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History Research Guide

Resources for research not limited to any particular course topic and tools to support history scholars.

Collecting Information

Saving individual citations

After you download Zotero, you may begin to notice little icons appearing in the URL. Zotero recognizes when you are looking at an item page for a book, article, webpage, music recording, newspaper article, and more! When you click on the icon in the URL, Zotero grabs the metadata for that item and saves it to your library. This metadata is stored and later used for creating bibliographies effortlessly! 


Pointing to the icon in the URL to click on so that Zotero grabs the metadata for that item.


Saving citations with the folder feature

When you see the folder icon below, that means you are on a page that includes several sources. Clicking on that icon allows you to choose which items you want to save and then save them all to your library at once. This is a particularly useful feature when searching for journal articles in the databases!


Folder icon


Selecting the folder icon will bring you to the following screen.


The screen in Zotero where you get to choose which items you want to save.


Saving citations from webpages or pages without icons

This is a great option for those times when Zotero doesn't recognize an item page or when you want to save a webpage as a citation. Go to the website or item page that you want to save and choose the "Create Web Page Item from Current Page " icon as shown below.


A red box showing the icon you can click on to allow you to save items from webpages with or without icons.


Saving citations manually

Let's say you have a few items that you want to include in your bibliography but they do not exist online, such as a paper letter or an interview you captured on a cassette. You can still record the information for those items in Zotero by using the "New Item" icon shown below. This will allow you to manually input all the information you have for the item so you can include it in your bibliographies.


Screen showing you how to create items manually.


Organizing citations

You can easily organize your citations by creating collections and subcollections (think folders and subfolders) in your Zotero library. Use the "New Collection" icon or right click on "My Library" to create new folders. Similarly, right-click on existing collections to create subcollections.

Icon to create folders within Zotero for organization.