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History: Further sources

A guide to finding information in history. Includes links to key resources and sources of help.


Reading University theses and dissertations

The Library receives a copy of all theses accepted for the degrees of PhD and MPhil by the University. All theses held by the Library can be found on the Enterprise catalogue. Recently submitted theses might also be available to download from the University's Institutional Repository, CentAUR.

Masters theses can usually be consulted in the relevant school or department.

Finding theses from other institutions

There are a number of specialist sources for finding theses produced at other institutions around the world. Many more are becoming available online making it much easier to get the full-text. For more information see our guide to finding theses.

Parliamentary publications

The UK Parliament and other national and regional assemblies and parliaments around the world typically publish official papers on their activities, providing a potentially rich resource for research into political and legislative processes.

The Library holds an extensive historical collection of UK parliamentary papers, much of the content of which is now also accessible electronically; current and recent parliamentary publications are ordinarily available online. For more information, read:

Conference papers

Conference papers are published in a variety of ways - they may be published as a book, or as a special issue or supplement to a journal. Some may not be published at all!

If published promptly they can you give you the latest information on research in your field.

See our guide to finding conference papers for details of specialist sources for finding this type of information.


Newspapers can be a good source for the latest developments in a field and for current opinion on controversial topics. They also provide insight into public opinion and the national mood at the time of historic events.

We have online access to a number of current and archive newspaper issues, mainly covering UK newspapers. For further information and links go to our Finding newspapers page.

Maps & atlases

Maps can be used in nearly all disciplines to either research or display spatial information, including History.  The University Library contains about 70,000 maps and atlases, covering the whole world. They include original and facsimile maps from medieval to modern times, and access to online resources is also available.

To find out how maps can help you, see our presentation on Using maps for your research.

See our Guide to finding and using printed and digital maps for more information and help on getting started.

For digital maps of Great Britain, the best place to start is Digimap. This includes eight datasets, including contemporary Ordnance Survey maps; historical Ordnance Survey maps; geology maps; environmental land cover maps; marine charts and thematic data; aerial imagery ; census and socio-economic data and world maps. Maps can be printed out or data downloaded for use in a geographical information system.

For further help and advice, contact the Map Librarian.