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While the library building is closed until further notice, the Library's online services and resources continue to be available to Northwestern students, faculty, and staff.

Please see this Guide to Modified Services for more information.

History of Russia from the Earliest Times to the Present

About this page

Background reading is an essential starting point to any research project.  The purpose of background reading is to get an overview of your topic, and to begin to become acquainted with the key terms, names and events associated with your topic.


A good place to begin your background reading is to find and read an article in a subject-specific reference book.  The Berntsen Library collects reference books in both print and online formats.


*Note: Reference books are considered tertiary sources and are not typically referred to or cited in research papers.

Reference books for background reading

These subject-specific reference books are available at the Berntsen Library.  They are worth a trip to the library in order to get a concise, authoritative overview of your topic as you begin your research.  Search CLICsearch, or browse the 900s section of the Reference collection to find more history reference books.

E-Reference books

Search one or more of the following e-Reference resources in order to get a good, authoritative overview of your history topic.