History information resources: Facts & data

If you need help, please contact Baharak Yousefi, Liaison Librarian at or byousefi@sfu.ca or Ask a librarian.


Book covers by ISBNs: 9780195428926

A handbook is a single-volume reference book that provides concise factual information on a specific subject and is organized systematically for quick and easy access. The Oxford Companion series has handbooks on many historical areas, and here are some other examples:

To search for handbooks, try searching for your topic in the Library Catalogue together with words such as handbook, companion, or reference, and check the 'Books' box under the Resource Type filter to the left of your results.




For more statistical information, see the page for Data & statistics information resources.

Atlases and maps

Book covers by ISBNs: 0723005346

A historical atlas is a book of maps showing the changes that have occurred over a given period of time in a geographic area or in the development of a spatial phenomenon or event. Historical atlases typically contain more text than a standard atlas and may also include timelines and biographical notes on people whose names appear in the text.

You can search for subject-specific atlases by adding words such as maps, atlas, or "historical atlas" to your search in the Library Catalogue. For example, atlas AND "cold war" or "historical atlas" AND "French Revolution".


  • Oxford Art Online
    The most comprehensive online reference resource for all aspects of the visual arts worldwide from prehistory to the present day. Includes links to art images from galleries and museums around the world. Many images are held in private collections and are not readily available on public websites. 

  • ArtSTOR
    This collection documents artistic traditions across many times and cultures. It embraces architecture, painting, sculpture, photography, decorative arts, design, and many other forms of visual culture.

  • Art Images
    SFU Library's Art Images is a growing collection of online images documenting a broad range of art in support of teaching, learning, and research at SFU. Currently, the collection is composed of over 6000 images with an emphasis on the history of Western Art.