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HIST 1310: U.S. History to 1877: Tertiary Sources

Professor Deirdre Lannon, Ph.D.

What is a Tertiary Source?

You will only use tertiary sources in Step 1 of your Research Project.  Tertiary sources, often referred to as reference, or background materials, provide broad information to help you settle on a topic.

Tertiary sources include:

  • Encyclopedias
  • Bibliographies
  • Indexes
  • Textbooks
  • Book reviews
  • Other reference resources

Finding Tertiary Sources- Credo Reference & More

Credo Logo

Credo Reference helps you start your research in American history with timelines, histories of the US as a whole and by state or region, and introductions to key historical events.

NOTE- Credo Reference has a link to JSTOR database, which is a great source for scholarly secondary sources.


The library subscibes to many other databases which may be useful in finding background information, in addtion to Credo Reference

List of library databases with tertiary sources

Credo Basic Search Video