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Learn more about the subject of history, which is broadly defined as the study of past events. Due to the broad nature of the concept, most historians narrow their scope by focusing on a particular time period (e.g., the 19th century, the Middle Ages); a particular country or region (e.g., Britain, Canada, the U.S., Latin American); a particular people, group, or individual person (e.g., Native American, women, a biography of Marilyn Monroe); a particular theme (e.g., legal, military); or any combination of those categories (e.g., the history of British soldiers serving in World War II).

A history can be told from any number of perspectives. Most works on history, including biographies, are created by professional scholars who write about events they did not personally experience by analyzing sources, both primary and secondary, related to their subjects. Primary sources of history include newspapers, books, and letters from the time period being studied as well as artifacts like artwork and tools, and generally help create the secondary sources. Secondary sources were created by someone who did not experience firsthand or participate in the events or conditions you’re researching. Secondary sources include books written by other historians on a related matter. Secondary sources may contain pictures, quotes, or graphics of primary sources. Many works of history, however, are written by those who lived through it, such as memoirs and autobiographies.

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History Topics

Gale provides insights and useful resources for research supporting history across a variety of topics.

Health and Medicine  Resources

Gale offers a product portfolio including databases, primary sources, and eBooks designed to support history students in the classroom. Resources are aligned to lesson plans for teaching and research.


Gale databases support the study of history in the classroom by providing access to full-text articles, peer-reviewed articles, and documents from must-read historical journals and more history resources. Database concepts include conflicts, politics, cultures, religions, and much more to easily guide students through research. Add these resources to your library or classroom today.

Primary Sources

These archives from Gale Primary Sources provide researchers with access to firsthand content, including full-text articles, peer-reviewed articles, documents, primary sources of history, secondary sources of history, and other resources. Primary sources of history are located on one platform that easily guides students through research.

Gale eBooks

Gale offers a variety of eBooks that can be added to a customized collection and cross-searched to pinpoint relevant content. Workflow tools enable users to access, share, save, and download materials.

  • American Empire: A Global History, 1st Edition

    American Empire: A Global History, 1st Edition

    Princeton University Press | 2019  | ISBN-13: 9781400888351

    This title provides a new history of the United States that turns American exceptionalism on its head. It is a panoramic work of scholarship that presents a bold new global perspective on the history of the United States. Drawing on his expertise in economic history and the imperial histories of Britain and Europe, the author takes readers from the colonial era to today to show how, far from diverging, the United States and Western Europe followed similar trajectories throughout this long period, and how America’s dependency on Britain and Europe extended much later into the 19th century than previously understood. The book goes beyond the myth of American exceptionalism to place the United States within the wider surroundings of the global historical forces that shaped the Western empires and the world.

  • Artifacts from Modern America, 1st Edition

    Artifacts from Modern America, 1st Edition

    Greenwood Publishing Group | 2018 | ISBN-13: 9781440846830

    This intriguing book examines how material objects of the 20th century—ranging from articles of clothing to tools and weapons, communication devices, and toys and games—reflect dominant ideas and testify to the ways social change happens.

  • Great Events from History: Human Rights, 2nd Edition

    Great Events from History: Human Rights, 2nd Edition

    Salem Press | 2019 | ISBN-13: 9781642652925

    This updated reference work originally published in 1992 includes significant updates and a number of new articles that address human rights issues over the past 30 years. This four-volume work traces the path of civil liberties and natural rights throughout history, from ancient codes to modern movements, through pivotal events that have directly affected people and their freedoms. It documents the progression, regression, and overall history of human rights. Modern milestones chronicled include 2001: The U.S. Launches a War on Terror in Iraq and Afghanistan in Response to 9/11; 2004: The First Same-Sex Marriage Is Performed in Massachusetts; 2006: The Global Internet Consortium Is Founded; 2006: WikiLeaks Gives Whistle-blowers a New Platform; 2014: ISIS Comes to Power in Iraq and Syria; 2015: China Revokes One-Child Policy; 2017: Gay Chechens Are Purged; 2018: Peace Talks Begin on the Korean Peninsula; and 2018: Separating Immigrant Families at the Border.

  • Uncovering American History: A Primary Source Investigation of Reconstruction, 1st Edition

    Uncovering American History: A Primary Source Investigation of Reconstruction, 1st Edition

    Rosen Central | 2019 | ISBN-13: 9781508184072

    The era of Reconstruction followed the long, bloody Civil War and became one of the most important in the nation’s history. It set guidelines for race relations and the federal government’s involvement in them. From black codes to voting rights for black men, Reconstruction was an active but contentious period. Articles such as amendments to the Constitution and speeches from the nation’s leaders are examined along with text that provides the necessary material to fully understand the volatile issues debated. This fully illustrated volume highlights the people and their works with a clear and authoritative voice.

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