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BGSU University Libraries

HIST 4800: Ohio in the Civil War: Books

Library and Internet resources that may be useful for students in HIST 4800 Ohio in the Civil War

Finding Books That Include Primary Sources

To identify books that are primary sources:

1) Look for books written by people who were involved in the event or activity you are researching.  (Tip: When you look at secondary sources, write down the names of people and then look for them as authors.)

2) In the BGSU Libraries Catalog, the OhioLINK Central Catalog, and WorldCat, books that have been assigned subjects with the subheadings in the list below might be primary sources.  Not all books that include primary sources will include one of these words or phrases in a subject heading. 

--Diaries
--Correspondence
--Biography
--Sources
--Anecdotes
--Personal narratives
--Interviews

Examples:

Ohio -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Anecdotes

Ohio -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Personal Narratives

Ohio -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Sources -- Bibliography -- Union lists

Google Books

Google Books is a searchable database of books and magazine articles, but not all of the books are full text. 

At the Basic Search page, you can simply type in keywords to do a search.  You can also browse by subjects, listed on the left side of the page.  Each book in the results list will include the designation:

  • Full View -- You can view the entire text of the book
  • Limited Preview -- You can view some pages of the book
  • Snippet View -- You can see the publication information, plus a few sentences from the book
  • No Preview Available -- You can see only the publication information about the book

To search for only full text books:

  • Go to the Advanced Book Search
  • Fill in the elements of your search
  • From the Search: line, choose Full View Only
  • Click on the Google Search button

Start Here To Search for Books

When you know the title of the item you are seeking, the first step is to search by title in an online catalog.

Internet Archive

Internet Archive logo

Internet Archive is a database of books, magazines, audio and video files, maps, etc.  It's a good place to find books that are old enough to be no longer under copyright. 

To search for a book, type in a search term in the search box on the home page and select "Texts" from the drop down search box. 

If you want to do a more complex search, click on the Advanced Search link to the right of the search box on the home page.  This allows you to customize your search in many ways.

HathiTrust Digital Library

The HathiTrust Digital Library provides access to a database of digitized books and other materials.  You can search the catalog, search full text, or browse the public collections.  Note that not all books are available full text.

To find only those books that are available full text, you can search the catalog on the main search page and click on the box next to "Full View Only." 

To do a more complex search, click on the Advanced Catalog Search link.  You can also select "Full View Only" on this page.