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HIST 240 The Civil War: Start with Reference Sources

Why Use Background Info?

Why Use Background Info
in Reference Books?       

An overview of your broad topic area helps you understand...

  • what the key issues are and how you may want to refine your topic
  • who are the stakeholders (the groups or individuals this topic concerns)
  • a context of how your topic relates to the other issues that surround it
  • a historical perspective on your topic
  • specialized vocabulary or search words that are used in your field (you will use these words for searches later in your research process)


Civil War (General)

Hardcopy Reference Books
in the Holman Library

  • Use these reference books in the library or photocopy or scan the sections you need

Military During The Civil War

Daily Life During The Civil War

Women & The Civil War

African Americans & The Civil War

Reference Sources In Library Databases

Digital Reference Books Online - highly recommended!

  1. CLICK the library database links below to access digital reference books and subject encyclopedias
  2. FIRST try a broad search on your topic, such as:
    civil war women
    civil war reconstruction
  3. THEN try narrower searches such as:                                                           
    civil war women military
    civil war women homefront
    civil war reconstruction african american
    civil war reconstruction legislation

Post-Civil War

Reconstruction and the post-Civil War era

Browse for Topics

Browse for Narrower Topic Ideas

1. FIRST, click on the link below to browse book subject headings to get ideas on specific topics/themes in the Civil War

2. THEN, click on the subject heading to find a list of books and other sources about that topic

3. If you need help locating or accessing the book, ask a librarian