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U.S. History Research: Books



Want to just browse the stacks? Books in our library are sorted by the Dewey Decimal System, which arranges nonfiction by subject matter. It's numeric, and history is sorted under 900 - so the section starting with that call number (located on the book's spine for you to see easily) is where to look for books for your project!

Thanks, Hermione.

Using Books for Research

Although the Internet can be a fantastic tool, it isn't necessarily your best friend when it comes to research. Why? Because anyone can post anything on the Internet, and it can be very hard to tell what is trustworthy and what is not. That's where books come in! Books are edited and fact checked extensively before being published, meaning that you can rely on the information. Doing book research does take slightly more time than an Internet search, but in the end it saves you time and frustration because the information is more organized, more reliable, written by an authority on the subject, and put into an appropriate context.

Two parts of books will be particularly useful for research:

  • The Table of Contents, at the beginning of a book, organizes the book's information into chapters or sections about specific topics, with corresponding page numbers to turn to.
  • The Index, usually located at the back of a book, alphabetically lists people, places and things covered in the book, along with every page number referring to them.