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World War II Biographies and Machiavelli: Databases

This guide will help students conduct research to compare famous people involved in World War II with the Machiavellian ideal outlined in The Prince.

About Databases

Databases allow you to search online reference materials, books, journals, magazines, newspapers, and even websites and videos all at once. Some databases require users to log-in from home, but all the listed databases should be immediately accessible on campus.

Databases are indexed differently and may require different searches to find the information you need. It is always a good idea to choose advanced search and full-text when possible so you can select your filters and read the results online.


Don't forget to use Boolean operators in databases that allow it!

How do boolean operators work? Using the following words in uppercase letters can expand or narrow your search.


AND will search for all items including both terms. For example: 

  • A Keyword search for "Roman AND warfare" will return items that on Roman warfare, but not items on Roman sculpture or guerilla warfare.

This is a great option if you are getting too many results or results that are not specific enough.  


NOT will return less results by returning items that only return one of the terms and exclude the other. For example:

  • If you are looking for information on Falcons, but keep getting information on the Atlanta team, try searching with "Falcons NOT Atlanta". This will eliminate every falcon result with the word Atlanta in it.

This is a great option if you are getting too many irrelevant results.


OR will search for both terms at once. For example:

  • If you search for doctors OR physicians, you will get all items that include either term.

This is a great option if you are not getting enough results or are not sure which term the author may have used.

Watch the YouTube video to the right for more information on Boolean operators.

Databases for WWII


For academic journals, J-stor is a great database to search. Remember to specify language in advanced searching or you may end up with articles in languages you don't understand. You can also narrow your results by putting a check in the disciplines you wish to search. Contact Ms. Foust Colburn if you need access from home.

Salem History

Salem history reference books from the library are available online and include texts such as Great Events from History: The Eighteenth Century, Milestone Documents from World History and Great Lives from History:  The Renaissance. Contact Ms. Foust Colburn for access from home.

Through AVL

Biography Reference Bank

Browse or search this database to find basic biographical information about your world leader.  The database also provides access to full-text articles and book citations.

History Reference Center

Browse or search this database to find reference materials, books, and articles about your world leader. Remember to select full-text to read your results online. 

Oxford Reference Online

Search Oxford's Reference books through this AVL sponsored database.

Student Research Center

This EBSCOhost database searched newspapers, magazines, books and encyclopedias, biographies, images, maps, videos, primary sources documents, and radio transcripts all at once. 

Boolean Searching


Korechika Anami