Franklin &  Marshall College Library
Lib Res.

HIS 408: Lincoln Seminar

Reference Resources - Encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks and bibliographies

Reference or secondary sources are informational resources written by individuals who were not the actual participants in the topic at hand. They may be of value to your research since they often provide greater objectivity and different perspectives as a result of the passage of time. Common secondary sources include encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, and bibliographies.

Please Note: The general call number range for the United States Civil War is E456-E655

The Abraham Lincoln Encyclopedia
Reserve Desk Shadek-Fackenthal Library Ref E457 .N48 1982

Encyclopedia of the American Civil War
Ref Room E468 .H47 2000 Vol. 1-5

Encyclopedia of the Confederacy
Ref Room E487 .E55 1993 Vol. 1-4

The American Civil War : a handbook of literature and research
Ref Room Z1242 .A47 1996

The Encyclopedia of Southern history
Ref Room F207.7 .E52

Search Terminology - Keywords and Subject Headings

When conducting research, always consider alternative keywords and subject headings for your topic. Begin by analyzing your topic or research question, and break it down into its key concepts. What keywords appear? Are there alternative keywords that come to mind?

For this course, keywords may include: confederacy, confederate, southern, rebel, gray, union, northern, blue, Antietum, Sharpsburg, Abe, Abraham etc.

Subject headings may include: "United States History Civil War 1861-1865", or "Slaves Southern States", or "Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865 Oratory" etc.

How to find books

  • Select CATALOG from the Library home page. In finding books for this class, try using the keyword and subject terms mentioned above.
  • When you discover a book of interest, select the "DETAILS" tab, and then the "FULL RECORD" tab to look at the assigned subject headings for that item. Note related subject headings, and click on them to find other books that are described in a similar way, and may prove useful.
  • Remember to search out call numbers in both the STACKS and the REFERENCE ROOM. Call numbers are designed to mirror themselves in these two areas. If you find a valuable book in the STACKS, you will find similar, high quality REFERENCE items under the same call number in the REFERENCE ROOM.

How to find and locate journal articles

Start by consulting the following electronic resources:

JSTOR
A collection of abstracts and articles from over 250 scholarly journals, many dating from the nineteenth-century to the last 4 or 5 years.

OmniFile Full Text Mega
Access to full text articles, page images, article abstracts, and citations from thousands of sources. Coverage back as early as 1982.

America: History and Life
Comprehensive bibliography of articles on the history and culture of the United States and Canada, from prehistory to present. Covers abstracts 1964 to the present.

HarpWeek: The Civil War Era 1857-1877
Access to Harper's Weekly during the Civil War and Reconstruction eras. Provides both text and image searching capabilities.

If the article you find is available in full-text, follow the appropriate links. If not, take note of the JOURNAL NAME being cited, and go to the Journals at F&M page to see if the library subscribes to the journal. If so, locate the journal in print or microfilm, and make a copy for your research.

For additional article resources, look under the Electronic Resources - A to Z List on the Library homepage.

Don't Forget: Always consult the bibliography at the end of a journal article for additional resources!

World Wide Web

The World Wide Web can be a helpful environment in which to access scholarly information. To search for more authoritative sites, use mediated search directories such as the Librarians Index to the Internet or Google Scholar.

Mr. Lincoln's Virtual Library
Mr. Lincoln's Virtual Library highlights two collections at the Library of Congress that illuminate the life of Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), sixteenth president of the United States. The Abraham Lincoln Papers contain approximately 20,000 items including correspondence and papers accumulated during Lincoln's presidency. The "We'll Sing to Abe Our Song!" online collection, drawn from the Alfred Whital Stern Collection in the Rare Book and Special Collections Division, includes more than two hundred sheet-music compositions that represent Lincoln and the war as reflected in popular music. In addition to sheet music, the Stern Collection contains books, pamphlets, broadsides, autograph letters, prints, cartoons, maps, drawings, and other memorabilia.

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
Newly established Lincoln library and museum located in Springfield Illinois. The site contains online exhibitions and a free email consultation service.

The Papers of Abraham Lincoln - The Lincoln Log
This daily chronology of the life of Abraham Lincoln is based on "Lincoln Day-by-Day: A Chronology," published in 1960 by the Government Printing Office. It attempts to account for activities every day, no matter how mundane, in the life of the president. Browse by year, or search by a specific date or keyword. A project of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

Slavery and the Making of America - PBS
Recent PBS series focusing on American Slavery from 1619 to 1865. Contains slave narratives, an interactive timeline, the slave experience (daily life), and links to educational resources.

Other "How To's"...

Additional Help

Contact Christopher Raab for further assistance or fill out a research appointment request form to meet with a librarian.

Last updated: 8/22/06 cmr