Reference books are useful for identifying people, places, events, dates, etc. Many articles in reference books include a bibliography of recommended sources. The BGSU Libraries own hundreds of history reference books. Here is a a very small sample of the reference books that may be useful.
When you know the title of the item you are seeking, the first step is to search by title in an online catalog.
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.
Great Britain -- Colonies -- America -- History -- Sources
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Personal Narratives, Confederate
Pioneers -- United States -- Interviews
For information about the difference between primary and secondary sources, see:
Use these sites to identify relevant dissertations and theses: