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History 391: The Trial in American History: Finding Books

Reference Books

Why Use Reference Books?

  • Reference material is a great place to find background information
  • Shows how a topic fits into a broader subject or discipline
  • Helps you to know if there is enough or too much information on a topic
  • Provides access to the specific vocabulary which serves as keywords for searching
  • Often contains bibliographies which point to key resources and experts to consult

Historic U.S. Court Cases: an encyclopedia, 2 vols.   Ref. KF 385 .A4 J64 2001

Encyclopedia of the American Constitution, 6 vols. Ref. KF 4548 .E53 2000

Encyclopedia of Constitutional Amendments, Proposed Amendments, and Amending Issues, 1789-2010, 2 vols., Ref. KF 4557 .V555 2010

Crime and punishment in America, Ref. HV 6799 .W65 2010

The annals of murders; a bibliography of books and pamphlets on American murders from colonial times to 1900 , McDade, Thomas M,  Third Floor KF219 .M3

Books: a step-by-step guide

Books: A Step-by-Step Guide

1.) Library OneSearch

  • Search by Keyword (use boolean logic)
  • Find and Use Subject Headings
  • Browse the shelves by Call Number

2.) e-Books and Online Texts

  • search by keyword, full-text, author, and more
  • download or read online. (review Quickstart Guide for instructions)

3.) MeLCat

  • Search by Keyword
  • Find and Use Subject Headings
  • About MeLCat

4.) Western Michigan's Library (duplicated in MeLCat, but if you want your materials faster, just walk to WMU!)

5.) Interlibrary Loan

  • Search by Keyword
  • Find and Use Subject Headings
  • Order item through ILLiad - Interlibrary Loan

Using Subject Headings

Search by Keyword and look for Subject Headings in individual records.
To modify a search:

  • Use words from the Subject Heading in a Keyword search
  • Click on the Subject Heading itself

Examples of Subject Headings:



Subject Guide

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