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Michigan State University

Immigrants in the United States: Find Books

Questions and answers about immigrants to the U.S.

The following is an excerpt from the book “100 Questions and Answers about Immigrants to the U.S.,” a project of the Michigan State University Journalism School.

QUESTION: How many immigrants are there in the U.S.?

ANSWER: There were more than 42.4 million, 13.3% of the population, in 2014, according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Immigrants and their U.S.-born children now equal about 81 million, about one-fourth of the nation’s 325 million people.

Find Books

This guide focuses on immigration in the U.S.  Be aware that there are separate guides for

This guide will attempt to cover resources related to immigrants in general and people of multiple ethnic or racial backgrounds.

General Tips

  • Check the MSU Online Catalog for books, videos, and more.  Note that the MSU Online Catalog is a union catalog which includes the holdings of the Library of Michigan, the MSU College of Law Library, and other branches on our own campus.

  • Do a wider search using MelCat (a  network of participating Michigan libraries) or WorldCat (searches thousands of libraries). You can request non-MSU Library materials through interlibrary loan. NOTE: Not all materials listed in MelCat or WorldCat can be borrowed through interlibrary loan, but many can.

  • Don't forget to use the bibliographies in reference works, books, and articles to identify other resources on your topic.

Sample Library of Congress Subject Headings

It’s true that you can find sources on a topic by doing keyword searches. But if you limit yourself to keyword searching, you are likely to miss important material on your topic that uses other terms. If you only need two or three books, you can probably find what you need by doing keyword searches, but if you are doing historical research, you can’t afford to miss critical material on your topic. For a comprehensive subject search, search with subject headings as well as keywords.

A good way to identify subject headings for a topic is to do a keyword search in the online catalog using terms you think describe the topic and try to identify a few relevant books. Look at the full record for those books to see what subject headings were used, then do another search on those headings.

  • Emigration and immigration
  • Emigration and immigration law
  • Illegal aliens
  • Immigrants--United States--History
  • Women immigrants--United States
  • Immigrants--United States--Social conditions
  • Refugees--Government policy--United States
  • United States--Emigration and immigration--History
  • Japanese Americans--Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945
  • World War, 1939-1945--Japanese Americans
  • Hispanic Americans--Education
  • Arab Americans--Social conditions
  • Irish Americans--Massachusetts
  • Italian Americans--Michigan 
  • Iranian Americans
  • Asian Americans--Ethnic identity
  • Chinese Americans--Biography
  • Chinese Americans--Cultural assimilation
  • German Americans--Illinois--Chicago
  • United States--Ethnic relations--History
  • Pluralism (Social sciences)--United States
  • Nativism

Subject Guide

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Erik Ponder
African Studies Librarian
MSU Libraries
366 W. Circle Dr. (E 224B)
East Lansing, MI 48824

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