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World History Subject Guide: World History

Introduction to World History

Subject Guide — World History

  Map of the Known World  1500s



Maag Library provides access to books and articles on World History in a variety of formats. The resources and tips on this page can help you locate the resources you need. For additional assistance, please contact me directly.

Background Information

Use these resources for definitions of historical terms or general information.

The Oxford Dictionary of the Renaissance Ref CB361 .C27 2003
A unique A-Z reference surveying all aspects of the Renaissance in Europe. This volume contains an immense breadth of information with over 3,000 entries covering an extensive spectrum of topics including art, literature, science, culture, philosophy, religion, economics, history, and conflict. Includes 100 black-and-white illustrations.

A Dictionary of Nineteenth-Century World History Ref D356 .D53 1994
This useful resource provides overviews of the cultural and artistic developments of the period and includes bibliographical references and index.

Dictionary of East European History Since 1945 Ref JV6465.E53 2000
This reference tool provides basic, up-to-date information on the events and background that led to the crisis in Eastern Europe and covers all of the countries that formed the colonial empire of the Soviet Union–Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, the German Democratic Republic (East Germany), Hungary, Poland, Romania, and former Yugoslavia. The volume includes helpful maps and photographs of key figures and scenes of everyday life.

Larousse Dictionary of World History Ref D9 .L33 1994
This is a single-volume comprehensive dictionary of world history includes 7,500 entries arranged alphabetically. It includes brief definitions or explanations of events, individuals, and, to a far lesser degree, movements and concepts.

World History : A Dictionary of Important People, Places, and Events from Ancient Times to the Present Ref D9 .W47 1994.
A revision of the Concise Dictionary of World History, this volume includes more than 10,000 entries in a convenient A-to-Z arrangement. There are also 135 historical outlines or chronologies that contain another 7,000 items.

A Dictionary of Twentieth Century History: 1914-1990 Ref D419 .T44 1992
This reference work provides in-depth coverage of the major historical figures and events of the last century. Over 2,500 entries span political, diplomatic, and military history offering both fact and analysis of these areas.

Dictionary of Historical Terms Ref D9 .C67 1991
This book contains 2,000 concise and in-depth descriptions of historical phrases, names, and their meanings, including the origins of the terms and the historical context in which the term was originally used. It does include some foreign terms and phrases.

Encyclopedia of the Cold War Ref D843 .A668 1994
Called “a truly out-standing reference work on the Cold War,” this reference resource includes every event, place, and person associated with this period’s long history. Alphabetically arranged entries cover all major (and many minor) players, and explanations are given of important events during the period. Each entry concludes with a brief bibliography.

The Encyclopedia of the Holocaust Ref D804.25 .E53 2000
Combining essays with encyclopedia entries, this reference work offers student and adult researchers a comprehensive look at the Holocaust. The encyclopedia contains more than 650 alphabetical entries covering famous, infamous, and unfamiliar people; places, events, and concepts. The volume includes 300 captioned black-and-white photographs, a day-by-day chronology from 1933 to 1945, a bibliography arranged by subject, and an index.

The Harper Encyclopedia of Military History : From 3500 BC to the Present Ref D25 .D86 1993
This completely revised and updated chronologically arranged compendium covers armed conflicts since 3500 B.C. Includes line drawings of weapons and battle formations, 174 maps that enable users to follow the narrative descriptions of battles, a selective bibliography, and an index divided into three parts: “General Index,” “Index to Wars,” and “Index of Battles and Sieges.”

Historic World Leaders Ref D412 .H57 1994
This five-volume set provides substantial biographies of 622 world leaders representing all time periods and regions of the world. The set is arranged geographically, covering Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and the Pacific in Volume 1, Europe in Volumes 2 and 3, and North and South America in Volumes 4 and 5. The biographical profiles are enhanced by a portrait, chronology, and bibliography of the subject. Included for each area are a brief timeline and simple black-and-white historical maps as well as a chronological listing of political leaders for each country.

Encyclopedia of Russian History Ref DK14 .E53 2004
This encyclopedia, compiled by over 500 contributors, provides more than 1,500 entries encompassing more than 1,000 years of Russian history, from the formation of Kievan Rus in the mid-ninth century to the present-day Russian Federation. Entries are arranged alphabetically. Types of entries include those for people, places, events, and other subjects of historical interest. Includes an index.

Worldmark Encyclopedia of the Nations Ref G63 .W67 2004x
This tenth edition offers four volumes on the continents plus one on the United Nations and a new volume on world leaders. Each continent volume contains alphabetically arranged chapters describing about 200 countries and dependencies. Each chapter contains a wide variety of information on 50 topics, including population, topography, history, government, media, and a bibliography.

The Columbia Companion to British History Ref DA34 .H64 1997
Covering 2,000 years of British history in 850 pages, this comprehensive work contains 4,500 dictionary entries that not only cover political and constitutional history, but also provide information on social, economic, religious, military, naval, legal, and cultural history. Special features include a list of all kings and queens of England and Britain along with a list of prime ministers with their dates and nine line drawn maps that include topics such as “Growth of the British Empire,” “Tribal Britain,” and “England and Wales during the Time of the Romans.”

The  Oxford Encyclopedia of Medieval Warfare and Military Technology Ref U37.094
Three-volume set examines all aspects of warfare and  military technology in medieval times, especially in Europe, the Byzantine Empire, and the Crusader States between 500 CE to 1500.

The Oxford Dictionary of the Middle Ages Ref D114.094
A major new reference resource for all key aspects of European history, society, religion, and culture from circa 500 CE to circa 1500 CE. Relevant aspects of the Byzantine Empire, the Islamic dynasties, and Asiatic are included.

The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Reformation Ref BR302.8 .O93 1996
450 scholars have produced 1200-plus articles on standard figures and topics covering religious life in sixteenth-century Europe. Each entry is accompanied by a useful bibliography. The work is arranged into 10 broad categories: Sites, Regions, Polities; Historical Events; Religious Groups and Movements; Ecclesiastical Institutions; Creeds, Confessions, Texts; Theology; Social History; Popular Religion; Biographies; and Reformation Studies. Each of these categories is subdivided geographically.


Finding Books

Books can be found through MaagNet, the Maag Library online catalog, through theOhioLINK Catalog, or through the Worldcat Catalog. Use MaagNet to locate items available through Maag Library. Use the OhioLINK catalog to locate items available through other OhioLINK institutions. Use Worldcat to locate materials in libraries outside of the OhioLINK system. These items can be requested and delivered to Maag Library for pickup.

 Browsing for Books

The World History collection is located on Floor 3 (Call Numbers D-DS) and on Floor 3A(Call Numbers DT-DX), in the Reference Room, and in Serials (Journals/Periodicals) on the Floor 6. All collections are arranged according to the Library of Congress Classification System. Once you locate a book or journal that is useful in one of these areas, you can locate information on the same or similar topics by locating the same call number in the other areas of the library. See Call Numbers and Floor Plans for assistance. Some of the call numbers where you will find information on World History are:

  • D: History
  • DA: Great Britain
  • DAW: Central Europe
  • DB: Austria
  • DC: France
  • DD: Germany
  • DF: Greece
  • DG: Italy
  • DJK: Eastern Europe
  • DL: Northern Europe (Scandinavia)
  • DP: Spain
  • DQ: Switzerland
  • DR: Balkan Peninsula
  • DS: History of Asia
  • DT: History of Africa
  • DU: History of Oceania
  • DX: History of Gypsies

Searching For Books

 To find books by subject, search MaagNet or the OhioLINK catalog. If you are not sure of the exact subject for the topic you are researching, begin with History and browse the list of subjects or use one of the subjects below to get started.

  • World History
  • Africa–History
  • Russia–Politics and Government
  • Islamic Empire–History–622-661
  • Great Britain–Colonies–History–19th Century

Finding Articles

Articles for World History topics are available in print and electronic sources. The information belowwill help you decide where to begin searching for articles.

Articles in print

History journals that Maag Library receives in print can be located by searching MaagNet, browsing by call number or through the list of History journals received by Maag Library. These journals are located on the sixth floor of Maag Library and are arranged in call number order.

Online Articles

Many history journals are now available through online subscription databases and through the OhioLINK Electronic Journal Center. Various terms can be used to search these databases, including subject, keywords, names, historical periods, etc. Most databases allow access by current YSU faculty, students and staff from off campus, although a few are restricted to in-library use only. For more information about connecting from home, see off-campus access.

Historical Abstracts

Index and abstracts to articles covering world history from 1450 to present (excluding U.S. and Canada).

On and off-campus access

Electronic Journal Center
OhioLINK’s collection of full-text electronic journals. Browse or search the online journals.
On and Off-campus access

Academic Search Premier
Index, abstracts, and full text for many scholarly publications covering all academic areas of study.
On and off-campus access

ArticleFirst (OCLC)
Index of the items listed on table of contents pages of over 12,000 journals that covers articles, news stories, letters and other items on topics as diverse as business, humanities, medicine, popular culture, sciences, social sciences, and technology.
On and off-campus access

Digital Commons Network (OhioLINK)
Several databases of electronic images or videos; will eventually also include sound, numeric data, and other types of electronic media.
On and off-campus access

EBSCO Databases
Menu of databases provided through EBSCO Publishing.
On and off-campus access

Supplies full text articles from the very first volume to the last 3-5 years for approximately 240 titles in the Arts & Sciences.
On and off-campus access

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
50,000 biographies of people who shaped the history of the British Isles and beyond, from the earliest times to the year 2001.
On and off-campus access

Russian Academy of Sciences Bibliographies
Index to the literature in Slavic studies, covering more than 19,000 periodicals published primarily in Russia, the republics of the former Soviet Union, and countries in Eastern Europe, plus books, manuscripts, and dissertations.
On and off-campus access

These databases provide a starting point for your research. To see other available databases, visit the Research Databases page.


Web Resources

The links below provide access to World History resources on the Internet.

History World
Iinteractive history of the world from the Big Bang to the present day.

Hyper History Online
This site presents over 2,000 topics covering 3,000 years of history in chart formwith linked articles, graphics, and maps.

Infoplease World History

Contains almanacs, atlases, encyclopedias, dictionaries, and timelines of world history.

Studying and Teaching World History

Webpage listing many useful links to academic, national and international resources.

World History Archives

Repository for documents for teaching and understanding contemporaryworld history and the struggle for social progress.

World History Compass

Provides links to a wide variety of history sites. Covers such topics as ancient times, mathematics, military, U.S., and technology.








Opposing Viewpoints

Many students have found  that this Maag Library database,  Opposing Viewpoints in Context is a good place to start finding subjects and as the name implies, views from both sides of an issue. 

Opposing Viewpoints in Context helps students research, analyze and organize a broad variety of data for conducting research, completing writing assignments, preparing for debates, creating presentations and more.

Resources are divided into topics which contains numerous full text pieces further categorized by the nature of their material: viewpoints (essays), reference, statistics, magazines and newspapers, images, primary documents and web sites.  Give it a try!