History, Western Europe *: Introduction

This guide is intended to help any faculty, graduate, or undergraduate student find general resources in the area of West European history.


This research guide provides links to resources that support the study of Western European history. Contents reflect a social sciences approach to historiography rather than viewing history exclusively as a discipline within the humanities.

NOTE: Refer to the USC Libraries Medieval Studies and Research guide for a comprehensive list of resources that support the study of this period of European history.

Collection Development

Collection Development Guidelines

Print resources that support teaching, research, and learning in the study of Western European history are located primarily in the Doheny Memorial Library. The USC Libraries collects in the major areas of emphasis of the discipline, including but not limited to, general theory and methodology of the study of Western European history and historiography and all historical aspects of the countries comprising Western Europe [Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, San Marino, Sweden, and Switzerland]. Emphasis is given to collecting materials related to post-1450 history, with selective emphasis on major eras of pre-1450 history. Relevant materials in philosophy and religious history are located at the Hoose Library of Philosophy; works of art history and architecture are at Architectural and Fine Arts Library; and music and performing arts materials may be found at the Music Library.

Materials are acquired in three ways: standing orders of books from specific publishers and in designated subject areas under the GOBI vendor profile, individually purchased titles [firm orders] from GOBI and other vendors, and donations.

The historical aspects of any discipline within the social sciences and humanities is broadly supportive of interdisciplinary research and pedagogy. Therefore, a deliberate approach is taken to building and maintaining the Western European history collection so that it helps support research in anthropology, classical studies, demography, economics, education, environmental studies, human development, international affairs, law, linguistics, literature, political science, philosophy, and religion. With the exception of course textbooks, anthologies, and reprints of doctoral dissertations, scholarly materials of all types, including digital archives and other types of online resources, are collected or made accessible. The collecting efforts emphasize materials either published in or translated to English. Materials in other languages are acquired very selectively and only in support of current curricular and research needs.

Library faculty consider permanent removal of print materials based primarily on the following criteria: older editions that are not historically significant, duplicate copies, damaged or mutilated materials, or in response to emerging space constraints. Materials also may be considered for permanent removal in response to significant and long-lasting changes in the curriculum, areas of research, and teaching priorities of the Dornsife College Department of History.

Library Faculty Subject Specialist

Dr. Robert V. Labaree
International and Public Affairs Library
Room 38A