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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

History 498C: Gender & Sexuality in US History

Guide for finding resources to complete assignments for History 498C

Finding Library Books

The online catalog is best for finding books held by the University Library or I-Share Libraries.

You can also request a book through the catalog by clicking "Get It" in the catalog record. Please see the University Library's COVID-19 Response page for up-to-date protocols.

Subject Searching

Why bother with subject headings in the online catalog when you can do keyword searching?

It’s true that you can find sources on a topic by doing keyword searches. But if you limit yourself to keyword searching, you are likely to miss important material on your topic that uses other terms. If you only need two or three books, you can probably find what you need by doing keyword searches, but if you are doing historical research, you can’t afford to miss critical material on your topic. For a comprehensive subject search, search with subject headings as well as keywords.

Quick Tip: A good way to identify subject headings for a topic is to do a keyword search in the online catalog using terms you think describe the topic and try to identify a few relevant books. Look at the full record for those books to see what subject headings were used, then do another search on those headings.


As a rule of thumb, use fairly broad headings, as well as the specific ones that describe your topic, in order to make sure you haven't inadvertently eliminated relevant material that is contained within works of larger scope. Most likely you will find multiple headings to describe your topic, and you should use all of them. You can narrow your search in the online catalog by combining subject headings (as a phrase) with keywords, using the “Advanced Search” option.


Examples of Subject Headings (Associated with Two Spirit People: Native American Gender Identity):

  • Indian women -- Sexual behavior -- North America
  • Gays -- North America -- Identity
  • Lesbians -- North America -- Identity
  • Indian gays -- North America -- Social conditions

E-book Collections

You are welcome to contact us to request purchase of individual ebook titles.

Scholarly Databases


  • Academic Search Ultimate 
    • A scholarly, multidisciplinary database providing indexing and abstracts for over 10,000 publications, including monographs, reports, conference proceedings, and others. Also includes full-text access to over 5,000 journals. Offers coverage of many areas of academic study including: archaeology, area studies, astronomy, biology, chemistry, civil engineering, electrical engineering, ethnic & multicultural studies, food science & technology, general science, geography, geology, law, mathematics, mechanical engineering, music, physics, psychology, religion & theology, women's studies, and other fields.


Humanities- and Subject-Specific

There are several major collections of full-text electronic journals. In these databases you can browse individual issues of journals, or you can do a search across the entire database.

Full-text Collections


  • America: History & Life 
    • Index of literature (with some full-text) covering the history and culture of the United States and Canada, from prehistory to the present. The database indexes journals from 1964 to present and includes citations and links to book and media reviews. This database provides indexing and abstracting for articles, book reviews, and dissertations published since 1910, and in some cases it provides links to the full text of the articles online. 
    • Differs from a full text collection like JSTOR in the scope and depth of coverage. JSTOR has about 300 history journals, while America: History and Life provides access to over 1,700. In other words: if you only search JSTOR, you will be missing much of the published scholarship.
  • Historical Abstracts
    • Covers the history of the world (excluding the United States and Canada) from 1450 to the present, including world history, military history, women's history, history of education, and more. Provides indexing of more than 1,700 academic historical journals in over 40 languages back to 1955.

Interlibrary Loan & Document Delivery

Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery will obtain materials not available in the Illinois Library system. This includes items that are checked out, lost or missing.