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High School Guide

Guide for high school students who want to do research in the McPherson Library

Secondary Sources - Encyclopedias

Scholarly, subject-specific encyclopedias are a great place to get background information, chronologies, bibliographies, and lots of other really useful information to help you start research on a topic. 

Use your personal home computer or school computer to check out these freely available online encyclopedias (they're more scholarly than most you'll find): 

 The following titles are available in print in the McPherson Library:

Secondary sources on the web

These websites are available to anyone online. You can access them from home or school. 

Secondary Sources - Books


Search the library catalogue using keywords in the search box above.

Alternatively, you could try searching by subject heading --  here are some to get you started:

Secondary Sources: Historical Statistics

Censuses of Canada, 1665 to 1871

Statistics can be great evidence to hightlight a trend, show that something was commonplace or unique, or lay the groundwork for contextualizing your argument.  

Use a personal computer at home or at your school to access the following websites:

Secondary Sources: Atlases & Maps

Atlases can show a place in a snapshot in time, or visually represent trends over time, such as the movements of people of spread of disease. 

Use a computer at home or at school to access a great online resource, the Atlas of Canada which shows some information about Canada's Peoples.   Click on the 'People & Society' subject and select 'Immigration' for an overview and links to relevant maps.  

We also have this Canada, Migration map which shows movements of peoples within and to Canada over time. 


The following titles are available in print at the McPherson Library:

Secondary Sources - Find articles with America: History and Life & Historical Abstracts

Access the following databases using a guest computer at the McPherson Library.  You should mark useful documents and email them to yourself via the email/save option in the database.  OR, save the articles to a USB drive.

America History and Life and Historical Abstracts are databases which index scholarly articles from the field of History.  We have joined them together so that you can search both North American and worldwide history at the same time.   It covers worldwide topics from prehistory to present day, and has some very cool features which help you to find articles in History.

  • Era Limit.  You can enter the dates you're interested in, (for example, 1867 - 1900), to get back a list of articles about that date range.
  • Language Limit. You can select English, or English and French, to limit your results to things you can actually read.  
  • Publication Type. You can limit to 'articles' and avoid seeing Theses, or other items that would be difficult to get your hands on. 
  • 'GetThis' links. Click on the 'getthis' link next to the article citation to find that article in the library (electronic or print).  

Secondary Sources - Search Summon for Interdisciplinary Research

Summon 2.0 -- UVic Libraries search engine

What is Summon?

Secondary Sources: Where is my Article?

The database will tell you everything you need to know about an article.

Sometimes, the entire article is included in the database. Use PDF links or HTML links.

Sometimes you have to follow links from the database to the online article, often via our library catalgue.  Use "Get This" links! 

Sometimes, the article is only available in print, and you have to use the Library Catalogue to find out where the journal that holds the article is in the library.  "Get This" will tell you that the journal is only available in print, and for which years.  Use the "Show Me Where" button to determine which floor, and where on that floor, to visit to find the journal. 

Primary Sources - how to find and evaluate them

Use the History How To: Primary Sources guide for information on how to examine and evaluate primary sources, as well as information on how to find them. 

Primary Sources: On the Web

These websites are available to anyone.  You will need to use these websites on your own personal computer at home or at your school.

Primary Sources - CIHM Microforms

Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproduction (CIHM)    A vast collection of Canadiana from earliest times to the 1930s, collected and reproduced on microfilm by Library and Archives Canada.   Includes:  letters, diaries, books of all types, manuscripts, speeches, newspapers, magazines, broadsides, pamphlets, posters, maps, and much, much more from all parts of Canada.

Use a guest computer at the McPherson Library to find these titles in the Main Library catalogue.  Less than 10% of the content is available online through our catalogue or Early Canadiana Online database.

Primary Sources: In UVic Libraries' databases

Access the following databases using a guest computer at the McPherson Library.  You should mark useful documents and email them to yourself via the email/save option in the database.  OR, save the articles to a USB drive.

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