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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Bibliography and Historical Research

A guide to finding and using bibliographies for historical research, with an emphasis on using bibliographies to find primary sources.

Searching the Catalog for Bibliographies

To find bibliographies in the catalog, you would begin by using the same search strategies you would use to find books on your topics: a combination of searching by keywords, and browsing by subject headings. As usual, you should use keywords and subject headings that are both more specific and more general than your exact topic.

Remember also to keep your search simple at first--if you retrieve more records than you have time to review, then you can always narrow your search to retrieve fewer records.

If you needed primary sources on the history of lynching in the United States, you could search the catalog to see if there were any bibliographies that would guide you to sources. Search for the words "lynching" and "bibliography" in the subject field:

 

This search retrieves records for 3 bibliographies, all of which list primary sources on lynching in the United States:

 

 

Use the same strategy for other subjects as well.