One of the main characteristics of scholarly journals is the process of peer review. Research articles under consideration for publication in a scholarly journal are sent to experts in the subject field (peers) for evaluation and comment (review).
Start with a keyword search in the catalog. Once you have located a relevant item, you can look at the Subjects in the record and follow those links to find related books.
You can also refine your results by using the facets on the left side of the screen.
Some relevant subject headings:
Women -- West (U.S.) -- History -- 19th century (example of using time periods)
To find primary resources, you can add any of the following keywords to your search: letters, diaries, speeches, newspaper articles, autobiographies, oral histories, government and organizational records, statistical data, maps, photographs, motion pictures, sound recordings, advertisements, and artifacts.