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Simpson | Stafford | Special Collections

Historic Preservation: Locating Articles

A research guide to finding books, articles, and other resources in Historic Preservation

Using Databases

Databases provide access to published material in:

  • magazines
  • newspapers
  • scholarly journals
  • books
  • and other valuable information sources.

Magazines vs. Journals

Magazines are periodicals that are generally popular in nature, unlike journals, which are usually more scholarly and specialized.  Here are some differences between the two:


Magazine: Glossy; pictures often in color.
Journal: More serious look; few pictures, if any.

♦  Content

Magazine: Current events; general interest. 
Journal: More specialized; research topics.

♦  Audience

Magazine: General public.
Journal: Scholars and researchers in a particular field.

♦  Style

Magazine: Written for the average reader.
Journal: Written for others in the field; shows research.

♦  Foot / Endnotes and Bibliographies

Magazine: Few notes, if any.  No bibliographies.
Journal: Includes notes and sometimes bibliographies.

♦  Advertisements

Magazine: Many ads, often in color. 
Journal: Few or no ads.  If any, they are usually for books.

Citing Your Sources

While writing research papers, you may need to:

  List your sources in bibliographies or works cited, and

♦  Provide either footnotes or endnotes.

Here is a link to the UMW Libraries' Guide to Citing Resources.

Historic Preservation Databases

Art Full Text (1984 to date; full-text coverage begins in 1995)
Indexes a broad range of some 600 magazines and journals in the arts. See also Art Index Retrospective.

Art Index Retrospective (1929 to 1984)
Predecessor to Art Full Text.
Indexes more than 700 American and international periodicals in architecture and design.
Bibliography of the History of Art (1990-2007; 1975-1989).
Produced by the Getty Research Institute.

Central Rappahannock Heritage Center
The center "archives and preserves historical documents and photographs pertaining to the history and people from the counties of Caroline, Stafford, King George, Spotsylvania and the City of Fredericksburg in Virginia."

Digital Sanborn Maps - Virginia (late 19th to mid-20th centuries).
Provides access to 678 full-image maps of 132 Virginia cities and towns.

Eagle Explorer
Provides access to the Mary Washington newspaper (the Bullet), the academic catalogs, the alumni magazine, Aubade (the campus literary magazine), and The Battlefield (the yearbook).

Fredericksburg, Virginia (GIS)
The mapping website of Fredericksburg, Virginia

Mutual Assurance Society Policies, 1796-1865 (index)
A database that indexes the policies of the Mutual Assurance Society.  The index is also in Simpson Library (REFB F 226 .M871).  The call number of the microfilm policies themselves is F 226 .M87.  The 23 reels are located in the gray microfilm cabinets on the first floor of Simpson Library.
An extensive LibGuide produced by UMW Libraries.
Developed by the Historic Preservation Department at the University of Mary Washington. Enables users to search such area resources as 19th-century Fredericksburg directories, historic district codes, 18th- and 19th-century newspaper indexes, and local Mutual Assurance Policies and Censuses of Manufacturing Lists.

Other Useful Databases

Academic Search Complete (approximately 1880s to date)
Provides abstracts and full-text articles from more than 10,000 books, scholarly journals, magazines, newspapers, and reference works on a wide variety of topics.
American Antiquarian Society Historical Collections (1691-1877)
Provides digital access to more than 6,500 American magazines and journals published between 1691 and 1877.  (Because all issues of bound volumes were digitized, some periodicals beyond 1877 are included.) 
Provides digitized images of more than 1,000 American magazines, journals, and newspapers.

Ancestry Library Edition (on UMW campus only)
Provides genealogical and historical information.
A collection of images "from some of the world's leading museums, photo archives, scholars, and artists in one easily-navigated repository.

Biography and Genealogy Master Index
An index to millions of biographical sketches in hundreds of reference books and other sources. To use the index, 1) Look up your name. 2) Note the various titles that contain information on the person. 3) Use the Libraries' online catalog to locate the reference works. An excellent place to begin biographical research on living and deceased persons from around the world.

Dissertations and Theses Full Text
"Offers full text for most of the dissertations added since 1997 and strong retrospective full text coverage for older graduate works."

Historical Abstracts (1954 to date).
Covers all aspects of history (excluding the United States and Canada) from 1450 to the present. Includes abstracts of articles (summaries), and full-text articles.

Humanities & Social Sciences Index Retrospective: 1907-1984
Indexes nearly 1,200 periodicals.

Humanities Full Text (indexing: 1984 to date; select full text: 1995 to date)
Indexes some 600 journals in the humanities.

Humanities International Complete (coverage varies; approximately 1985 to date)
Provides the full text of hundreds of magazines, journals, books, and other works.

JSTOR (archived publications from the 1800s to the last 1-5 years).
A full-text collection of scholarly journals in a wide variety of disciplines in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. To focus your search, use the Advanced Search and the "narrow by discipline" and "language" limiters.

OmniFile Full Text, Mega Edition (1982 to date)
A multidisciplinary database that provides the full text from a variety of the company's full-text databases, including Education, General Science, Humanities, Readers' Guide, Social Sciences, and Business. When available, the full text is included from these databases: Applied Science & Technology, Art, Biological & Agricultural Index, Index to Legal Periodicals & Books, and Library Literature & Information Science. Coverage dates: Indexing, 1982+; Abstracting, 1984+; select full text, 1994+ (start dates for full-text coverage vary from journal to journal within a database).

Project Muse (coverage varies; mostly 1995 to date)
Provides online access to more than 400 scholarly journals in the humanities, arts, and social sciences.

Proquest Databases (coverage varies)
By clicking on "view by subject" and then de-selecting all of the selected databases, users can pick and choose resources or search by broad categories.

ProQuest Historical Newspapers (coverage varies)
Provides full-text and full-image articles for the New York Times (1851 to within the last several years) the Washington Post (1877 to 1991), and the Chicago Tribune (1849-1987). Users can search the newspapers separately or together.

Social Sciences Full Text (1983 to date; full text 1995 to date).
Indexes and abstracts more than 625 journals in the fields of psychology, sociology, gender studies, and other disciplinary fields in the social sciences.

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