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Michigan State University

SW 905: Historical and Current Analysis of Social Work and Social Problems: Books

Searching for Books

Books as primary sources can be either those published in an earlier time period, or newer books that reprint/repackage materials.

Library Catalog

Locate books in the Library Catalog, as described in the page of this guide on the Library Catalog. (Navigate on the tabs above).

HathiTrust Digital Library

HathiTrust is a shared repository with other research libraries of digitized books from our combined collections. You will find most books in HathiTrust are also cross-listed in our Library Catalog, but you can search just within HathiTrust if desired. The reason to do this is that you can search across the full-text of the books. Only those works in the public domain (published pre-1923) are available full-text.


The Google version of HathiTrust. Search across the full-text of books and access works in the public domain. After running a search, click on the "Search Tools" option under the search box to limit by time period and sort by date. Also has some magazines.

Book Series with Reprinted Primary Sources

Social Issues Primary Sources Collection

"Essential Primary Source titles are part of a ten-volume set of books in the Social Issues Primary Sources Collection designed to provide primary source documents on leading social issues of the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries. International in scope, each volume is devoted to one topic and will contain approximately 150 to 175 documents that will include and discuss speeches, legislation, magazine and newspaper articles, memoirs, letters, interviews, novels, essays, songs, and works of art essential to understanding the complexity of the topic."

Some relevant titles include Family in Society; Gender Issues and Sexuality; Government, Politics, and Protest; Immigration and Multiculturalism; and Social Policy.

American Decades

Goes back to 1900. Each volume covers a decade and provides an overview of the major happenings in different areas of society; includes numerous reprinted primary sources.

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