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Research Guides

Books

Books are an essential publication venue for historians. The historical monograph can provide both an overview and in depth analysis of a topic, event or person. Most scholarly books will include footnotes and bibliography that can lead you to other research/writings on the topic including primary sources.

Using Books @ UW

You must have a UW Library Card in order to check out books. Washington State teachers can apply for a UW Library Card by submitting a letter to the UW Libraries' Cashier's Office stating your need to use the UW Libraries’ collection on official school letterhead.

If you do not have a UW Library Card, you must use the book within the library building.  Copiers and scanners are available.  A DawgPrints card is needed in order to use the copiers and printers and can be purchased in the Allen Lobby.

You can also use the interlibrary loan service at your public library to request books from the UW.  Check with the librarian in your public library.

Using UW Libraries Search to Find Books

 

Advanced Search | FAQ | Known Issues

  • By Topic - Type in the keywords that broadly describe your topic.  For example: eisenhower civil rights. On the results screen use the "Resource Type" options on the left toolbar to limit your results to books. This will eliminate any articles that were found.
     
  • By Title - search for a specific book by title. Type in the first few words of the book title in quotations.  For example: "death in the delta".  if you don't see the book on your list of results then use the "Resource Type" options on the left toolbar to limit your results to books. This will eliminate any book reviews that were found.
     
  • By Author - search for books written by a specific author. Type in the last name followed by the first name of the author in quotations.  For example: "whitfield stephen". On the results screen use the "Resource Type" options on the left toolbar to limit your results to books. This will eliminate any book reviews and articles that were found.

Search Tips

Library catalogs and other library databases work by matching your search terms with the items in the database. Generally when searching a library type database, link your search terms with the word "and".

For example, if my topic was the temperance movement to prohibit the drinking of alcoholic beverages during the 19th and early 20th centuries I would first brainstorm possible search terms. These terms could be synonyms or broader and narrower concepts.  I might also find some background information on the temperance movement by looking at encyclopedias so that I could discover key people, events and organizations involved in the movement. The more search terms, the better, since some terms will work better in some databases than others.

For this example I could search using these terms. As I continued to research I would come across additional search terms to try.

  • temperance movement
  • alcohol and prohibition
  • eighteenth amendment
  • woman's christian temperance union