History 191Q, Fall 2007

History 191Q, Fall 2007

19th Century American History Seminar: Slavery & Reconstruction

Background Sources
Specialized handbooks, encyclopedias and dictionaries can provide quick assistance.  Look at items near these call numbers for other potential titles.

General guides to American history:
   American Historical Association's Guide to Historical Literature  Riv Ref Z6201 A55 1995
   Harvard Guide to American History  Riv Ref 1236 F77 1974
   Handbook for Research in American History: a guide to bibliographies and other reference works
      Riv Ref 1236 P78 1994
   United States History: a selective guide to information resources Riv Ref Z1236 B57 1994 

More sources specific to slavery and reconstruction:
   History in Dispute.  9 vols.  vol. 13 is "Slavery in the Western Hemisphere, circa 1500-1888".
      Riv Ref D20 H56 2000
   Encyclopedia of American Cultural & Intellectural History.  3 vols.  Riv Ref E169.1 E624 2001
   American Eras.  8 vols.  vol. 5 is "Civil War and Reconstruction, 1850-1877", vol. 8 is "Development of the
      Industrial United
 States, 1878-1899".  Riv Ref E169.1 A471979 1997
   Encyclopedia of American History.  11 vols.  vol. 5 is "Civil War and Reconstruction, 1856 to 1869" and vol. 6
      "The Development of the Industrial United States, 1870 to 1899".  Riv Ref E174 E53 2003
   Encyclopedia of African American History, 1619-1895: from the colonial period to the age of Frederick
  3 vol.  Riv Ref E185 E545 2006
   Slavery in the United States: a social, political, and historical encyclopedia.  2 vol.  Riv Ref E441 S635 2007
   Freedom's Lawmakers: a directory of Black officeholders during Reconstruction  Riv Ref E185.96 F64 1996
   Dictionary of Afro-American Slavery  Riv Ref E441 D53 1997
   Encyclopedia of Slave Resistance and Rebellion.  2 vol.  Riv Ref E447 E53 2007
   Encyclopedia of the Underground Railroad   Riv Ref E450 H855 2006
   Encyclopedia of the Reconstruction Era.  2 vol.  Riv Ref E668 E53 2006
   Encyclopedia of Antislavery and Abolition.  2 vol.  Riv Ref HT1031 E53 2007

Search Strategy

  • Define your problem
  • Identify synonyms and keywords that describe your topic
  • Construct using 'boolean' operators







1. _________




2. _________




3. _________











  • OR broadens search results. Use it for synonyms representing a single aspect in the strategy above.
  • AND narrows search results. Use it to connect the different aspects in the strategy above.
  • * usually truncates the root word (some resources use different symbols, always check) 


    Use SCOTTY to find materials in the UCR Libraries, such as books and periodical titles, and to see if they are checked out.

    For additional tips on using SCOTTY, click

    Keyword: mulatto women
    Subject: African American women, Women - Southern States - History
     slave songs (No hits? Try "Search as Words")
    Title: Ghosts of slavery : a literary archaeology of Black women's lives 
    Limit/Sort: by year, material type, language, etc...

    Other useful subject headings to consider (check out the more specific subheadings, too):
      Reconstruction (U.S. history, 1865-1877)  
      Slavery - United States - history 
      Slave Narratives - United States 
      Slaves' Writings, American 
      Women Slaves - United States

    Look for books with bibliographies and references to extend your research further.  Sometimes an entire work is a bibliography.  For example, under the heading "Reconstruction (U.S. history, 1865-1877) bibliography", is the title Reconstruction in the United States: an annotated bibliography.  Under the heading "Slavery United States History Sources" are the titles Slave Testimony: two centuries of letters, speeches, interviews, and autobiographies and A Documentary History of Slavery in North America

    The catalog for the entire UC system is called Melvyl.  


    Primary Sources
    As students of history, you should understand the differences in the sources you will be using.  What is a primary source?  An interactive tutorial on primary sources is available here 

    Primary source materials are also available in our
    Map Collection (ground level, Science Library), Government Publications (1st floor, Rivera Library), and Special Collections (4th floor, Rivera Library).  You can obtain assistance from helpful resource people in each of these departments.

    Consider the electronic image, sound, and text resources available to you that are listed on our various pages under "Databases By Subject", e.g., "Images", "Music & the Arts", and the "Online Texts" portion of "History".  Be sure to check these titles and descriptions.  To name just a few:
       North American Women's Letters and Diaries
       In the First Person
       American Memory
    (Library of Congress)
       Prints and Photographs Online Catalog (Library of Congress)
       African American Song
       Black Drama

    Many primary source materials are included in major microform sets.  Before exploring these titles, compare them with what might be available online to determine which version you plan to use (such as the list in the "Online Texts" portion of the "History" section in "Databases By Subject" mentioned above).

    Sometimes there are guides to these various resources.  For example,
       American Periodicals, 1741-1900: an index to the microfilm collections... Riv Ref Z6951 H65 [Note that this collection is also available full-text online.]
       American Diaries, an annotated bibliography of published American diaries and journals.  vol. 2 covers Diaries Written from 1845-1980Riv Ref Z5305 U5 A74 1983 
       Slavery, a bibliography and union list of the microform collection.  Materials in this guide/index are located at UC Santa Barbara.  Riv Ref Z7164 S6 M53 1980 

    At the UCR Libraries, newspapers will be found in paper (recent), microfilm, and electronic formats.  Most of the electronic newspaper indexes we carry will also offer electronic full-text of the newspaper articles.  Not all newspapers are available electronically, nor are all of them indexed.  To see what newspaper index databases UCR carries, go to the Libraries Home Page, click on "Databases by Subject", and select the category of "Newspapers".
      For example:
      African American Newspapers
      Early American Newspapers, Series I, 1690-1876
      Historical Newspapers Online 
    (4 resources)
      Los Angeles Times
      New York Times
      Wall Street Journal
      London Times Digital Archive

     Note that newspaper articles are considered primary sources, whereas magazine and journal articles and books are considered secondary sources (unless they are interviews, reports of eyewitness accounts, autobiographies, or diaries, etc.).  

     Journals and Magazines
    Magazine and journal articles may be available in several formats: electronic, print, and, less commonly, in microformat (e.g., microfilm or microfiche).  Once you have your citations, to find the print versions of your articles, see the "Location of Materials" section below.  Electronic versions of articles might be available via a link in SCOTTY, a direct link from the various article index databases, or through the   UC-eLinks  button appearing next to the citation in an article index database.

    If you know the name of a resource you wish to use, you can go to the "Databases A-Z" list from the Libraries' web site.  Or, you can go to "Databases By Subject" and select the categories listed there.  Examine the resources in the following categories: "History", "Images", "Music and the Arts", "Women and Gender Studies", "Literature and Languages", "Ethnic Studies", "Philosophy and Religion"...  For example:
       America: History and Life
       African-American Poetry, 1750-1900
       RIPM: Retrospective Index to Music Periodicals (1800-1950)
       Gerritsen Collection, Women's History Online, 1543-1945
       Black Studies Center

    It can be helpful to look at the background of what was being published at the time.
       A History of American Magazines  5 vol.   Riv Ref PN4877 M68
       Women's Periodicals in the United States: consumer magazines  Riv Ref PN4879 W6 1995
       Women's Periodicals in the United States: social and political issues  Riv Ref PN4879 W614 1996
       American Humor Magazines and Comic Periodicals Riv Ref PN4880 A56 1987
       American Mass-Market Magazines Riv Ref PN4877 A48 1990


    Remote Access
    Scotty and Melvyl are freely accessible from home. 
    To utilize the Library's subscription databases, see
    Connect from Home

    Locate Materials (UCR), Borrow Items (Elsewhere), Technology in the Library 
    Arrangement of items in the library are usually: alphabetical, numeric, or by call number.  For most of the books, the Libraries uses the Library of Congress call number and classification system, sometimes referred to as "LC".  The call number is an address that tells you where the book is located.  (For practice with call numbers, go to the following links, basic and advanced.  Click here for an explanation of how to read a call number.)

    Periodicals (aka magazines and journals) are arranged in two major ways:  recent issues are in alphabetical order in the Current Periodicals Room (in Rivera, that's on the 1st Floor); older issues are in call number order interfiled with the books in the regular collection ("stacks").  Look for periodical titles at UCR in the SCOTTY catalog.

    Use a floor map to identify the location codes and call numbers within the libraries (available at public service desks), or click here to see the maps available on our web site (Rivera and Science).

    Remember: your UCR ID card is your library card.  Circulation Services can tell you about your borrowing privileges and local transactions.  Consult them to see if your UCR card will allow you borrowing privileges at other libraries.

    Interlibrary Loans is another service you can use for items UCR does not own.  For information about this service, click
    here.  Another similar service is LINK+.

    Follow this link for help with technology in the library, including printing, saving your documents on the public workstations, laptops (DCHP, wireless, and library laptops to check out), scanning, and more.

    Document Your Sources
    A word about plagiarism. 
    Citing your work.   

    Get Help
    For information on the different ways you can get help, click here. 

  • JL 10/07

Last modified: 1/4/2013 11:42 AM by A. Frenkel

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