Booth Library
Eastern Illinois University
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History Research Guide

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Finding Reference books
Reference Books

Reference materials help students get started with their research by providing a brief overview of the subject. Types of reference materials include encyclopedias, dictionaries, atlases, and companions. Booth Library has reference materials in print and electronic formats.

Link to reference materials in electronic format here.

Reference books are located on the 3rd floor (north) and can be found by searching the EIU Library Catalog.

Examples of reference books are:

American National Biography … Reference CT213 .A68 1999
Encyclopedia of World War II: A Political, Social, and Military History … Reference D740 .E516 2005
Historical Dictionary of France … Reference DC35 .R39 2008
Encyclopedia of American History … Reference E174 .E53 2003
Encyclopedia of Chicago … Reference F548.3 .E53 2004
Oxford Companion to Irish History … Reference DA912 .O94 2002
Atlas of Ancient Egypt … Reference DT56.9 .B34
Finding Books
Browsing the stacks for History books
Books in Booth Library are shelved by call number.  Below is a list of the call number ranges for subjects within the field of History.  Browsing for books can help familiarize you with the collection. Books in the stacks are found on the 3rd floor south (main level), and these books can be borrowed with your Panther Card.  You can also find History reference books in the reference area on the 3rd floor north.

To find books, browse the shelves in these call numbers for the following subject areas:
D - History (General)
DA - Great Britain
DAW - Central Europe
DB – Austria; Hungary; Czechoslovakia
DC – France
DD - Germany
DE - Greco-Roman World
DF - Greece
DG - Italy; Malta
DH - Benelux Countries
DJ - Netherlands (Holland)
DJK - Eastern Europe (General)
DK – Russia; Soviet Union; Former Soviet Republics; Poland
DL - Northern Europe; Scandinavia
DP - Spain; Portugal
DQ - Switzerland
DR - Balkan Peninsula
DS - Asia
DT - Africa
DU - Oceania (South Seas)
E 11-143 - America
E 151-909 - United States
F 1-975 - United States local history
F 1001-1145.2 - British America (including Canada); Dutch America
F 1170 - French America
F 1201-3799 - Latin America; Spanish America
Searching the EIU Library Catalog

To find books, ebooks, videos, and other materials held in the library use the EIU Library Catalog

To search the catalog enter search terms in the search box and use the drop box to narrow the search. 

The search results may be narrowed by using the limiting tools on the right hand side of the page.
Click on the item title to bring up the bibliographic record. The item's location, call number, and status is needed to find the book in Booth Library.

Finding Articles

Journal and magazine articles may be found by searching the library's collection of databases. All databases are accessible from off campus by logging-in with your EIU netID and password. Link to the History databases here.

The two leading History databases are:
America: History and Life (peer reviewed articles, some full-text articles, United States History, Pre-Colonial Era to Present, Canadian History) 

Historical Abstracts (peer reviewed articles, some full-text articles, world history, excluding the United States and Canada)

Other databases useful for History research are:
Academic Search Complete (full-text articles, broad subject coverage including History)

JSTOR (peer reviewed articles, full-text articles, broad subject coverage including History)

Project Muse (peer reviewed articles, full-text articles, broad subject coverage including History)

Finding Primary Sources
Primary Sources
Primary sources are contemporary documents that are associated with the historical event. Examples of primary sources include diaries, letters, magazine and newspaper articles, court hearings, and government documents.

To find primary sources in the print format search use the EIU Library Catalog. Link to the library catalog here.

Booth Library also has several historical newspaper and magazine databases that provide access to primary sources. Link to the History databases here and the newspaper databases here.

Examples of the library's historical and magazine databases are:
19th Century UK Periodicals Digital Archive (full-text articles, British magazines, 1800s)

African American Newspapers: The 19th Century (full-text articles, African-American newspapers, 1800`s)

American Periodicals Series Online (full-text articles, American Magazines, 1740`s-early 1900`s)

New York Times (Historical) (full-text articles, 1851-2010)

Pennsylvania Gazette, 1728-1800 (full-text articles, Benjamin Franklin`s newspaper, Colonial America, 1728-early 1800`s)

London Times (full-text articles, 1785-1985)

Subject Specialist
Picture: Andy Cougill

Andy Cougill
Reference Librarian
Office: 217 581-7548

Picture: Brad Tolppanen

Brad Tolppanen
Head of Circulation Services
Office: 217 581-6006

Reference Desk: 217-581-6072
Email the Reference Desk