Welcome to the History Research Guide for the Harvard Kennedy School!

This guide provides an overview of resources for historical research for HKS students and faculty who may not be engaged in in-depth archival work but would like to undertake policy research from a historically informed perspective. It does not aspire to be exhaustive, and it focuses primarily on twentieth-century and contemporary history. For a much more detailed guide, check the History Guide provided by the FAS Libraries.

For questions about research on historical topics, please do not hesitate to contact one of your HKS librarians.

Research Databases


Encyclopedias etc.: U.S. History


Encyclopedias etc.: World History

Another good starting point are the concise topical overviews in the Very Short Introductions series (Harvard Login) from Oxford University Press, which contain titles on various topics in general history, legal history, the history of medicine, the history of science and technology, and politics.


Biographical Resources

For more national biographical resources, try searching HOLLIS for biography databases