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Michigan State University

HST 483 Nationalism and National Identity: Finding Books

Finding Primary Source Materials

The Michigan State University Libraries Catalog is the main access tool for what is in the Library. This includes Murray and Hong Special Collections, which contains many rare and primary source materials.

TECHNIQUES to find PRIMARY SOURCE MATERIALS

1. FIND WORKS WRITTEN BY KEY FIGURES IN A POLITICAL OR SOCIAL MOVEMENT

Also try searching for the major figures in a movement who may have written on the topic (Reference books may give you some ideas of names to try). Chances are that we have some of their works in the library. REMEMBER! Use an AUTHOR search to find material BY a given person. To find material ABOUT a person, use a SUBJECT search. In both cases, enter the last name followed by the first name. You can also search for works written by an organization or political party.

Kossuth, Lajos

Hrushevsky, Mykhailo

Irish Republican Army

 

2. USE KEYWORDS WITH LIBRARY OF CONGRESS TERMS

The Library of Congress uses several different terms to indicate primary source material in a catalog record. These include:

  • Archives

  • Caricatures and cartoons

  • Correspondence

  • Diaries

  • Interviews

  • Pamphlets

  • Personal narratives

  • Pictorial works

  • Sources

Therefore, to find primary sources in the catalog, you can also use a combination of your topic keywords and LC subject heading words in a keyword search: try Soviet Union AND sources.

However, not all materials that are primary source materials will have these designations in the catalog, so you should NOT rely only on subject searching to find the materials you need. Also, DO NOT use the LC Subject Heading search for this technique: unless you type the Subject Heading exactly as it appears in the Library of Congress Subject Heading list, you will probably not retrieve anything at all. Stick to keywords.

Interlibrary Loan

Register here for access to interlibrary loan services to get books and journal articles that MSU does not have.

Subject Guide