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Forces: World War I: Recommended Resources

Curated resources for the Forces project on World War I.
Start by looking at your topic from a wide lens. As you gather research, narrow down your focus based on the amount of evidence that you find. Make a list of keywords as you read! 

Explore this research organizer for more help organizing your focus.

To access databases and other library services from home, you will be prompted to sign-in through Lawrenceville's EZproxy. 
When you click link for a Bunn database or service, the log-in screen (pictured below) will appear.

  • Username: first part of your email address (before the Example: asinai
  • Password: your email password

Having trouble with access? Email and include a description or screenshot of your issue. 

Reference sources are a great place to start your research. These resources provide a broad overview of your topic (the who, what, where, when, and why). Types of material include encyclopedias, almanacs, and dictionaries.

Background Reading: Online Reference Collections from Bunn Library

Suggested Articles and Topic Overviews:

Suggested eBook Reference titles:

Background Reading: Reference Resources from the Web

Narrow your focus with secondary sources. These sources take a particular position, and contain an analysis of documents and material in order to support an argument. Secondary sources can be written by scholars via books and peer-reviewed journals, or published in newspapers and magazines written by experienced journalists.

Print and eBooks from Bunn Library

Suggested titles to get started:

Try a broad subject keyword search to start, like "World War I" or "World War, 1914-1918". Search for key figures, people, and events to narrow your results, i.e. World War, 1914-1918 and Russia. 

Search the Bunn Library CatalogUse the General Keyword search to broaden your results. For a narrower focus, search the catalog by Subject Keyword using the drop-down menu.


To find books in the stacks, look at the call number:

  • 000-399: Lower Level

  • 400-699: Main Floor

  • 700-999: Second Floor

Books on Reference Room Reserve are located on the shelves in the Reference Room, and will have a colored spine label.

Have a useful book in hand?

  • Look at the Index for additional keywords and locate where they are discussed in your book. 

  • Check the Bibliography for additional sources that are connected to your topic.

Scholarly Source Collections: Online Resources from Bunn Library

Tips for searching for scholarly articles:

  • Be intentional about your keywords - who are the important figures, or events? How could you distill your topic into the most crucial words or phrases?
  • Use the Advanced Search option whenever possible to join together keywords and key phrases. Use quotation marks around phrases to ensure all words appear together in order. Such as "dollar diplomacy" 
  • Add search filters - limit to scholarly journal articles, book chapters (avoid book reviews!) 

As you research, you will not have time to read every article thoroughly - practice "skimming" an article to understand the main points. If it does not fit within your research question, you can move on quickly. If it seems useful, you can save the article to read more thoroughly later. Here are some tips to get started: 

This checklist is also available as a google doc - make a copy for yourself and use it to take notes on your sources. 


  • You are writing a paper based on what you discover - keep your research question in mind. This will help you to focus on the parts of the article that target your research goals.


  • Identify the author. What are their credentials? Are they an authority on the topic?

  • Read the abstract, a concise summary of the article (if available). Identify the main purpose of the text (thesis), the authors findings, and why the reader should care. 

  • Read the introductory paragraph of the article. What is the author planning to discuss? Look for a “forecasting statement” that previews  the content and structure of the rest of the article. 

  • Read the conclusion

  • If the article is divided into sections, read the first paragraph of each section

  • Focus on the sections relevant to your research question, and read the first sentence of each paragraph.


Taking brief notes will help you to keep track of what you read and where you read it. Avoid accidental plagiarism - input each source into Noodletools as you research. 

  • Record the citation information - add into Noodletools. 

  • Document the main idea or thesis.

  • Any pieces of evidence you find useful - ideas, statistics/facts, points that you want to return to later on or create into notecards.
Primary sources the historical evidence. Types of primary sources include documents (newspaper articles, interviews, diary entries), artifacts, or images that are of the time period you are studying. These require more advanced knowledge of the subject area to understand context and why the artifact is important. 

Recommended Primary Source Collections from Bunn Library

First World War Primary Source Collection from Adam Matthew. This is an excellent resource for this project. The collection includes a wide range of primary sources including maps, letters, diary entries, postcards, propaganda posters, photographs, art, and more. 

Artstor contains over 1.8 million digital images in the arts, architecture, the humanities and science from outstanding international museums, photographers, libraries, scholars, and photo archives. 

Historical Newspapers:

Facts on File: Modern World History contains primary sources such as peace treaties and charters, maps, and images. Use the advanced search option (Search Options --> Advanced Search) to limit to primary sources.

  • World War I Topic Browse: View all items related to World War I. Sort by source type (like primary sources, images) to view historical content. 

eBook resources with primary source documents, images, etc:
These sources are useful because they provide additional context to the image that will help to provide evidence in support of your theme/thesis. Browse through the table of contents to find relevant articles, and look at the sources within them. 

Primary Source Collections from the Web

Archival Collections: 

Global Perspectives:

Google Arts and Culture:

Visual Art:

National WWI Memorial and Museum:

National Archives - UK

National Archives - US