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HY 300: Historian's Craft: Books

Links to history resources and guides for use as building blocks for historical research.

Finding Book Reviews

How to Locate a Book

Library of Congress Subject Headings

In the most basic sense, subject headings are used to help the researcher more easily find materials on the same subject matter. Library of Congress Subject Headings are assigned to all, or almost all, books published after 1989 (think of this as library "tagging" but using the same terms so that everyone knows which terminology to use). For example, if I wanted to see what books my library might have with personal reflections from British citizens about World War II, I might search for the following subject heading:

  • world war, 1939-1945 - personal narratives, british

That subject heading would show me a list of books in Sterne Library written by or including personal stories from British citizens either written during or discussing their experiences in World War II. These include diaries, memoires, etc, and we currently have 226 of these gems in our collection.

Finding Books

Sterne Library Local Catalog Search:

The Local Catalog offers the following basic search options:

  • Title (omit initial articles a, an, the):
  • Author (lastname firstname):
  • Keyword (main term(s) describing your topic, usually nouns):


You may also search with more advanced options:

  • Subject (specialized, controlled vocabulary designed by the Library of Congress)
  • Phrase searching (in the advanced search box, choosing the option for "as a phrase" limits your search to that exact phrase rather than seeing the words as separate keywords. This is especially helpful when searching things like "civil rights" or "Asian Americans")


Interlibrary Loan

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