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Civil War and Reconstruction: Finding Books

Beyond Duke

Need materials that aren't in the Duke University Libraries' collections? The Interlibrary Loan 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. Click on the request a title link 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 Requests.

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


Using the Online Catalog

Books and Media (online 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-History-Civil War, 1861-1865-Literature and the War
  • United States-History-Civil War, 1861-1865-Mass Media and the War
  • American Poetry-19th Century-History and Criticism
  • War and Literature-United States-History-19th Century

The general subject heading for the American Civil War is United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865. You can combine this subject heading with other keywords as illustrated above

Finding Primary Sources in Catalog

 To identify these resources in the online catalog, look for the subdivisions, correspondence, interviews, sources, diaries, archives and personal narratives. Any of these terms can be used in the keyword search mode; for example, United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Personal narratives, Confederate.