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HIST 104 - Western Civilization to 1650

This research guide will help you explore the many conversations about Western Civilization to 1650

Useful Keywords

Use the words below to search for useful information in books including eBooks and articles at the MJC Library.

Also be sure to refer to your assignment for useful search terms.

  • europe history 17th century
  • byzantine empire
  • renaissance
  • rome (empire)
  • Hellenism
  • greece civilization
  • civilization, ancient
  • civilization, medieval
  • judaism
  • western civilization history (You can put a time period after a subject to focus it furtheri.e., western civilization history 15th century)
  • world history (You can put a time period after a subject to focus it further, i.e., world history 16th century)

Using & Finding Books

Why You Use Books:

Use books to read broad overviews and detailed discussions of your topic. 

Where Do I Find Books?

You'll use the library catalog to search for books, ebooks, articles, and more.

What if MJC Doesn't Have What I Need?

If you need materials (books, articles, recordings, videos, etc.) that you cannot find in the MJC Library catalog, use our interlibrary loan service.

Find Primary Sources

Primary sources are original materials that were created firsthand; they have not been run through the filter of interpretation. Often they are created during the time period that is being studied (correspondence, diaries, newspapers, government documents, art) but they can also be produced later by eyewitnesses or participants (memoirs, oral histories). You may find primary sources in their original format (usually in an archive) or reproduced in a variety of ways: books, microfilm, digital, etc.

Why Use Primary Sources:

Because primary sources are the documents or artifacts closest to the topic of investigation, they are a great way to gain insight into and an understanding of an event or topic.

Add these words to the end of your search for resources on any topic to focus your search specifically on primary sources:

  • sources
  • correspondence
  • personal narratives
  • photographs
  • diaries


For example: judaism sources

Using Databases to Find Articles

Why Use Databases:

The MJC Library subscribes to many databases filled with authoritative articles, book chapters, research reports, statistics, videos, and more from thousands of respected publications. You can search these databases either by topic or for a specific article.

Using the Library's article databases ensures that you're using sources your instructors expect you to use, and you won't have to cull through millions of unrelated Web pages that will waste your time and energy.


All of these resources are free for you because you are a student at MJC. If you're working from anywhere off campus, you'll need to sign in. Once you click on the name of a database simply enter your student ID and six-digit birth date.


Find Articles:

You can start with one of our Popular Research Starting Places databases that cover many different subjects, select a Database by Name from the alphabetically-arranged list, or browse Databases by Subject or Type from the drop-down menus.

go to articles and databases