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History: Secondary Sources

A Note About Keywords

Since keywords literally are the key to extracting information from a library catalog or database see:

  • this page for tips on developing a list of keywords.
  • this page for tips on searching and combining keywords.

Discover Local: The Catalog

Search Discover Local (the catalog) to find books housed in Bizzell Memorial Library, the branch libraries, the special collections, the law library, and in storage, including the government documents collection. (Discover Local also lists all the journals, magazines, newspapers, microfilm, etc. at these locations.)

See this page for detailed help on Discover Local.

Worldcat: Get Books from Other Libraries

Search the Worldcat database to find books held by other libraries. Worldcat is an international catalog of books and other materials owned by thousands of libraries.

You may borrow (interlibrary loan) materials through the Worldcat database. Interlibrary loan is free! But give yourself time for a book to come through the mail.

Please note that occasionally the Worldcat database indicates that the OU library owns an item when Discover Local (our catalog) does not list that item. Usually, the item has been reported lost or missing and is no longer available from our library. Please contact me if you have any questions: lscrivener@ou.edu

Browsing the Book Stacks

Materials in the University Libraries are placed on the shelves based in one of the following classification systems:

  • Library of Congress: call number begins with a letter.
    • For a breakdown of the Library of Congress system, see this page. On that page, see C, D, E, F, for most history-related call numbers.
  • Dewey Decimal System: call number begins with a number. This system was used before about 1970, when the Libraries switched to the Library of Congress system (so the books will all have been published 1970 or earlier).
    • For a breakdown of the Dewey Decimal System see this page. History is in the 900s.

See this page for the shelf / floor location charts for both call number systems.