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HIST 304: Civil War and the Making of America

Finding Books

Search Omni to find books, journals, videos and other materials owned by the Library.  You can search by keywords, author, title or subject headings.
To find a specific known item, search by title or author.  To find books on a topic, either try a subject or keyword search

Subject Headings versus Keyword Searching

Subject headings allow you to search the library catalogue 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. Think of the words that best describe your topic and then connect them with the boolean operators AND OR NOT. Use the results to find relevant titles and identify assigned subject headings for your topic in order to find similar books. 
To find books on a topic, use a keyword search if you do not know the correct subject heading for a topic. Think of the focus (or key) words that describe your topic.
Topic: Analyze the causes of growing opposition to slavery in the United States
    opposition and slavery and "united states" 
Select useful titles and look at the full record for subject headings. Use them to provide more keyword ideas or as individual searches themselves.
(antislavery or “anti slavery”) and “united states”
Examples of subject headings:

Abolitionists--United States--History--19th century
Antislavery movements--United States--History--18th century
Antislavery movements--United States--History--19th century
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


Omni, the library's discovery search tool, searches through collections of books and e-books, scholarly journals, newspaper articles, theses and dissertations, conference proceedings, and numerous academic databases.

It contains millions of full-text articles and other digital content available from the Library.

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


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 Omni.
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.