A heightened interest in the presence of the past has given rise to the new field of memory studies, but there is a lack of search and research tools to support studying how and why the past is evoked in diachronic discourses. Searching for temporal references is not straightforward. It entails bridging the gap between conceptually-based information needs on one side, and term-based inverted indexes on the other. Our approach enables the search for references to (intersubjective) historical periods in diachronic corpora. It consists of a semantically-enhanced search engine that is able to find references to many entities at a time, which is combined with a novel interface that invites its user to actively sculpt the search result set. Until now we have been concerned mostly with user-friendly retrieval and selection of sources, but our tool can also contribute to existing efforts to create reusable linked data from and for research in the humanities.