History & Culture - Russia

Welcome to the History and Culture of Russia guide.

Map of Russia

Click on a tab below to find books, articles, primary sources and websites for use in the study of russian history and culture.

If you need additional help, please contact the History Librarian or stop by the Reference Desk. You can also get help from our online reference service: Ask A Librarian.


  1. Books
  2. Databases
  3. Primary Sources / Websites

Finding Books

Use the COD Library's book catalog to find books & videos. Click on the "keyword" tab to search using multiple search terms and limit your results by material type (book, video), date, or language.

Some suggested searches include searching by country. The heading used for Russia prior to the Russian Revolution is Russia, post Russian Revolution use Soviet Union, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union use Russia (Federation). Of course you can substitute any of the individual countries that make up the former Soviet states. There are other subheadings that may be of interest too. If you are not finding what you are looking for, contact the History Librarian or stop by the Reference Desk

Sample search terms:

  • Russia AND history
  • Russia AND “social life and customs”
  • Russia AND civilization
  • “Russia (federation)” AND “intellectual life”
  • “Soviet Union” AND “politics and government”

You'll need a current library card to check out books.



I-Share allows COD students to borrow books from over 80 Illinois academic libraries. You must have a current COD library card, and create an account to request books from an I-Share library.

E-book Collections

Most books in these collections can also be located and accessed by searching in the Library's book catalog.

  • ebrary
  • Collection contains many History-related books. Many e-books can be viewed from your computer or downloaded to your e-book reader. You need to create an account to download e-books to your device.

  • EBSCO e-book collection
  • Collection includes some books on History. NOTE: Books can be viewed by single page on a computer, or, can be downloaded to an e-book reader. You'll be prompted to create an EBSCO account. The loan period for e-books is four hours. Books can be renewed after the initial loan period expires.

  • Humanities (ACLS) E-book Collection
  • This resource includes over 1500 full-text, cross-searchable books in the humanities selected by scholars for their continuing importance for research and teaching. Pages from this collection can be printed and emailed.

Reference Works

Reference works, such as dictionaries and encyclopedias are useful for learning about background information on a topic topics in History.

Please note that print reference books may be used while in the library only. Online reference books may be accessed from any on or off-campus computer. You'll need a library card to access online books and articles from off-campus.
Click on the links below to access the online book/website or record/description of the print book.



The Library subscribes to many databases that provide access to thousands of popular and credible, scholarly journals. Many databases provide access to full-text articles, while some provide information about the article only (citation). Request (for free!) through Interlibrary Loan copies of articles to which the Library doesn't have full-text access.

Databases are organized collections of information that you can search on a variety of fields, like title and author's name. iTunes is a database and so is Amazon. Even your contacts list in your phone is a type of mini database. The Library has databases of articles from newspapers, magazines and journals. We also have databases of streaming videos, music and e-books. The difference between our databases and iTunes or Amazon is that our stuff is free for you to use. You can browse the library's databases here: http://www.codlrc.org/databases


Databases - Best Bets

  • Academic Search Complete
  • Multidisciplinary database covering a wide range of academic areas.

  • Academic OneFile
  • Multidisciplinary database covering a wide range of academic areas.

  • Artstor
    The Artstor Digital Library provides over 1.6 million digital images in the arts, architecture, humanities, and sciences with an accessible suite of software tools for teaching and research.

  • History Study Center
    Primary and secondary history collections providing access to rare British, American and world history sources, full text articles and reference materials. Includes multimedia sources.

  • Excellent source for credible scholarly, peer-reviewed articles. Articles in database were published between the early 1700s and between 1-5 years ago.

Individual Journal Title List

Click here to view a list of History-related journals

Primary Sources

There are several areas where you can find primary source documents. Click on a link below to view lists of resources in each of these areas.

Reference Collection

General Collection
To locate sources in the General Collection:
  • Do an author search
    Anything written by a participant would be a primary source. For example, for a primary source about the war in Roman times, look up "Caesar, Julius" as an author and find his The Gallic War.

  • Do a title search
    Some primary sources have no known authors. For example, a known primary source for Egyptian religious rites is the Book of the Dead also known as the Egyptian Book of the Dead. Doing a title search shows the Library owns several copies.

  • Do a subject search
    Primary sources often contain one of these subheadings: sources, personal narratives, diaries, or correspondence. For example, look up Middle Ages and scan the results for those subheadings. Sometimes primary sources are found in broad collections with or without the subheadings above. Look up a broader heading and limit the search results to "source material" to find some useful collections.

Library Databases
  • Academic Search Complete To locate primary sources scroll down to "Publication Type" and select Primary Source Document.
  • Discovering Collection : Includes overview essays, critical analysis, biographies, timelines and multimedia elements. In general these are not considered to be scholarly sources, except for the primary source material.
  • History Study Center : Primary and secondary history collections providing access to British, American and world history sources, full text articles, maps, and reference materials among other types of resources.

Who can publish on the Internet? Anyone.

You may find a website by doing a web search or through a recommendation of another student. Before you use a website for your assignment, you should evaluate the webpage for credibility, reliability, authority and purpose. Check out the CRAP Test for more information on evaluating websites.

The following websites have been evaluated for their credibility.