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BGSU University Libraries

HIST 4390: United States and the World: The Cold War Era: Books

This guide is a compilation of library and Internet resources that should be useful for researching the Cold War Era.

Finding Books That Include Primary Sources

One way to identify books that are primary sources is to look for books written by people who were involved in the event or activity you are researching.  When you look at secondary sources, write down the names of people and then look for them as authors.

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.  However, don’t expect that a book that includes primary sources will always include one of these words or phrases in a subject heading.  Also, these subheadings are not used in other databases.

          --Diaries

--Correspondence

--Biography

--Sources

--Anecdotes

--Personal narratives

--Interviews

Examples:

Ambassadors -- United States -- Diaries

Diplomats --  United States -- Biography

Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962 -- Sources

Diplomatic and Consular Services, American -- Thailand -- Biography

 

For information about the difference between primary and secondary sources, see:

Primary and Secondary Sources

 

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.

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.

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.

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