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History (General)

Research guide for History

Textbooks

We likely do not have your textbook!

Typically we do not purchase textbooks as part of the library collection. However, some professors do make textbooks or supplemental readings available in course reserves. These books are available from the help desk on the second floor. 

We also cannot request textbooks through interlibrary loan.

We do have a large format scanner on the second floor. Please be mindful of copyright laws if you choose to use it.

Finding Primary Sources in the Catalog

“A primary source is firsthand testimony or direct evidence concerning a topic under investigation. The nature and value of a source cannot be determined without reference to the topic and questions it is meant to answer. The same document, or other piece of evidence, may be a primary source in one investigation and secondary in another. The search for primary sources does not, therefore, automatically include or exclude any category of records or documents.” (Yale University Library)

Primary sources may include diaries, letters, speeches, interviews, autobiographies, personal narratives, eyewitness accounts, memoirs, or government documents. They may be published or unpublished, printed or handwritten, on microfilm or fiche or online.

Start your search in Swoop Search with a subject or keyword subject, then enter one of the following words (below) as a separate subject, then click on search.  

  • Sources [will pull up collections of documents]
  • Diaries
  • Correspondence
  • Interviews
  • Personal narratives

You may also want to try for certain keywords in the title, usually the subtitle, such as "documentary history," "letters," or "papers." You will almost certainly get some false hits, but you can weed through them.

Databases with Full-Text Books

Online Document Sets