Congress honors Frederick Douglass, 19th century orator, statesman and abolitionist

To honor Frederick Douglass, President Obama recently signed into law a bill allowing the District of Columbia its first statue in the United States Capitol’s Emancipation Hall. The hall itself was named in 2007 in honor of the slaves who helped build the Capitol.

The fight to end slavery in America could not have found a more eloquent and vocal ally than Frederick Douglass, orator, statesman and abolitionist. In 1852, the leading citizens of Rochester, New York, where Douglass lived and published the abolitionist paper, The North Star, asked him to give a speech as part of their 4th of July celebrations. Douglass delivered a scathing attack on the institution of American slavery. Read more

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month: Free content on famous Hispanic authors

Miguel de Cervantes

Miguel de Cervantes

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we at Questia, the premier online research and paper-writing tool for students, are paying homage to Hispanic authors who have made significant contributions to literature throughout history. For the entire month, enjoy free access to reference works on five of history’s most researched Hispanic authors:

  1. Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra: Spanish-born Cervantes is widely regarded as an influential playwright, novelist and poet in history, penning infamous works such as Don Quixote during his lifetime. As a student under the direction of Juan Lopez de Hoyos, Cervantes published his first works, a collection of four poems. Read more

Free reading on the most influential women in world history: Honoring Women of Achievement Month

Queen Elizabeth 1

Queen Elizabeth 1

In honor of September’s Women of Achievement Month, we at Questia, the premier online research and paper-writing tool for students, have released a list of the top five most researched women throughout history. To celebrate the occasion, we’ve opened up our library to make reference works on each influential woman free for a whole month. Enjoy!

  1. Queen Elizabeth 1, Queen of England: Queen Elizabeth 1 is notably one of the most intriguing and influential women of her time. She was so influential, in fact, that it is the “Elizabethan Age that bears her name and was best noted for achievements in the arts and exploration of new lands” (Gilberd ix). Queen Elizabeth took the throne in a very vulnerable time in Britain’s history. Read more

Remembering Anne Frank: Free Holocaust narratives on Holocaust survivors and victims

Anne Frank

Anne Frank (© Anne Frank Fonds/ Anne Frank House/ Frans Dupont, HO/AP Images)

In honor of Anne Frank’s birthday on June 12th, we’re granting access to the following books for free for an entire month—the top five most researched Holocaust narratives by and about individuals who were children during the Holocaust. For another look at Anne Frank’s life, check out “The Bravery of Anne Frank,” an Ellis Shuman blog post on his visit to the Anne Frank House museum. Visit Questia’s Anne Frank topic page for additional information on the Dutch diarist.

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young GirlPerhaps one of the most memorable works to come out of the Holocaust, The Diary of a Young Girl was written by Anne Frank, a young girl forced to hide out from the Nazis in a secret annex for two years. Read more

Memorial Day holiday returns to a tradition of remembrance and gratitude to those who serve our nation

Memorial Day civic ceremony

Memorial Day civic ceremony

The nation will celebrate Memorial Day on Monday, May 28, 2012 as the official kick-off for summer. Lest we forget, however, the holiday was created in remembrance of those who died in military service to our country. The original holiday, known as Decoration Day, was declared by General John A. Logan, national commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, on May 5, 1868 to honor those who died during the Civil War. The first Memorial Day tradition was celebrated with the placing of flowers on the graves of the war dead in Arlington National Cemetery. Read more

The top 10 most-researched American women in history

Rosa Parks with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., 1955

Rosa Parks with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., 1955

Discover free online research for the month of March on historical female figures for Women’s History Month. Find these and more great resources at!

March is Women’s History Month and here at we have released a list of our library’s top ten most-researched American women in history. To celebrate, we’ve even made the reference works to these ten strong women free for an entire month! Explore our online research tools and brush up on some of the ways women have shaped our country.

  1. Rosa Parks: In 1955 her single act of modest defiance set in motion the movement of the modern Civil Rights Movement.  Known as “the first lady of civil rights”, Parks gave African American leaders an opportunity to test the constitutionality of Montgomery, Alabama’s bus segregation laws and so many other laws around the country. [Fields, Suzanne. “The History Lesson from Rosa Parks; A Single Act of Responsibility Changes a Nation’s Heart.” The Washington Post [Washington D.C.] 31 October 2005: A21.] Read more

African American history: The 10 African American politicians who have been researched most often

President Barack Obama, African American Politicians

President Barack Obama (photo by Pete Souza, The Obama-Biden Transition Project)

Black History Month got us to wondering which African American politicians have been the most influential in African American history. So, we decided to use Questia, our online research tool with a library of more than 77,000 academic books, to compile the top 10 list of which African American politician have been researched most frequently.

Among the African American political figures of our time, you probably guessed that President Barack Obama gets researched the most, but discover who else students and researchers have been studying this Black History Month and throughout the year. We were a little surprised to see that Jesse Jackson was next in line at number two. And a little embarrassed to see that we had not heard of number six, Joseph Rainey. Read more

Presidents Day: Which ten U.S. presidents are researched most frequently?

George Washington's birthday is celebrated on Presidents Day

George Washington's birthday is celebrated on Presidents Day

We all know that President Barack Obama gets the most attention from the media these days, but we were curious to know which of the past U.S. presidents was referenced most frequently. So, in honor of Presidents Day, we  checked our library for who was being researched the most on Questia.

And, to celebrate President’s Day, we’re opening up the Questia library to make the reference works on these top 10 most-searched U.S. presidents free to you for a month! Have a look and find peer-reviewed journals, essays and autobiographies on presidents plus the thousands more topics at Questia.

Here are our top 10 most referenced U.S. presidents: Read more

Art history paper: Topics range from art deco to women artists

Pablo Picasso's painting "The Blind Man's Meal," left, next to an X-radiograph of the painting.

Pablo Picasso's painting "The Blind Man's Meal," left, next to an X-radiograph of the painting. (© Metropolitan Museum of Art/AP Images)

If art history is the subject for your next term paper, doing research won’t be a challenge but narrowing your scope may take some time. The subject of art history encompasses hundreds of topics. Here are some ideas on how you can explore the world of art history.

A range of topics

You can get an overview of the subject and begin to narrow the focus of your art history paper by visiting Questia, the world’s largest online library containing over 77,000 full-text books and 4 million journal, magazine, and newspaper articles. Allow yourself plenty of time because the selection is vast. Topics for art history include: Read more

Roots and Branches

Hints for looking up your family history

Whether you’re just beginning to dig into your family history or you’re ready to take your research to the next step, you’ll be dazzled by the vast genealogical resources available online and they’re growing every day.

Doing some legwork before you turn to the web will boost your effectiveness. FamilySearch – a site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and “the largest genealogy organization in the world” – recommends looking in your home for “birth, marriage, and death certificates; family bibles; funeral programs; obituaries; wedding announcements; family registers; and ancestral tablets” and other information. Also, “Make a list of other relatives and the family information they may have. Contact the relatives—visit, call, write, or e-mail them.” Find more good tips in How to Start Your Family History. Read more