European History

Librarian for European History

Andrew H. Lee
Bobst Library at New York University
70 Washington Square South, Mezzanine
New York, NY 10012
Phone: (212) 998-2633

Research Assistance


Finding Books in BobCat:

BobCat can be searched for books and other materials in history with a subject search (s= ).
Generally, subject headings for books in history follow a specific pattern:
Place name -- Subdivision -- Time period.

Place names can be names of countries, regions or cities. Subdivisions, as listed below in the examples, are standard and can be used with various place names. They describe the particular emphasis of the book. Time period refers to the years covered by the book; time period designations vary according to place.

The following examples illustrate possible subject searches for the history of 19-century Great Britain:

Place Name Subdivision Time Period
s = Great Britain History --
History --
Intellectual life --
Social conditions --
Economic conditions --
Politics and government --
Foreign relations --
19th century
Victoria, 1837-1901
19th century
19th century
19th century

You can find information on all Western European countries by following this general pattern.

Also find information on interdisciplinary subjects with the alternate pattern:

Subject Place Name Subdivision Time Period
s = Women --
s = Middle classes --
France --
England --
History --
History --
19th century
19th century

For more information, consult the Library of Congress Subject Headings, a 4-volume set which contains the subject headings used in BobCat and other library catalogs. Look under the place name or subject to see the appropriate subdivisions and time periods. Copies of LCSH are in all reference centers.

Internet Links

Guides and Bibliographies

  • American Historical Association. Guide to Historical Literature. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995. 3rd ed. 2 volumes.
    Bobst REF1 Z6201 .A55 1995
    An annotated guide to scholarly works in history for all periods and areas of the world, compiled by specialists in the field. Each of the 48 sections provides an introductory essay and extensive list of recommended books and articles for a specific country or region. Coverage is concentrated on works published since 1963. Author and subject indexes. For earlier works see Bibliography of Modern History, ed. by John Roach, Cambridge University Press, 1968 or the previous edition of the AHA's Guide to Historical Literature, published in 1961.
  • Reference Sources in History: An Introductory Guide, ed. by Ronald H. Fritze, Brian E. Coutts and Louis A. Vyhnanek. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 1990.
    Bobst REF1 Z6201 .F72 1990
    This volume surveys all types of reference materials useful to historians, including bibliographies, periodical guides and indexes, newspapers, statistical sources, government publications, and biographical sources. The emphasis is on English-language titles in the fields of American and European history.
  • Bibliography of European Economic and Social History, compiled by Derek H. Aldcroft and Richard Rodger. 2nd ed. Manchester, Eng: Manchester University Press, 1992.
    Bobst REF1 Z7165 .E8 A4 1993
    A useful compilation of articles and books on Europe, including Turkey and the Soviet Union, covering the period 1700 through 1939. Topics emphasized include labor, urban and rural history, transportation, population and migration, banking and commerce, and historiography.
  • Women in Western European History: A Select Chronological, Geographical and Topical Bibliography, ed. by Linda Frey, Marsha Frey and Joanne Schneider. 2 vols. plus supplement. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1982-1984.
    Bobst REF1 Z7961. F74 1982
    This lengthy bibliography was one of the first devoted to women's history. The entries are for books only, arranged by period, country/region and then subject. Listings include books in English and Western European languages and are not annotated. The second volume covers the 19th and 20th centuries.
  • The Foreign Affairs 50-year Bibliography, 1920-1970. Ed. by Byron Dexter. New York: published for the Council on Foreign Relations by R.R. Bowker, 1972.
    Bobst REF1 Z6461 .F62
  • Foreign Affairs Bibliography, 1962-1971. Ed. by Janis A. Kreslins. New York : Published for the Council on Foreign Relations by R. R. Bowker Co., 1976.
    Bobst REF1 Z6461 .K73
    Entries in these volumes contain extensive descriptions summarizing the argument and importance for historical study. Subjects covered are history, diplomacy, and political and economic affairs. An appendix lists important collections of government documents published since the 1920s: official histories of the World Wars, lists of treaties, and diplomatic records.

General Narrative Histories

  • New Cambridge Modern History. Cambridge, Eng: Cambridge University Press, 1957-1979. 14 vols.
    Bobst REF1 D208 .N4 & Bobst Stacks D208. N4
    The standard survey of Western history from the Renaissance to World War II. According to the general introduction, European "civilisation is to be treated in all its aspects, political, economic, social, 'cultural' and religious." Does not include bibliographies.
  • Cambridge Economic History of Europe. Ed. by M.M. Postan and H.J. Habakkuk. Cambridge, Eng.: The University Press, 1966-1989. 8 vols.
    Bobst REF1 & REF6 HC240 .C3 & Bobst Stacks HC240 .C3
  • Pounds, Norman J. G. An Historical Geography of Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990.
    Bobst Stacks D21.5 .P62 1990
    Surveys change in the fields of agriculture, manufacturing and industry, demographics, urbanism and trade.

Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

  • Encyclopedia of European Social History From 1350 to 2000. Ed. by Peter N. Stearns. Detroit: Scribner's, 2001. 6 vols.
    Bobst REF1 HN373 .E63 2001
    Articles are grouped in 23 sections, including a section on Methodologies, all with extensive bibliographies. The sixth volume contains biographies.
  • Townson, Duncan. Penguin Dictionary of Modern History, 1789-1945. London: Penguin, 1994.
    Bobst REF1 D205. T69 1994
    Alphabetically arranged; primarily a dictionary of political and economic history, with entries for persons, movements, events, etc.
  • Encyclopedia Britannica
    Bobst REF1 AE5 .E5
    Electronic Access


All databases with electronic availability are accessible from off campus, via the library's website. Go to the alphabetical list of databases at and locate the database you'd like to search by title. When you click on "connect," you'll be prompted to enter your NYU Net ID and password.

  • Historical Abstracts. 1954-present
    A searchable index to European and world history from 1450 to the present, searchable by author, subject and keyword. Covers about 2000 historical journals published in 50 languages; however, it is possible to limit searches to articles in English. Includes book reviews.
    Electronic Access
  • Proquest. Coverage Varies
    A multidisciplinary database that indexes newspapers, general interest magazines, and academic journals. A good source for book reviews.
    Electronic Access
  • Wilson Omni. 1994-present
    Contains indexed and abstracted articles from periodicals, all with ASCII full text online. The database is comprised of selected records from the following H.W. Wilson databases: Readers' Guide Abstracts, Social Sciences Abstracts, Humanities Abstracts, General Science Abstracts and Wilson Business Abstracts.(Note that each periodical can begin on a different month and year.) Limited for History, but Articles are all Full-Text
    Electronic Access
  • British Humanities Index. 1962-present
    Bobst REF1 AI3. B8
    An annual index, arranged by author and subject. Includes references to about a dozen journals not included in the indexes above, largely on the history of Ireland and Great Britain. Most journals covered are available in Bobst.


  • Mitchell, B.R. International Historical Statistics: Europe, 1750-2000. 5th ed. Basingstoke, Hampshire, England; New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.
    Bobst REF1 HA1107 .M5 2005

Chronologies and Handbooks

  • A Companion to Modern European History. Oxford: Blackwell, 1997.
    Bobst REF1 D395 .C59 1997
    Primarily a series of chapters on important themes and topics: Population; European Diplomacy, 1871- 1914; Rise of European Feminism, etc. Also includes a biographical section and a guide to further reading.
  • Cook, Chris, and John Stevenson, eds. Longman Handbook of Modern European History, 1763-1997. New York: Longman, 1998.
    Bobst REF1 D299. C627 1998
    A compilation of historical facts and figures organized into seven sections, including chronologies of political events, brief biographies, lists of principal rulers and ministers, tables of economic and social statistics, and a selective bibliography.
  • Pearson, Raymond, ed.The Longman Companion to European Nationalism, 1789-1920. London ; New York : Longman, 1994.
    Bobst REF1 D359.7 .P43 1994
    A brief, but solid overview, with statistical tables, biographies, a glossary, and select bibliography organized geographically.
  • Williams, Neville. Chronology of the Modern World, 1763 to 1992. 2nd ed. NY: Simon & Schuster, 1994
    Bobst REF1 D209 .W59 1994b
    For each calendar year, a two-page listing of significant events. The left-hand page is devoted to politics and international affairs; the right, to philosophy, science, the arts, and literature.
  • Rulers and Governments of the World. NY: Bowker, 1977. 3 vols.
    Bobst REF1 D11.5 .R67 1977
    Detailed listings of heads of state, cabinet officers, and rulers from the earliest times to 1975.

Collections of Documents and Treaties

  • Internet Modern History Sourcebook
    A vast selection of shorter texts and excerpts, from the Reformation to the present, compiled at Fordham University. English only.
  • EuroDocs
    From Richard Hacken, European Studies Bibliographer, Brigham Young University, this site contains links to primary historical documents from Western Europe, by country, including selected transcripts, facsimiles and translations.
  • Documents in the Political History of the European Continent, 1815-1939, compiled by G.A. Kertesz. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986.
    Bobst Stacks D5 .K4
    Extracts and abridgements of longer documents, with citations to complete sources.
  • European Women: a documentary history, 1789-1945, edited by Eleanor S. Riemer and John C. Fout. New York: Schocken Books, 1980
    Bobst Stacks HQ1587 .E98
    Variety of document-types concerning the history of women.
  • Documents of European Economic History. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1968. 2 volumes (1750-1870 / 1870-1914)
    Bobst Stacks HC240 .P5952
    Mostly extracted versions of a variety of primary sources, selected to illustrate certain editorial themes.
  • Documents on International Affairs. London: 1928-1963.
    Bobst Stacks D443 .T76
    Annual volumes contain texts of treaties, government announcements and publications, speeches, etc.
  • Major Peace Treaties of Modern History, 1648-1967, ed. by Fred L. Israel. NY: Chelsea House, 1979. 5 vol.
    Bobst Stacks JX121 .I8
    Collection of documents in their entirety.
  • Revolution from 1789 to 1906, edited by Raymond Postgate. Gloucester, MA: Peter Smith, 1969.
    Bobst Stacks D361 .P65 1969
    Extracts of documents with editorial comments and narrative.

Annual Surveys and Factbooks

  • Keesings Records of World Events. London: July 1, 1931-date. Monthly.
    Bobst Microform 1931-1980
    Electronic Access 1960-present.
  • Facts on File. New York: Oct.30/Nov. 5, 1940-date. Weekly.
    REF1 D410 .F3 Current weekly issues and latest 2 yearbooks
    Bobst Stacks D410 .F3 Previous yearbooks
    These two sources provide brief ongoing summaries of world events; useful for chronology, identification of events and people, and basic facts. Annual indexes.
  • Annual Register, London: 1758-date.
    Bobst Special Collections Issues prior to 1800
    Bobst Stacks D2 .A7 1800-1945
    Bobst REF1 D2 .A7 1946-1959
    Electronic Access 1960-present, coverage via Keesing's
    Each book-length volume contains a lengthy review of the previous year's political events in Great Britain and the world, as well as a selection of public documents. Beginning in 1863, developments in literature, science and the arts are also surveyed.
  • Survey of International Affairs. London, 1920/23-1963
    Bobst Stacks D442 .S8
    For the years published, a highly detailed annual narrative of international political events in all areas of the world.


  • Hammond Atlas of World History. Maplewood NJ: Hammond, 1999
    Bobst REF1 Atlas Drawers G1030 .H34 1999
  • Times Atlas of European History. 3rd. ed. London: Times Books, 1994.
    Bobst REF1 G1797.21 .S1 T56 1994
  • New Cambridge Modern History, vol. 14. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1970.
    Bobst REF1 D208. N4
    Although small in size, this volume offers a superior assortment of political maps.
  • Perry-CastaƱeda Library Map Collection: Historical Maps of Europe
    Alphabetical list of historical maps of europe.
  • European Maps
    European maps, by region, from the Yale Map Collection. Mostly 18th century.

Additional Reference Sources by Country

  • Biographical Dictionary of French Political Leaders since 1870. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1990.
    Bobst REF1 DC 342 .B56 1990
  • Historical Dictionary of Napoleonic France. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1984.
    Bobst REF1 DC201 .H673 1985
  • Historical Dictionary of France from the 1815 Restoration to the Second Empire. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1987. 2 volumes.
    Bobst REF1 DC 256.H57 1987
  • Historical Dictionary of the French Second Empire, 1852-1870. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1985.
    Bobst REF1 DC 276.H57 1985
  • Historical Dictionary of the Third French Republic, 1870-1940. 2 vol. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1986
    Bobst REF1 DC 337.H57 1986
  • Historical Dictionary of World War II France: the Occupation, Vichy, and the Resistance, 1938-1946. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1998.
    Bobst REF1 DC397 .H58 1998

11b. Italy

  • Dictionary of Modern Italian History, ed. by Frank J. Coppa. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1985
    Bobst REF1 DG545 .D53 1985
  • Historical Dictionary of Fascist Italy. Ed. by Philip V. Cannistraro. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1982.
    Bobst REF1 DG 571.A1 H57
  • Historical Dictionary of Modern Italy. Ed. by Mark Gilbert. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 1999.
    Bobst REF1 DG555 .G53 1999
  • Modern Italian History: an annotated bibliography, comp. by Frank J. Coppa and William Roberts. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1990
    Bobst REF1 Z2358 .C67 1990
  • DiScala, Spencer M. Italy: From Revolution to Republic, 1700 to the Present. 3rd ed. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2004.
    Contains a lengthy bibliographical essay.
    Bobst Stacks DG545 .D5 2004

11c. Germany

  • Encyclopedia of the Third Reich, edited by Christian Zentner and Friedemann Beduerftig. English translation edited by Amy Hackett. New York: Macmillan, 1991. 2 volumes.
    Bobst REF1 DD256.5 .G76313 1991
  • Kirk, Tim. Longman Companion to Nazi Germany. Harlow, Essex: Longman, 1995.
    Bobst REF1 DD256.5 K475 1995
  • Modern Germany: An Encyclopedia of History, People, and Culture, 1871-1990. Ed. by Dieter K. Buse, Juergen C. Doerr. New York: Garland Pub., 1998. 2 vols.
    Bobst REF1 DD14 .M64 1998
  • Snyder, Louis L. The Third Reich, 1933-1945: a bibliographical guide to German National Socialism. New York: Garland, 1987.
    Bobst Stacks Z2241 .N27 S65 1987
  • Historical Dictionary of Germany. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1994.
    Bobst REF1 DD84 .T48 1987
  • A Historical Dictionary of Germany's Weimar Republic. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1997.
    Bobst REF1 DD84 .V56 1997

11d. Great Britain

  • British Economic and Social History: a bibliographical guide. 3rd ed. Manchester, Eng: Manchester University Press, 1996.
    Bobst REF6 Z7165. G8 R53 1996
  • Havighurst, Alfred F. Modern England, 1901-1984 (a selective bibliography). 2nd ed. Cambridge: CUP, 1987.
    Bobst Stacks Z2020 .H38 1988
  • Victorian Britain: an encyclopedia, ed. by Sally Mitchell. New York: Garland, 1988.
    Bobst REF1 DA550 .V53 1988
  • British Women's History: a bibliographical guide. Manchester and NY: Manchester University Press, 1996.
    Bobst REF1 Z7964 .G7 H36 1996
  • Longman Handbook of Modern British History, 1714-2001. 4th ed. London; NY: Longman, 2001.
    Bobst REF1 DA470 .C653 2001
  • Encyclopedia of Romanticism: Culture in Britain, 1780s-1830s. New York: Garland, 1992.
    Bobst REF1 DA529 .E53 1992
  • Oxford Companion to British History. Rev. ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.
    Bobst REF1 DA34 .O93 2002
  • Historical Dictionary of the United Kingdom. Ed. by Kenneth J. Panton. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 1997.
    Bobst REF1 DA34 .P36 1997
  • Twentieth Century Britain: an encyclopedia. Rev. ed. New York: Garland, 2002.
    Bobst REF1 DA566. T835 2002

11e. Ireland

  • Oxford Companion to Irish History. 2nd ed. Oxford University Press, 2002.
    Bobst REF1 DA912 .O94 2002
  • Companion to Irish History, 1603-1921: from the submission of Tyrone to Partition. NY: Facts on File, 1991.
    Bobst REF1 DA912 .N485 1991
  • Chronology of Irish History Since 1500. J. E. Doherty. Savage, MD: Barnes & Noble Books, 1990.
    Bobst REF1 DA910 .D66 1990
  • A New History of Ireland. Ed. by T.W. Moody, F.X. Martin, F.J. Byrne. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1976-.
    Bobst REF1 DA912 .N48
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