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History of the Islamic World: Start Here

Use the following sources to learn more about Islam and the Muslim world.

Try this resource to get background information

 To find articles (Iranian Revolution) , go to Credo Reference and search for topics your professor has suggested.  You will get a long list of entries in reference books; notice the title of the encyclopedia each article is published in,  as well as the bibliography provided at the end of each article.  You can also continue your research to library resource Worldcat.

Think of this source as an academic substitute for Wikipedia. 

Visit the Credo Topic Pages featuring additional content around this particular subject area  AND click here to view the CREDO tutorials.

Try these resources to read articles

The Smith Library Center subscribes to various discipline-specific databases that, when searched, will yield many articles and essays on the broad subject of the Islamic World.

Tip: When you view a full record for an article, read the abstract, or summary, to quickly ascertain if it is relevant to your research. 

Databases A-Z (Smith Library Center)

Suggested Reference Works In the Library

Meet Your Librarians | Joan Parks,

Use WorldCat to search by keyword and subject

WorldCat is the library's online catalog. Use it to identify printed and electronic books that we own as well as videos, CD's, DVD's, and more. If you find an item that we don't own that you need for your research, use Get it! and we will get the item from a library that does own it. 

Searching any database requires an understanding of how subject headings are used to describe and organize the items listed. Entering a subject phrase that is not used in a particular database will keep you from finding what you need even if the item is there. A few scattered examples of select subject headings relevant to this class are below. Always ask a librarian for help if you are not finding what you need--it may simply be a matter of using the right vocabulary.

Using a variety of different subjects, you will be able to research the following

Suggested Keywords

 Keywords are the significant words or concepts that express an idea or topic.  Try these keywords when searching for information about your topic.  For a quick start use WorldCat.

  • Allah
  • Hajj
  • Islam
  • (Prophet) Muhammad
  • Muslim
  • Pillars of Islam
  • Shiite or Shia
  • Sufism
  • Sunni
  • Qur'an

Try quality and reputable websites to support your argument.

While the library provides many reliable resources for finding information on topics discussed in this course, there are several websites your professors and librarians have determined are reliable and informative.


Determining "good" information from "bad" can get tricky sometimes. One way to decide what's what is to ask a librarian for help, or you can use SIFT, a set of 4 'moves'.

Suggested books from WorldCat

You can search WorldCat to find more books that are available at the Smith Library and books beyond our library.

Primary Sources : Library Databases

Primary sources may include diaries, letters, interviews, oral histories, photographs, newspaper articles, government documents, poems, novels, plays, and music.

  • The New York Times Online -- Full text of articles and page images of the New York Times from 1851 to the present.
  • Gale: Opposing Viewpoints -- Opposing Viewpoints in Context is a resource that brings together academic articles, audio, videos, opinion essays and primary sources about contemporary controversies and hot topics. Whether you need a balanced view or support for your position, Opposing Viewpoints is the first place to go when you're researching a controversial or contentious issue.
  • Nexis Uni --  Provides access to the full text of newspapers (foreign and domestic), as well as business, legal, medical, and reference publications.
  • Newspaper Source Plus -- Provides access to both national and international newspapers, and contains abstracts and indexing from the following papers): The New York Times Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, and USA Today.

Some help in identifying primary and secondary sources?


Return to FYS / AES Research Hub


TIP: Clicking this icon will take you back to the Research Hub.