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United States History: Finding Books

Books not @Duke

Need materials that aren't in the Duke University Libraries' collections? Interlibrary Request Department will contact other libraries and institutions on your behalf to get the items that you need. It takes just a few minutes to become a registered user. Create an account on the Interlibrary Requests page.

Want to search for materials not held at Duke?  Try these options:

Catalog of libraries in US, Canada and beyond.

Center for Research Libraries (CRL)
A consortium of North American universities, colleges, and independent research libraries that acquires and preserves newspapers, journals, documents, archives, etc.   Materials can be borrowed on extended loan via Interlibrary Loan.

Search for materials at all the TRLN (Triangle Research Libraries Network) schools:  Duke, UNC, NCSU and NCCU 

Searching the Online Catalog

The Duke University Libraries catalog is the place to start to identify books, microforms, journals and other resources held in the Libraries' collections.

Be sure to use the facets on the left-hand sidebar.  This will allow you to limit your search by format, language, and location.

Hint:  If you find a book that matches your research interest, be sure to look at the subject headings.  These subject headings may lead you to other useful materials.  For example:


  • United States.Constitution.19th Amendment-History
  • Constitution (United States)
  • Women-Suffrage-United States-History-20th Century
  • Suffragists-United States-History
  • Women-Political Activity-United States-History-20th Century


Need Book Reviews?

America: History and Life includes citations to book reviews from over one hundred key journals in the area of U.S. history. 1954 to present.

H-Net Reviews is a good online source for scholarly reviews. In either the browse or advanced search mode, you can limit by publishing list (for example H-USA or H-US1918-45) which narrows the retrieval set to those materials concerning United States history.

JSTOR, a database of archived issues of academic journals, allows the searcher to limit to book reviews only. From the advance search screen, you can limit your search by type (reviews).

Project Muse is a database of e-journals covering the arts and humanities, the social sciences, and mathematics.  From the advanced search screen, you can limit to reviews.