Finding Books and Media

The Library maintains collections of current and interesting resources suited to your research in World 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 “Egypt” or “Egypt and religion.” 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 “Egypt Religion” 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 Subject terms such as “Middle Ages — Sources”.
  • If you’d prefer to browse the shelves, most history books are located in these call number ranges:
    • World History: 909
    • History of Europe: 940-949
    • History of Asia: 950-959
    • History of Africa: 960-969


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.


E-Books are available through the OCC Library Databases. To access them, log into Ocean Connect and click on the tab for Library Services. The link search for e-books (near the top) will open the EBSCOhost eBooks database, which has over 24,000 books on History including almost 300 on the Roman Empire, 200 on Ancient Egypt, and 500 on Ancient Greece!

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.

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.

Modern World History Online: Covers the people, places, and events in the broad expanse of history—from the mid-15th century to the present.

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.

World History Collection – “Well-rounded coverage of current thinking and scholarly work.”

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

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.

Electronic Reference Sources

  • Biography in Context: “References and multimedia deliver history-spanning coverage of notables.
  • Oxford Reference Collection: Online access to the world’s most trusted reference collection, including dictionaries in English and other languages, encyclopedias, quotations, and subject guides
  • Encyclopedia Britannica: Online reference source, including timelines, world data, quotations, and atlases. Includes links to outside journals, newspapers, and websites.

Print Reference Sources

Selected Websites

Primary Sources

Citing Sources

A guide to citing sources can be found through our library website or by using the link below.

Citing Sources

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