Useful Links for History Students
By Jeff Porter
I completed my OU degree in 1999 doing mainly modern history courses. In 2006 I completed an MA in 'Contemporary History and Politics at Birkbeck College (which is part of the University of London).
I am now a part time research student at Birkbeck investigating 'post-war restitution to German Jews dispossessed by the Nazis'. This is a list of web sites I have found useful in my studies and which other students may find useful.
This is a link to the Research Students page at Birkbeck:http://www.bbk.ac.uk/hca/research/researchstudents
The Institute of Historical Research in London has many useful resources http://www.history.ac.uk/
For any original research the National Archives, its online index and useful links are a good place to start; in the modern age research can begin in the comfort of your own home! http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/?source=home
The British Library is also a useful site for tracking down those forgotten bibliographic references! http://www.bl.uk
H-NET is an academic discussion and information network providing access to information on many aspects of history covering Albania to West Africa and the many facets that make up the discipline today. Although it has a distinct American bias, well they do have an awfully large number of Universities and Students in America and you need to subscribe to many of the boards (cost free but some boards only allow subscriptions from students studying the discipline), but worth a look! http://www.h-net.org/
The Imperial War Museum has an excellent library and document collection and very helpful staff it is online at. http://www.iwm.org.uk/
If you are looking further a-field the United States government archives could be of interest. http://www.archives.gov/ A good example of a really useful website with loads of data and plenty of good links is the site of the Centre for Jewish History in the U.S. whether you are researching the Holocaust, Jewish genealogy, migration or a hundred other subjects it is a good place to start. http://www.cjh.org/collections/findingaids.php?action=searchPartners&partner=1&stype=2
Never forget that Google, Yahoo and other search engines can be useful, but always beware of information obtained on the net if you are not sure of its providence and always check it against other sources.
Also 'official' sites can provide useful information for example the parliament site provided me with a whole host of information about the theft of gold from Holocaust victims following the parliamentary investigation of 1997 following Senate hearings in the United States http://www.parliament.uk/
Newspapers also offer a valuable source and most have websites, some better than others. This useful site gives instant access to them all! http://www.wrx.zen.co.uk/alltnews.htm
The BBC also has a lot of interesting historical material on its web site for example. http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/genocide/deniers_01.shtml
History Today is also a good place to look for what is new. http://www.historytoday.com
The best way to go is follow links from one site to another and make your own 'favourites' list and perhaps post it here on the OUHS website for others to follow.