Congratulations on joining the historians' scholarly community at CSUSM and beyond!
While the History Program's page for graduate students (Overview of the Masters of Arts in History at CSUSM), your graduate advisor, and thesis committee are the authoritive sources for questions pertaining to your thesis, this site has been designed to identify research sources and library functions in regards to your thesis.
Please feel free to contact me for additional help or with questions that are not answered here. I can frequently be found in the Archives (KEL 1006) rather than my office, so email or call if you are going to drop by.
With historical research, you need to keep in mind that your use of materials for your thesis can be different than a peer's use of the same materials, so there is no absolute answer in many cases. Rules, access, and resources are in constant flux meaning this information can change, so check back and ask often!
Preparatory Reading--My Recommendations
Of course, thinking about research opens the question to whether you can access materials during the summer when you may not be enrolled. Current library policy is that if you present documentation (a dated letter from a member of your thesis committee is best) that you are enrolling in the fall semester to continue your thesis work, privileges for continued access will be provided. If you enroll in Extended Studies for summer session, you are automatically granted library privileges, including Interlibrary Loan.
These titles are suggestions to supplement all the reading you will have during your breaks.
Writing history: a guide for students (REF D16 .S864 2004)
Feminist research practice: a primer (Stacks HQ1180 .H47 2007)
The information-literate historian: a guide to research for history students (REF D16.2 .P715 2007)
Navigating world history: historians create a global past (Stacks D21.3 .M285 2003 )