Research Resources: Databases, Archives, and Academic Search Engines

A regularly updated list of research resources for SCA artisans and living historians: academic search engines, databases, archives, and museum collections.

This list of resources is provided to accompany my Quick and Dirty Intro to Research lecture notes for newer SCAdians, reenactors, and history enthusiasts interested in doing their own research.

In Summary:

When searching for information on a new historical topic, my general process is as follows:

  1. Begin with searching RefSeek for general information, including any academic communities, conferences, workshops, etc. related to the subject.
  2. Then move on to digging through Semantic Scholar and Google Scholar for specific sources, paired with EMU’s Scholarly Press Search and Google Books. Only if these searches prove unfruitful will I move onto other search engines and databases.
  3. If I’m looking for physical artifacts or primary sources (often revealed in step two), I’ll then move onto querying museum and archival databases. 

General Scholarly Resources

Search Engines for Papers, Articles, Theses, etc.

Alternative Search Engines & PDF Archives (Not Explicitly Academic)

Note that these PDF download sites may be considered a legally grey area. Caveat emptor.

Books and Academic Presses

Large Museum Collections

Renaissance-Era Low Countries Resources

Please view the separate document I am using to track resources, archives, and academic projects that specifically focus on this subject under my Renaissance Netherlands with Will Phillips project:

Renaissance-Era Dutch Studies Resources for Reenactors and History Enthusiasts