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American History: Find Books


book pile


The Scholarly Monograph

While research in the hard sciences and the social sciences tends to appear more often in articles, research in the humanities is frequently a matter of books. A great deal of research carried out in the field of American History appears in books, technically called "Scholarly Monographs." Therefore, a good place to begin your search, once you have narrowed your topic, is the online catalog.

The Library Catalog

  • Unless you know the title and/or author of the book you are looking for, U.S. History topics should be searched by Keyword to maximize the number of references to a topic.
  • Another way to search is to browse by Subject.  Your search term would be "United States History"; this heading is followed by the historical period.  So, for example, if you wanted to explore the United States during the 18th century, you would enter your search terms this way:

   United States History--Eighteenth Century

 The historical period will be followed by increasingly specific subjects headings,  such as "United States History-- 19th Century Caricatures And Cartoons" 

You can begin to browse the subject headings for American History by visiting this catalog page

  • The word "sources" appearing next to an entry is usually a good indication that the text is at least in part a primary source.  You can increase your chances of turning up primary sources by adding terms such as "sources," "letters," "diaries," etc. to your keyword search term.
  • Most books about American History are found in the "E" and "F" sections of the Library.

Search Google Books

Google Book Search

Interlibrary Loan

Can't find something you need?  The interlibrary loan service can obtain the books or articles you are looking for.