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Kickstart your HSC History research

Do you know where to find all the information you need for HSC 2022?


Welcome to Year 12 HSC History! Whether you’re studying Modern or Ancient History, or undertaking History Extension as well, the State Library has great resources to help with your research.

You’ve already had some History research experience by completing your Historical Investigation in Year 11. Now you need to investigate further research resources for your Historical Analysis and other assessments, and especially for your History Extension Project.

You can access this excellent online content from anywhere with a library card.

How to get started 

Start with our online research guides for HSC Modern History and HSC Ancient History. These specialist guides lead you through a range of resources — including databases of academic journal articles and primary sources — and suggest which are useful for different stages of your research.

From the Starting your research page (for Modern History and Ancient History), you can browse databases for interesting topics and events when thinking about your Historical Analysis or History Extension topic. The databases Cambridge Histories and Cambridge Companions contain full-text ebooks which provide overviews and detailed information on historical events (e.g. Cambridge History of the Cold War), periods of time (e.g. Cambridge Companion to the Aegean Bronze Age), key features (e.g. Cambridge History of Religions in the Ancient World) and countries (e.g. Cambridge History of Russia).

Fascinated by Chinese history? Try the 16-volume Cambridge History of China, choosing your period of interest; for example, Vol 7: The Ming Dynasty, 1368–1644 or Vol 13: Republican China, 1912–1949. Intrigued by the slave trade? Check the four-volume Cambridge World History of Slavery which surveys slavery from antiquity to the present day.

Another great browsing option is listening to podcasts — both Modern History podcasts and Ancient History podcasts. Try the ABC’s Rear Vision for modern history topics or the BBC’s History In Our Time for ancient history. The research guides also list film and media content to view, such as British Pathe and Timeline.

The shell shattered areas of Chateau Wood

Digging deeper

When you’re ready to sink your teeth into some serious academic journal articles, try the research guide page on Modern History journal articles or Ancient History journal articles. Here you’ll find reputable academic journal articles in databases like JSTOR, ProQuest Research Library and Academic OneFile.

There’s also a specialist page for History Extension in both Modern History and Ancient History.

So, whether you’ve already identified some key areas of history that excite you, or you have no idea yet, the State Library’s HSC History research guides and eresources will help get you inspired about studying Year 12 History. If you get stuck during the research process, you can ask a librarian for advice on identifying the best resources. Don’t forget to apply online for a library card (if you don’t have one already) and start browsing today.

We’re also offering a range of free HSC webinars for different subjects, including History, across November and December.

Visit What’s On: Kickstart Your Research to register!

Jane Gibian, Librarian, Information & Access