies online. Citations found via searches in library databases such as JSTOR and many other databases can be imported directly into RefWorks. No manual typing required. Bibliographies generated within RefWorks can then be exported to Word in virtually any citation format, e.g. MLA, APA, Chicago, Turabian and others.

Assignment Prompt / Purpose of Guide

Assignment Prompt: "Students enrolled in this cousre will write research papers based in large part on primary sources exploring how Americans -- either as individuals or as groups -- experienced this conflict. Papers may focus on Americans in combat or on the home front, service personnel or civilians, men or women, adults or children."

Use this guide to find World War II-Era primary documents.


Find Primary-Source Documents at TU Libraries and Beyond

  • Many primary-source documents remain available only in paper. These can take the form of reproductions of letters and diaries published in commonly-held books, or rare manuscripts available only in a single archive. Use the Primary Sources - Diamond Catalog page of this guide to find printed reproductions of primary documents available in Paley Library.
  • TULibraries' Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) consists of several distinct archival repositories on Temple's main campus. SCRC houses a number of rare documents of interest to those studying World War II. Students who attend the January 31st library workshop will have the opportunity to work with a Temple archivist and some of these materials. ArchiveGrid is a TULibraries' database that connects researchers with other archives of interest around the country.
  • Digital reproductions of primary-source documents in American and European history are now relatively abundant online. You might wish to explore some of the best free portals to World War II-era documents, e.g. American Memory, on the Primary Sources on the Free Web page of this guide.

Find Historical Statistics

The first two Temple-only databases below provide historical statistics from all periods of U.S. history, including World War II.

Find Articles - Core History Databases

The following Temple databases index and in many cases provide full-text access to the peer-reviewed journal literature, i.e. secondary literature, of history. Track down the full-text article if not already available in the database by clicking on the TULink icon:

Guide Author

Rebecca Lloyd
Paley Library
Room 319


Archival collections related to World War II housed in the basement of Paley Library, Special Collections Research Center (SCRC):

ANB Online

American National Biography (or ANB) is the standard reference work for finding credible information about the lives of significant persons in American history.

Turabian's Style Manual