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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

History 551: East European Historiography

A course guide.

1. Online Catalog

Use the Online Catalog to find books. In the Online Catalog you can search for books by subject, or you identify the location within the Library of a particular book or journal.

Books and journals are organized in the library by subject. Each item is assigned one or more subject headings and a unique call number. Subject headings are standardized terms from the Library of Congress. The call number is based on the Dewey Decimal Classification.

2. I-Share

The UIUC Library is one of 70+ member libraries comprising the I-Share consortium. I-Share libraries share an online catalog, I-Share, and UIUC students, staff, and faculty can borrow directly from the other libraries in the consortium by placing a request through the catalog.

You can also search the UIUC catalog separately. When you use the Library Gateway, this is the first option under “Library Catalogs,” and normally you will want to start by searching UIUC only.

3. Why Bother with Subject Headings?

Why bother with subject headings when one can do keyword searches in the Online Catalog?

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.

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.

4. Some Example Subject Headings

  • Nationalism—History
  • Nationalism—Moral and ethical aspects
  • Nationalism—Eurasia
  • Nationalism—Religious aspects
  • Nationalism—Europe, Eastern
  • Nationalism—Case studies
  • Nationalism—Europe, Central
  • Nationalism and nationality
  • Nationalism—Europe—History
  • Nationalism and sports
  • Europe, Eastern—Ethnic relations
  • Nationalism and socialism
  • National state—History
  • Nationalism and feminism
  • Group identity in literature
  • Nationalism in literature
  • Ethnicity—Political aspects
  • Ethnic conflict
  • Ethnicity—Religious aspects
  • Ethnicity—Europe
  • Europe—Ethnic relations
  • Ethnic groups—Political activity
  • Nationalism—Yugoslavia
  • Yugoslavia—Ethnic relations
  • Yugoslav War, 1991-1995
  • Europe, Eastern—History—20th century
  • Poland—Politics and government—1945-
  • Nationalism—Romania—History

5. Searching the Online Catalog

To search the online catalog, go to the Library Gateway and click on Library Catalog. The online catalog offers both “Quick Search” and “Advanced Search” options. Use “Advanced Search” to identify subject headings on your topic, to combine subject headings (or elements from subject headings) in a Boolean search, or to combine keywords from any part of the record with subject headings to narrow your search.

Use “Quick Search” to browse a subject heading, to search a title when you know exactly how it begins, to locate a work or works by a particular author, or to search by call number for a specific book.

6. Shelf Browsing

320.54
Nationalism
320.5490947
Pan-Slavism
943.7
Czech Republic and Slovakia
943.703
Czechoslovakia
943.71
Czech Republic
943.72
Moravia
943.73
Slovakia
943.8
Poland
943.9
Hungary
947.5
Caucasus
947.56
Armenia
947.6
Moldova
947.7
Ukraine
947.8
Belarus
947.93
Lithuania
947.96
Latvia
947.98
Estonia
949.5
Greece
949.6
Balkan Peninsula
949.61
Turkey in Europe
949.65
Albania
949.7
Yugoslavia
949.71
Serbia (Kosovo)
949.72
Croatia
949.73
Slovenia
949.742
Bosnia and Hercegovina
949.745
Montenegro
949.76
Macedonia
949.8
Romania
949.9
Bulgaria (formerly 949.77)

A lot of social history is shelved in the 300s, even when it deal primarily with a single nation or region.

7. Ebooks

In addition to the 10 million+ printed books available to you here in the Library, we also have a rapidly growing collection of digitized books. Most of these collections support full-text searching.

Internet Archive and Google Books.
Hundreds of thousands of books digitized from the collections of North American and British research libraries, including University of Illinois. These are the two largest digitized book collections that are free to use.
ACLS Humanites E-Book.
Over 2,000 in-copyright titles, chosen for their perceived importance to current humanities scholarship.
Palgrave Political & International Studies Ebook Collection.
Early English Books Online (EEBO).
Digital facsimiles of almost every book printed in the English-speaking world from 1473-1700.
 
Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO).
Fully searchable collection of nearly 150,000 English-language works published between 1701 an 1800. Search Tip! Try limiting your search to the “front matter” of books (tables of content, prefaces, forewords) or the “back of book” indexes.