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Illinois History Research: Finding Publications

This guide provides information on library resources that can be used to research topics related to Illinois History.


Many different types of publications can be used to research history, including letters, diaries and newspaper and magazine articles describing historical events, books that summarize information from other sources, and even government publications, such as agency reports and laws. Historians can use resources that provide a firsthand account of an event (primary sources), resources that summarize the event (secondary sources) or resources that summarize secondary sources (tertiary sources).

Primary sources - original manuscripts, diaries, memoirs, maps, photographs, drawings, interviews, government reports, public records, eyewitness accounts, newspaper & magazine articles (written at the time of the event).

Secondary sources - reviews, journal articles, critical analyses, or a biographical or historical studies that describe, summarize or analyze primary source information.

Tertiary sources - a written work that is based entirely on secondary sources.

Scholarly journals contain a summary of original research on a specific topic. Articles related to Illinois history can be found using many different indexes, which are provided through the WIU Libraries:

WIU Dissertations and Theses

Other Indexes