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Information Resources and Services for:
HIS 200: Thinking Historically

Spring 2012
Finding Information

The library has many tools to help you conduct research on your topics. Use this guide to explore a selection of sources available to you. If you have questions, encounter problems, or simply want to talk about your topic, stop by the Reference Desk to chat with any of our librarians. You are also more than welcome to contact me directly at or x7572.

Jeff Jenson
Gregory Kaster

Table of Contents:

Finding Books
For books in the Gustavus library, use the MnPALS catalog. Write down the call number and location information. Use the maps on the library's website, the tags on the sides of shelves, or stop at the Reference Desk to figure out where your book is shelved. To request books from other libraries, visit the Interlibrary Loan page for more information or use the FindIt! button in WorldCat.

See also: Library of Congress Classification System

  • MnPALS Plus
    The online catalog to the library at Gustavus Adolphus College. Choose "All Libraries" in the search options to search other MnPALS libraries (such as Minnesota State schools) and request books through Interlibrary Loan. View our MnPALS Plus tutorial.
  • WorldCat
    Includes over 40 million bibliographic records representing cataloged resources in 400 languages owned by libraries around the world. Materials date back to the 11th century. Owning libraries can be identified for books, journals, archival resources and electronic resources. Access to WorldCat is provided by the Electronic Library for Minnesota (ELM); the database can also be searched through its free web interface, at
    1000 CE-present; updated daily
  • Interlibrary Loan
    Materials not available at Gustavus may be borrowed from other libraries and sent here for you to use.
    • Location(s): Library - Main Floor
Finding Book Reviews
In addition to finding reviews in databases such as American History and Life, we have these print indexes to book reviews:
  • Book Review Digest
    H. W. Wilson Company 1905 -
    Contains references to book reviews in popular magazines and book trade periodicals such as Publishers Weekly, including a note about the length of the review and brief excerpts.
    • Location(s): Reference Z1219.B72
    1905 - present
  • Book Review Index
    Gale Research Company 1965 -
    Indexes book reviews for some 50,000 books annually appearing in around 450 popular and scholarly publications. It covers more scholarly books than those indexed in Book Review Digest, but does not provide any excerpts from reviews. Search by title or author.
    • Location(s): Reference Z1035 .A1 B7
    1965 - present
  • Combined Retrospective Index to Book Reviews in Scholarly Journals, 1886 - 1974
    Carrollton Press 1979
    An author and title index to reviews published in the complete runs of 459 scholarly journals. Because of its focus, it doesn't overlap the Book Review Digest, but covers more specialized journals.
    • Location(s): Reference Z1035 .A1 C6
    1886 - 1974
Reference Books
Reference books are an excellent place to start your research. These specialized encyclopedias provide overviews of topics, giving you both a sense of the scope of the topic and good search terms! Some reference books also have suggestions for further reading; locate these books and articles to use as sources in your paper.
  • American National Biography
    New York: Oxford University Press 1999
    Offers over 17,000 scholarly biographical sketches of significant Americans who died before 1996. The definitive source for American biography.
    • Location(s): Ref CT 213 .A68 1999 (24 vols + suppl)
  • Dictionary of American History
    New York: Scribner's 2003 3rd ed. edition
    An encyclopedia of political, cultural, social, economic, and military history in the United States. The ninth volume contains historical maps and primary documents.
    • Location(s): Ref E 174 .D52 2003 (9 vols.)
  • Encyclopedia of Asian History
    New York: Scribner 1988
    Discusses people, places, events, and topics in detailed and well-documented essays, covering Central Asia, South Asia, and the Far East.
    • Location(s): Ref DS 31 .E53 1987
  • Encyclopedia of European Social History from 1350 to 2000
    New York: Scribner 2001
    6 vols. Offers substantial, well-documented survey essays on topics such as social change, urban and rural life, gender, popular culture, religion, and everyday life.
    • Location(s): Ref HN373 .E63 2001
  • Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture
    New York: Scribner's 1996 2nd edition
    The 5,000+ articles in this resource give a remarkably complete overview of current knowledge about the region. Entries are arranged alphabetically by country, by topic (such as slavery, art, Asians in Latin America), and biographically. Articles are written by experts and are followed by selective bibliographies.
    • Location(s): Ref F 1406 .E53 2008
  • Encyclopedia of the Holocaust
    New York: Macmillan Publishing Co. 1990
    Offers lengthy articles on topics, each followed by a selective bibliography of useful sources. Covers people, places, events, and concepts.
    • Location(s): Ref D 804.3 .E53 1990 (4 vols.)
  • Encyclopedia of the Renaissance
    New York: Scribner's 1999
    Covers nearly 1,200 cultural and historical topics relating to Europe from 1350 to the early seventeenth century.
    • Location(s): Ref CB 361 .E52 1999 (6 vols.)
    1350-early 1600s
  • Women in World History
    Waterford, CT: Yorkin Publications 1999
    A biographical encyclopedia offering entries on 10,000 women from around the world. Includes indexes by era, geography, occupation, and name.
    • Location(s): Ref HQ1115 .W6 1999 (17 vols.)
Finding Articles
Search for articles in any of these databases. If the full text is not available through the database, click on the yellow FindIt! button. The FindIt! button will search all other databases and our print copies to see if we have access to the article. An SFX screen will pop up, directing you to full text options. If you see an option for ILL, it means we will have to request the article from another library. Click the Go button next to the ILL option to be taken directly to the ILL form.
  • Academic Search Premier
    The world's largest academic multi-disciplinary database, Academic Search Premier indexes nearly 8,050 publications and provides full text for nearly 4,600, including more than 3,500 peer-reviewed journals. Coverage also includes many newspapers and popular magazines and spans virtually every area of academic study since 1975. Updated daily. Access is provided by the Electronic Library for Minnesota (ELM). View our Academic Search Premier tutorial.
    1975-present; updated daily
    Full-text backfiles to over 350 scholarly journals from more than 25 academic disciplines published between the 19th and 21st centuries in the JSTOR Arts & Sciences I, Arts & Sciences II, and Language & Literature collections. JSTOR provides complete journal backruns from the date of initial publication up to a "moving wall" of 3 to 5 years before the present year. To limit your search to full text articles, make sure that the option to "include links to external content" is turned off.
    1831-recent years
  • America: History and Life
    Indexes literature related to the history of the United States and Canada from prehistorical times to the present. This extensive database covers over 2,000 journals published worldwide including all key English-language historical journals, selected historical journals from major countries, and state and local history journals, as well as books, dissertations and book reviews.
  • History Cooperative
    Thanks to our history department's institutional membership, this site offers acces to current volumes of journals from the American Historical Association and other collaborative organizations.
  • American Historical Association Guide to Historical Literature
    New York: Oxford Unversity Press 1995 3rd Ed. edition
    Offers 27,000 citations to important historical literature, arranged in 48 sections covering theory, international history, and regional history. An indispensable guide; note it doesn't include the most recently published scholarship.
    • Location(s): Ref D 20 .A54 1995
  • HLAS Online
    The Handbook of Latin American Studies is an online annotated bibliography on Latin America edited by the Hispanic Division of the Library of Congress. Coverage alternates annually between the social sciences and the humanities. Over 5,000 new references are added each year.
  • Project MUSE
    Project MUSE provides full text electronic access to over 100 scholarly journals in humanities, the social sciences, and mathematics. Topics covered include literary theory; classics; history and cultural studies; philosophy; film, theatre and the performing arts; political science and mathematics.
  • Web of Science (Web of Knowledge)
    The Science Citation Index Expanded, the Social Sciences Citation Index, and the Arts & Humanities Citation Index of the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI). Besides indexing a wide range of journals in the sciences, social sciences, and history, this resource allows you to search for articles that cite a specific author or published work. Coverage from 1997 to the present. Click on the "Web of Science" tab to limit your search to one or more specific citation databases.
Additional Resources
Use these pages to explore other library resources.
  • Citing Your Sources
    Start here to find information on citing your sources in MLA, APA, and Chicago Style.
  • Reference Desk
    Hours for fall semester at the Reference Desk are: Monday - Thursday 10:00 - 5:00 & 6:00 - 10:00, Friday 10:00 - 5:00, and Sunday 2:00 - 10:00
Contacting Jeff
I'm happy to meet with you at any time to talk about your research. I can suggest additional sources or advanced search techniques and troubleshoot problems you may encounter. Email Jeff at or call x7572.

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