Skip to Main Content

HIST 258 : History of Slavery in North America

Finding Books

Look for resources by searching Omni to find books, journals, videos and other materials owned by the Library.  You may search by keywords, author, title or subject headings.

Subject Headings versus Keyword Searching

Subject headings allow you to search for resources on a particular author or topic and are often more productive than keyword searches. 

Keyword searches work best if you have multiple concepts or topics and need only a few books. 

For a comprehensive subject search, search with subject headings as well as keywords.

Searching Omni

Start with a keyword search, but expect to revise it. 

Keyword Searching TIPS

Search Technique  

What It Does

quotation marks

Searches for exact phrase

Truncation *

Searches for all forms of a word

Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT)

Lets you broaden or narrow your search


When searching OMNI for books, use the facets located on the search results screen, to limit your search results to books & ebooks.

When you find relevant results, note the subject headings assigned. Refining your search using the same subject heading terminology may yield more precise results.

Topic: Analyze the causes of growing opposition to slavery in the United States
    opposition AND slavery AND "united states" 
Select relevant titles and look for subject headings. Use them to provide more keyword ideas or as individual searches themselves.
(antislavery or “anti slavery”) and “united states”

Subject Headings

They are many relevant subject headings. Some suggestions:

Abolitionists--United States--History--19th century
Antislavery movements--United States--History--18th century
Antislavery movements--United States--History--19th century
slave trade
Slaves Emancipation United States
Women abolitionists--United States--History

Other useful subject headings for an overview of the historical period include:

United States--Economic conditions--1865-1918
United States--History--Civil war, 1861-1865
United States--History--1849-1877
United States—History--1865-1898
United States--Politics and government--1865-1933
United States--Social life and customs--1783-1865
United States--Social conditions--1865-1918


The Library subscribes to a number of e-book packages which can be accessed via Databases. Packages that are of interest to history students are:
Provides full-text access to major works in American, European and Middle Eastern history. Topics covered include many aspects of history plus archaeology, area studies, art, folklore, literature, music, philosophy, political science, religion, and women's studies. Records for these books should be in QCAT.
Historical reference compendium allows access to the texts of the Cambridge Histories series. Search or browse by topic. Relevant for undergraduates, graduates, lecturers and researchers.
Blackwell publishes a series of books of historiographic essays on many topics in history. They are available online through Blackwell Reference Online.
Oxford Scholarship Online                        
offers full-text access to scholarly publishing in 20 subjects from around the world,
Provides access to about 600,000 electronic books (ebooks) Prom a wide variety of publishers.
UPSO includes titles from Oxford University Press and other partner presses.  QUL has access to selected titles, indicated by a green open lock icon on search results screens

Older Books

Use these resources to find digital copies of out of older out of print books.

Internet Archive
The Archive is a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form.  

HathiTrust Digital Library
is a digital repository for the U.S. research libraries. Although QUL is not a member, one can search HathiTrust's entire collection and read and view works that are full view.