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Guide to history research at Temple University Libraries

Historiographical Essays

Historiographical essays provide the context within which contemporary historians continue a "conversation" begun by earlier scholars. Tracking down a good historiographical essay is perhaps the most efficient way to identify important works and critical debates on your topic.

Cambridge Histories and Oxford Reference are useful reference works.

Try the Cambridge Companions and Oxford Handbooks series as well.

Keep in mind that many important historiographical essays are published in the secondary journal literature, so don't forget to search the two most important databases in history and the journal History Compass:

Find Book-Length Historiographies

To find books that review the historiography of a topic, use Library Search, and include the word historiography with your keywords.

If you find a historiographical work of interest, check the subject headings for that title, and follow the links to further works with the same title. For example World War, 1914-1918 -- Historiography, is the most relevant subject heading for the historiography of World War I. You can expand your resource pool by searching other libraries' contents via WorldCat.