Brown Library :: Topic Guides

  • Upcoming Events
  • Loading Events...

Online Resources for Historical & Primary Research


Databases for Newspapers

  • Factiva - Full-text articles from major newspapers across the country including The Roanoke Times is from 1990 to the present. For older issues of the Roanoke Times and other various local newspapers, go to the Virginia Room of the Roanoke City Public Library on Jefferson Street.
  • World News Digest - This full-text database, published by Facts on File, includes original news articles published from 1940 to the present day.
  • New York Times Article Archive 1851-Present. Search the index for all years. Articles are free from 1851-1922 (public domain) and from 1987-Present.

Online sites for 17th-19th Century Newspapers

More Historic Newspapers - The University of Pennsylvania Libraries has collected a list of links to various historic newspapers. Some of these links are to newspapers freely available through the Internet. Other links are to subscriptions only owned by the University of PA.


Circulating Books

In general, books on history are located in the D-F sections of the library. To find books about a specific topic click on the books link from the sidebar on the right . You may also use the links below to find call number areas for browsing.

  • American History - Books about recent American history are arranged by presidential administration.
  • World History - Books about world history are arranged first by country, and then by time period. This is a long PDF file, so use Control F to find your topic in the document.

Use these words when searching the book catalog to identify primary materials.

  • Manuscripts
  • Diaries
  • Correspondence

Oral History

These are general works on doing oral history research. They are located in the circulation department.

  • Doing Oral History - D16.14 R57
  • Oral History: an Introduction for Students - D16.14 H66
  • The Voice of the Past: Oral History - D16.14 T48
  • Transcribing and Editing Oral History - D16.14 B38

Quick Facts

Look up dates in history and find out what happened.

  • Chronology of World History - D11 .M39
  • What Happened When - E174.5.C32
  • The Encyclopedia of American Facts and Dates - E174.5 .C3
  • The Timetables of History - D11 .G78

Primary Research on the Web

Oral History Interviews

  • About.Com - Interviewing Relatives & Collecting Oral History. Includes questions to ask and guidelines for conducting an effective interview.
  • An Oral History Primer - From the Library at The University of California. How to prepare for the interview, ethical and legal considerations, taking notes, and preservation.
  • Cyndi's List - This is the number one reference site consulted by genealogists and family historians. There are plenty of links here to give you everything you need to know about oral history.

Brown Library

M-Th: 8AM - 8PM
Fri: 8AM - 5PM
Sat: 9AM - 1PM
Sun: Closed

3095 Colonial Ave SW
Roanoke, VA 24015

Info: 540-857-7303
Reference: 540-857-7438
Circulation: 540-857-6941
Fax: 857-6058