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Michigan State University

Things (about the MSU Library) that History Undergraduates Should Know: Home

Catalog Searching

You should:

  • realize that the online Catalog contains material from the MSU Library system, the Library of Michigan, and the MSU Archives
  • be able to find bibliographies by using this Advanced Keyword Search command: 
    • SUBJECT: bibliography AND
    • Any Field: [term(s)]

Other Useful Stuff

Decoding citations

Citations' appearance vary from discipline to discipline. Here's the basic formats for books and journal articles that most historians use:

  • Books, Format: Author. Title. Place of publication (sometimes omitted): Publisher, Year of Publication. Number of pages (sometimes omitted).
    Berry, Daina Ramey. "Swing the sickle for the harvest is ripe" : gender and slavery in antebellum Georgia. Urbana : University of Illinois Press, c2007. 224 p.
  • Articles:
    •  In Journals or Magazines. Format: Author of Article. "Title of Article' Title of Journal or Magazine Numbering (Issue Date): Pages of Article.
      Example: Michael Unsworth. "Floating Vengeance: Japanese Balloon Attacks on Michigan," Michigan History, Vol. 71, no. 2 (March/April 1987): 8-14
    • In Books. Format: Author of Article. "Title of Article' in Title of Book edited by [Editor's Name] Place of Publication: Publisher, Date of Publication. Pages of Article.
      Example: Helen Butcher, "My Alaskan War Years, 1941-1946," in Alaska at War, 1941-1945: The Forgotten War Remembered edited by Fern Chandonnet. Anchorage, Alaska : Alaska at War Committee, c1995:  241-244.  

Retrieving Material

  • Recalling checked-out materials
  • Requesting books & journals from Remote Storage
  • Requesting materials from other libraries:
    • Articles
    • Books and other materials:
      • MeLCat (Michigan E-Library Catalog For books and videos only. Searches the catalogs of many public and academic libraries in Michigan. The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor does not participate.
      • Uborrow. For everything except articles. Searches the catalogs of 13 major Midwestern research libraries.
      • Illiad For books,videos, dissertations, etc.
      • WorldCat (OCLC) For everything except articles. WorldCat contains more than 1 billion records describing items owned by over 10,000 libraries worldwide. Each record indicates library holdings and contains a "Request this item in ILLiad" link.


Online Reference Tools

Michigan State University