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History, American: Books

Oxford has a wide range of ebooks and printed books on US History, including the main collections at the Vere Harmsworth Library (VHL) and History Faculty Library. This page will discuss: 

  • Finding aids for finding history books. 
  • Tips for finding useful books whilst browsing the shelves and using SOLO. 
  • Other library catalogues. 

Using bibliographies to find books

For finding historic books, try the following resources:

Finding US History books...

On the shelf

The majority of your books will be located under the E and F shelfmarks (History of North America). Specific topics in this area include:

  • E - National history of North America (from early settlement to modern history) 
  • F - Local history of North America (organised by state and territory)

Other shelfmarks you may want to browse include: 

  • B- Religion
  • J - Politics 
  • K - Law 
  • L - Education

Using SOLO

Below is some general advice for finding certain resources within SOLO:

Use author and/or title searches to find books:

author = carwardine + title = lincoln

Use subject searches if you don't know the title or author. Examples:

  • United States - History - Civil War, 1861-1865
  • Civil Rights - United States - Sources
  • New Deal, 1933-1939 -- Southern States -- Anecdotes
  • African American abolitionists - Biography
  • King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968 -- Assassination

Getting started

Finding books and journals

Use SOLO to search for books, journals and databases held in Oxford libraries (Bodleian, faculty libraries and college libraries).

Use author and/or title searches to find books:

author = carwardine + title = lincoln.

Use subject searches if you don't know the title or author:

subject = United States - History - Civil War, 1861-1865

Key journals via OU eJournals

  • American Historical Review
  • Early American Studies
  • Journal of American History
  • Journal of American Studies
  • Journal of the Early Republic
  • Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era
  • Massachusetts Historical Review
  • William & Mary Quarterly

Finding journal articles

Don't search for journal articles in SOLO Oxford Collections! If you know the journal it was published in, search by journal title. If you don't know where an article has been published in, the best way to locate journal articles by a particular author or on a particular subject, is to use a bibliographical database.

  1. America: History & Life (c. 1450-current)
  2. Bibliography of British & Irish History (useful for colonial American history)

Many journal articles may be found in SOLO Articles & More, but this is not comprehensive. If you cannot find the article you are looking for in Articles & More, search for the journal title in Oxford Collections. Detailed guidance on finding journals and journal articles in SOLO may be found in the SOLO libguide.

Finding dissertations & theses

  1. Oxford theses: Use SOLO in the first instance. See also Theses website for more information.
  2. British & Irish theses: Use ProQuest Dissertations & Theses UK & Ireland and check out EThos, the British Library's service for downloading of theses from UK universities.
  3. US theses: Use ProQuest Dissertations & Theses to search access full text of most theses published since 1997 and many older works too. NB, if full text is not available, it can be very difficult to get hold of US theses from the UK.

More information

Search Google Books

Google Book Search

Search WorldCat

Search for an item in libraries near you:
WorldCat.org >>

Finding official papers/government publications

The VHL has extensive collections of US government publications and official papers. See the separate US Government Publications guide for more detail and links to resources.