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Canadian History

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.

Subject Headings vs 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

To find books by a particular author/person, search Omni by author:

riel louis

To find books about a particular author/person, search Omni by subject heading:

riel louis

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.

prohibition AND canada

Select useful titles and look at the full record for subject headings.

liquor laws--canada--history

Examples of subject headings relating to Canadian history:

Canada--History--To 1763 (New France)
Canada--History--War of 1812
Canada--Foreign relations--1945-
Canada--Politics and government--1867-1896
Fur trade
Hudson's Bay Company
Indians of North America--British Columbia
Indigenous peoples
Iroquois Indians
Kingston, Ont.--Social life and customs
North West Company
Quebec (Province)--History--October crises, 1970
World War, 1914-1918--Canada

Searching for Indigenous History Books

Keyword Searching

The structure for organizing information has been and continues to be from a western perspective.  For this reason, you will need to search various outdated and inappropriate terminology as well as new terminology to find relevant material.  

Think of your keywords and then combine them with keywords relating to the concept of Indigenous identity.

General terms: Indigenous, Aboriginal, First Nations, Inuit, Métis, Native, Indian, First Peoples.

Specific terms: Haudenosaunee, Iroquois, Ojibwe, Ojibway, Anishinaabe, Cree, Dene...

Search: (Haudenosaunee OR Iroquois) AND (treaty OR treaties)

Subject Headings

Indians of North America Canada
Indians of North America  British Columbia
Indians of North America Cultural assimilation  Canada
Aboriginal peoples
First Nations
Indigenous peoples
Iroquois Indians
Native peoples
Six Nations


E-book Packages

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.
A collection of millions of titles digitized from libraries around the world.
The Internet Archive and Open Library offers over 10,000,000 fully accessible books and texts. There is also a collection of 300,000 modern eBooks that may be borrowed or downloaded by the print-disabled at
Oxford Scholarship Online                        
Offers full-text access to scholarly publishing in 20 subjects from around the world, including History.
Provides access to about 600,000 electronic books (ebooks) Prom a wide variety of publishers.