Franklin &  Marshall College Library
Lib Res.

HIS 339: Civil War and Reconstruction

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 reference resources:

Encyclopedia Britannica
Latest article database, including articles not in the print edition, Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, and the Britannica Book of the Year (1994 - present), with thousands of web links selected by editors.

American National Biography Online
The American National Biography includes more than 17,400 men and women whose lives have shaped the nation. Updated quarterly.

Continue 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.

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.

Accessible Archives - Civil War: A Newspaper Perspective (1860-1865)
This database contains the full text of major articles gleaned from over 2,500 issues of The New York Herald, The Charleston Mercury and the Richmond Enquirer, published between November 1, 1860 and April 15, 1865. The text begins with the events preceding the outbreak of war at Fort Sumter, continues through the surrender at Appomattox, and concludes with the assassination and funeral of Abraham Lincoln. Included are descriptive news articles, eye-witness accounts and official reports of battles and events, editorials, advertisements and biographies. A great effort has been made also to include articles which describe other than military concerns of the day. These include such topics as travel, arts and leisure, geographical descriptions, sports and sporting, social events, etc.

America's Historical Newspapers
Fully searchable, cover-to-cover reproductions of early American newspapers including titles from all 50 present states. Includes: Early American Newspapers, Series 1 (1690-1876), Early American Newspapers, Series 2 (1758-1900) and Early American Newspapers, Series 3 (1829-1922).

American Broadsides and Ephemera, Series 1
Fully searchable facsimile images of approximately 15,000 broadsides (political materials) printed between 1820 and 1900 and 15,000 pieces of ephemera printed between 1760 and 1900. Ephemera includes: government proclamations, tax bills, town meeting reports, autobiographies, dying confessions of convicted criminals, theater playbills, sheet almanacs, advertisements, patriotic and popular songs and poems.

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.

Slave Narratives Federal Writers' Project
Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1938.

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.

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 1841-1902
The Brooklyn Daily Eagle was published from 1841 to 1955, then revived for a short time from 1960 to 1963. Because of the enormity of the collection, the digitization of the historic Brooklyn Daily Eagle newspaper from reels of microfilm has been broken down into more than one phase. Phase I, which can at present be found on this site, covers the period from October 26, 1841 to December 31, 1902, representing half of the Eagle's years of publication.

History Matters: Many Pasts
This feature contains primary documents in text, image, and audio about the experiences of ordinary Americans throughout U.S. history. All of the documents have been screened by professional historians and are accompanied by annotations that address their larger historical significance and context.

Historical Census Browser
Examine state and county topics for individual census years 1790-1960. Data and terminology presented in the Historical Census Browser are drawn directly from historical volumes of the U.S. Census of Population and Housing.

Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections, 1789-2004
Election Results: link directs the browser to detailed national results for the major and minor candidates for U.S. President in the general (November) presidential elections from 1789 through 2004. Individual year pages include candidates, parties, popular and electoral vote totals, maps, charts, and voter turnout (1932-2004). Includes menus and hyperlinks to individual state results pages for the Presidential Elections from 1892 through 2004. County-level maps and data are available for the elections from 1960 through 2004.

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: 8/13/07 cmr