Finding Books and Media

The Library maintains collections of current and interesting resources suited to your research in United States History. With a large print collection including many primary sources to dedicated History databases with peer reviewed journal articles, the Library is the go-to place to start your research!

Find Print Books in the Library

Use the Library Catalog to locate books in the library on your topic:

  • Perform as all fields search using keywords such as Lincoln or Lincoln “Civil War” All fields searches will search the entire records of all the items in the catalog, including author, title, and subject areas.
  • Perform a subject search using a keyword such as “Jamestown — History” to search for items on a specific topic.
  • Primary Sources and sourcebooks can be an excellent place to get first-hand accounts of major historical events. Try searching our catalog for “sourcebooks” or “sources” using keywords such as “United States — Sources

WorldCat – World Cat is an online catalog of over 10,000 libraries worldwide. Find books in other local libraries. History is a field in which much of the research is published in books, use Worldcat to find what has been published on a subject and use the OCC InterLibrary Loan Service to get it! 

InterLibrary Loan – Interlibrary Loan is a way to have materials sent to the OCC campus from other libraries.

Finding Articles

The Library subscribes to several article databases, each suited to different fields and levels of study. If you are away from campus, you will need to access these databases through Ocean Connect. If you are unsure how to do this, please follow these instructions, or ask a member of the Library’s staff for assistance.

African-American History Online – Features thousands of cross-referenced entries, covering the entire spectrum of African-American history over the past 500 years.

American History Online – Spans more than 500 years of political, military, social, and cultural history to cover the American experience.

American Indian History Online – Offers fast access to more than 600 Native American groups and over 15,000 years of American Indian culture and history.

American Women’s History Online – Covers the important people, events, legislation, and issues relevant to the study of women’s history in the United States.

U.S. History Collection – “Robust coverage for both novice historians and advanced researchers.”

U.S. History in Context – “Contextual content on significant people, events and topics in US History.”

Facts on File – Search for historical facts in a wide range of subject areas: American History, Women’s History, African-American History, Ancient and Medieval History, and more.

History Reference Center -Full text access to historical reference sources such as encyclopedias and books. Also includes biographies, historical documents, photos, and maps.

JStor – Full text access to an archive of journals in the fields of History, Social Science, Economics and Political Science.

New York Times (Historical) – Offers full text and full-page image access to the New York Times from 1851 through 2013

Primary vs. Secondary Sources

History courses will likely require the utilization of Primary Sources. A primary source is a document or object that was created or written during the time under study. These sources were present during a time period and offer a first-hand account of a particular event. Some examples of a primary source include:

  • Original Documents
  • Creative Works
  • Relics or Artifacts

Secondary Sources interpret and analyze primary sources. Examples of secondary sources include:

  • Textbooks
  • Magazine Articles
  • Histories
  • Criticisms
  • Commentaries
  • Encyclopedias

Scholarly Sources vs. Popular Sources

Scholarly sources are those that have undergone a more rigorous examination of their contents and are written by subject matter experts; an example being articles that have been peer-reviewed. The best sources for Scholarly materials will be our collection of books or our databases listed above.

Reference Sources

Reference sources can be found online and in print. Online sources would include the encyclopedias listed among our online databases. Print reference works can be found in the Reference section on the first floor of the library, they will be grouped by subject.

Selected Websites

Primary Sources

American Memory: “American Memory provides free and open access through the Internet to written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience. It is a digital record of American history and creativity.”

Making of America: The Cornell University Library Making of America Collection is a digital library of primary sources in American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction. The collection is particularly strong in the subject areas of education, psychology, American history, sociology, religion, and science and technology. This site provides access to 267 monograph volumes and over 100,000 journal articles with 19th century imprints.

AMDOCS: Historical Primary Documents from American History. Sources are chronological and include speeches, treaties, treatises, maps, and more.

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