All of the websites on this page are reliable sources of information. However, this list is not comprehensive, and you may find other sites that you want to use for your research. When deciding whether to use a website for academic research, apply the same rules you would use to judge the credibility of any information source. The following questions should help you determine if a site is appropriate for your assignments:
You should always be able to identify an author of some type. Some sites are authored by an individual, such as a scholar or a journalist. Others may be authored by an institution, such as a government agency or news organization. If a site does not identify an author, it is probably not an appropriate source for academic research.
Most sites that are suitable for college coursework should be authored by a scholar or journalist for a credible publication. Be very cautious when using web content written by someone without proper credentials; some may be of value, but be selective. Try to determine if the site shows evidence of serious bias. All sources of information, whether print or digital, are biased to some extent. The reliability of any information source, in large part, is determined by the nature and extent of its bias. When trying to discern the credibility of a website, ask yourself the following questions: Is the point of the website to inform, or does does it seem aimed at convincing readers of a particular viewpoint? Might the author's bias obscure the truth in a significant way? An article about climate change published on a major oil corporation's website, for example, might be too biased to be reliable.
Generally, it is important to understand the basis for your author's argument. Sites that are good sources for college research often include source lists. Government sites and websites belonging to news organizations are exceptions to this rule.
Remember: it is very easy to publish information on the web. Sites that are suited to college research are highly selective about what they publish. Sites that allow anyone with internet access to edit or publish content, such as Wikipedia, should be approached with caution or avoided.
The importance of date varies across academic disciplines, so check with your professor. For disciplines such as history and the humanities, older sources are usually acceptable. For disciplines such as business, technology, the social sciences, and the hard sciences, more current sources are preferred. When in doubt, ask your professor about appropriate date ranges for sources.
The website evaluation standards outlined here are general guidelines; there is no one rule that applies to all sites in all cases. A site that is an appropriate source for one assignment might not be appropriate for another. It is up to you to use your own judgment in determining whether to use a website for academic research. If you are uncertain, check with your professor.
Ancient and Classical
Comprehensive list of sites for classical and Mediterranean studies. Primary and secondary sources, maps, and art catalogs.
Links to information on on the ancient Near East such as archeaological digs, electronic journals, and museum exhibits.
Texts and images of papyri from ancient Egypt as well as full-text articles.
From the British Museum. Egyptian life, geography, gods & goddesses, mummification, pharaoh, pyramids, temples, time, trades, and writing.
A lavish multimedia site from the Egyptian Center for Documentation of Cultural and Natural Heritage. Coverage is from ancient times to today.
A useful introduction to Greek and Roman mythology, Roman history and Roman culture. Latin Wordstock provides translations of Latin words into English and derivatives of English words from Latin roots.
Maintained at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, this site offers recent research concerning the ancient world from a variety of different disciplines. There are a number of detailed maps available for downloading.
From Fordham University, full-text primary and secondary sources.
Explains the 260-day calendar and the 365-day secular calendar.
Maintained by University of Minnesota's Department of Anthropology.
From the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Check out the "Countries and Culture" link on lower left of the page for very useful information.
Art historians at Smith College created this site to "promote wider understanding of the visual culture of the Spanish Americas. The project covers a vast region and time period, running geographically from California to Chile, and temporally from the 16th century to the early 19th century. The centerpiece of the site is the gallery, with over 100 images arranged by time period. The 1500s, 1600s, and 1700s are the most populated sections."
Created by the Library of Congress in collaboration with The National Library of Spain, and The Biblioteca Columbina y Capitular of Seville, this collection of primary and secondary historical documents explore the" history of Spanish expansion into North America from Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas, and across most of what is now the modern-day American Southwest all the way north to Alaska."
Explore interesting links to the history, myths, arts and traditions of Mexico.
Middle Ages & Medieval
The Aberdeen Bestiary, a manuscript, written and illuminated in England around 1200, contains notes, sketches and other evidence of the way it was designed and executed. Translation and transcript of original Latin.
The Labyrinth provides free, organized access to electronic resources in medieval studies through a World Wide Web server at Georgetown University.
An extensive set of collections of public domain and copy-permitted historical texts, maps, and articles maintained by a history professor at Fordham University.
This site includes an online encyclopedia which is divided chronologically and thematically. There is also a library of full text works and a useful section for students beginning medieval studies entitled "What Every Medievalist Should Know." The site includes resources for teachers and additional links to other useful sites.
Information on Protestant & Catholic reformation, including conflicts and effects on women.
Part of the BELIEVE, Religious Information website, it gives a clearly written explanation of the causes and results of the Reformation
BBC site that has good information on the Tudors in Britain including Henry VIII and the reformation
Scholarly articles, governmental records and images documenting various epidemic diseases in western Europe between 1348 and 1530.
Table of contents has entries for literature, history, science, music, religion and philosophy. Links to other sites, on-line journals, museums.
Primary and secondary electronic texts from Hanover College
This searchable archive will contain almost three million letters, and offers "the most complete record of any princely regime in Renaissance and Baroque Europe." There is a special emphasis on costumes and Jewish history during the Renaissance.
Good graphical representation of many different history timelines including the Renaissance
Good summary of events from a site for K-12 teachers
Text and graphics from three BBC/Open University documentaries. Click on the "script" button at the top for the text of the presentations.