Skip to main content
Michigan State University

British Empire and the American Revolution: Introduction and Online Catalog

Introduction and Online Catalog

This is a guide to researching the American Revolution in the M.S.U. Libraries from both the American and British perspectives, but is not heavy into the military dimension. For that, go to the "military science" section of our research guides.


The online catalog may be searched by author, title, author/title in combination, L.C. Subject heading, keyword, and call number. The best quality searches result from using the Library of Congress' subject headings, the complete scheme of which can be found by asking to look at several fat red books kept in Reference at Z 696... on the first floor titled Library of Congress' List of Subject Headings.

Useful subject headings for this topic include the following, but this is not a comprehensive list:

American loyalists
Boston tea party
Canada--economic conditions--18th c.
Canada--foreign relations
Canada--politics and government
Great Britain--Colonies--administration
Great Britain--Colonies--America
Great Britain--Colonies--history--18th c.
Great Britain--foreign relations
Great Britain--history--18th c.
Great Britain--history--George III, 1760-1820
Great Britain--politics and government--1760-
Michigan history
Minutemen (Militia)
Ontario American Loyalists
Ontario French Canadians
Ontario frontier and pioneer life
Ontario fur trade
Ontario history
United Empire loyalists
United States--history--Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775
United States--politics and government, 1775-1783
United States--politics and government--Revolution
United States--history--Revolution, 1775-1783
United States--history--Revolution, 1775-1783--British forces
United States--history--Revolution, 1775-1783--causes
United States--history--Revolution, 1775-1783--historiography
United State--history--Revolution, 1775-1783--sources
Upper Canada

In addition, names of places where events occurred and names of famous people will be useful subject headings. For example: Valley Forge, Yorktown, Philadelphia. Farther along in this guide there is a list of significant people to research.

If you seek primary sources remember to watch for words in titles of works and in L.C. sub-headings indicative of these: sources, personal narratives, correspondence, journals, diaries, letters, addresses sermons etc., archives, farewell address, manuscripts, quotations, sermons, speeches addresses. This list of subject headings is not comprehensive.

  • Call MSU: (517) 355-1855
  • Visit:
  • MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer.
Michigan State University