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Research Resources: Class Guides


AMS/HIS 236: U.S. Empire



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 - Twentieth century through Eisenhower's administrations is E740-E837.7

The United States in the First World War: An Encyclopedia
Ref Room D510 .U65 1995 Vol. 1

Encyclopedia of World War II : a political, social, and military history     
Ref Room D740 .E516 2005 Vol. 1-5

Encyclopedia of the Korean War : a political, social, and military history
Ref Room DS918 .E53 2000 Vol. 1-3

Online Reference Sources

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

Encyclopedia Britannica (with Webster's Dictionary)
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.


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: WWI, Great Depression, WPA, WWII, Pacific Theatre, Korean War, Latin America, Cold War etc.

Subject headings may include: "United States Social life and customs 1918-1945", or "World War, 1939-1945 Campaigns Western Front", or "Korean War, 1950-1953" 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:

Secondary Sources

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.

Primary Sources

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).

New York Times - Full Image
The New York Times (Sep 18, 1851 - Dec 31, 2004, full-image) offers full page and article images with searchable full text back to the first issue. The collection includes digital reproductions providing access to every page from every available issue.

Readers' Guide Retrospective
Comprehensive indexing of 500 of the most popular general-interest periodicals published in the United States and reflects the history of 20th century America. The complete database covers the years 1890 through 1982.

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.

History Matters
Designed for college teachers and students, History Matters serves as a gateway to web resources and offers other useful materials for teaching U.S. history.

Library of Congress: Great Depression and World War II, 1929-1945
Library of Congress Learning Page featuring an overview of the Great Depression, the New Deal, and World War II.

By the People, For the People: Posters from the WPA, 1936-1943
The By the People, For the People: Posters from the WPA, 1936-1943 collection consists of 908 boldly colored and graphically diverse original posters produced from 1936 to 1943 as part of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal. Of the 2,000 WPA posters known to exist, the Library of Congress's collection of more than 900 is the largest. These striking silkscreen, lithograph, and woodcut posters were designed to publicize health and safety programs; cultural programs including art exhibitions, theatrical, and musical performances; travel and tourism; educational programs; and community activities in seventeen states and the District of Columbia. The posters were made possible by one of the first U.S. Government programs to support the arts and were added to the Library's holdings in the 1940s.

Chicago Manual of Style Sample Citations
Online Index to Chicago Manual of Style Sample Citations for Books and Periodicals - recommended by Professor Stevenson.


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: 8/21/08 cmr

 

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