Handbooks and companions provide overviews of ideas, people, and events They are a good introduction to significant issues and current points of debate. The titles below, by and large, address topics from historiographic points of view. When using an article in a handbook, always check its bibliography for further reading. It will provide a selective list of the books, articles, and, sometimes, primary sources.
Literature reviews are a particularly useful kind of journal article when doing research. They address the issues involved in a specific question and the debates among scholars. They map out the intellectual terrain succinctly and give you the major landmarks in terms of key authors and significant titles for greater understanding.
Doctoral students go through an exhaustive literature search when writing their dissertations. They also tend to work on new questions, sometimes ones that have received very little attention from scholars before. You can obtain many of these dissertations and benefit from all the bibliographic treasues and new ideas. Check ProQuest Dissertations & Theses to identify dissertations on your topic.