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HIST 422: Advanced Research & Writing Colloquium (Hooper)


Books, Ebooks & Chapters



To find books in our library collections, you can use either CrossSearch, or the Library Catalog

CrossSearch is the Libraries' multi-search "discovery" tool. CrossSearch searches a cross-section of journal articles, newspapers, CDs, images, and many other types of resources available through the libraries. To look for books specifically,  you
can use the Catalog Only limit in CrossSearch. Watch our video introduction to CrossSearch 📺 to learn more! 

The Library Catalog searches specifically for physical items such as books, DVDs, and magazines, as well as electronic versions of these items. It does not search, for example, individual articles. 

Regardless of where you search: 

  • Books tend to be on broad topics -- so, use broad search terms
  • Note the location and call number. Books on similar subjects are in similar areas of the library. For example, if you search for books on slavery in the United States, you will see pretty quickly that many books have call numbers in the E440s. This means you can easily go to that section of the library and look through the books in person! 

  • Check the records in the library catalog for vocabulary in the tables of contents, titles, descriptions or other information that you might use for future searches. 
  • Subjects. Every book in our catalog is marked with at least 1 "tag" that tells you what the book is mostly about, and links together other books on that same topic. You can click on the tags to find a list of all other books using that tag. For example, if you click on the tag --Slavery -- Law and legislation -- United States -- History -- you would find all of our books marked as being about the history of U.S. legislation related to slavery. 

Beyond Holy Cross:

To search for books beyond those owned at Holy Cross and request them on Interlibrary Loan, use the WorldCat database: 


If the book you want has a call number listed, like so -- 

-- and the status says Available, you're in luck -- the book is here! but what now? 

Books at Dinand Library are arranged by Library of Congress Call Number. Call numbers provide an exact 'address' for where you will physically find the book in the library. They also help us keep all of the books in order by subject! 

  • Call numbers A through G are on the upper (Mezzanine) level.
  • Call numbers H through Z are on the lower (Ground) level (with a few exceptions).
  • M call numbers are located in the Music Library, in Brooks Hall. 
  • and TR call numbers are located on the main level in the Visual Arts Wing.
  • Q, R, S and all other call numbers are located in the Science LIbrary, in Swords Hall. 
  • Oversize books (with a "+" in the call number) are shelved at the end of the normal section for that letter. 

The Stacks Guide handout attached here has more information about how the stacks are organized, and the best places for you to look. 

You can also watch our Call Numbers video tutorial 📺 to learn more about how call numbers work. Or, check out the Library of Congress Classification Outline for a detailed breakdown of our call number system. 


Monographs typically consist of a single intellectual work in one volume (i.e., one topic, likely one overall argument, etc.). You might find that an individual chapter or section of a monograph contributes substantially to your understanding of a topic. 

Edited collections (also sometimes called anthologies or edited works, among others) contain a collection of essays around a topic or idea, typically curated by one or more scholars in the field. These scholars, called the editors, have usually determined the topic of the collection, solicited papers on relevant topics, and selected the papers for final inclusion in the volume; they may have taken on other roles in the publishing process as well. Edited collections are valuable for their ability to bring together different takes on and aspects of a topic in a particular volume where they can be read together, but the chapters or essays also stand as their own intellectual works. 

Whereas monographs are quite broad, chapters in edited collections are more similar in depth and length to journal articles. 

Finding Edited Collections 

Edited collections are listed in CrossSearch like any other book. A trick for finding edited collections specifically is to include the term "edited" or "editor" as a keyword in your search.  From there, if the book is in print, you can use the strategies on the next tab (Book Chapters) to help identify the chapter(s) you would like to read -- or, find the entire book in the library.

You can also find chapters from edited collections...

  • listed in databases like America History & Life (where they are typically labeled as "essays" or, more rarely, "book articles"); 
  • cited in bibliographies of articles and other books; and 
  • searchable in Google Scholar 

(among other places). 


Locating book chapters that you may want to read can take a little more time. Here are some creative ways that you might find book chapters: 

  • CrossSearch. Some, but not all, of our books include a table of contents in CrossSearch. If there is one, you can usually find it in the full catalog page for the book -- or, look for a button that says Table of Contents only and/or Publisher Description.

  • Google Books. While Google rarely provides unrestricted previews, you can often see enough to read the Table of Contents, and maybe even to skim a chapter or two.

  • Amazon. Again, Amazon does not provide unrestricted previews, but will often let you view a Table of Contents using the Look Inside feature. 

  • WorldCat. A “world catalog” of books from libraries all over the world. Many WorldCat records include a list of chapters for books.

  • Publisher’s Website. Try Googling the title of the book (in quotations) along with the name of the publisher listed in CrossSearch.  If it is a relatively-recent book, or at least still in-print, you may be able to find a list of contents on their website.

  • Google Scholar sometimes includes citations for book chapters (and searches across Google Books); 
  • Databases. Some, but not all, include book chapter citations specifically; America History & Life is one); 
  • Citations in bibliographies of articles, e-books, or other books. 

Each of these strategies can be used to....

(1) Find the titles of book chapters in our own libraries; or 

(2) Find the titles of book chapters held by other libraries, which can be requested on Interlibrary Loan.

Requesting Book Chapters

For instructions on how to obtain book chapters that you would like to use, see the Access Sources page on this guide. 


To search for e-books located at Holy Cross, use CrossSearch or the Library Catalog.

Then, use the Resource Type limiter in the side navigation to focus your search on e-books. 

You may also want to search in our specific e-book collections: 

When searching within a specific ebook collection, you will be able to search the full text of each book allowing more detailed searching. For example, you may search the library catalog and not find any titles on your topic, but a search in ebrary might find a book with one chapter focused on your topic.

Accessing Ebooks: 

In most cases, your best option is to use the "Read Online" feature for our e-books. Most academic e-books do not work with devices that you might use to read personal e-books, such as a Kindle or Nook (believe me -- this frustrates librarians too!). There is software that you can download onto a PC or iPad, but this can be difficult to use, so if you have a stable internet connection, I recommend reading online. 

However, if you would like to download the software, or if you are having trouble accessing any particular e-book, please feel free to contact us ( or see our e-books guide linked below: 

NOTE that most e-books do have limits on printing. Each publisher has different functionality and rules for downloading and printing ebooks. 

Academic Articles


Research Databases for History (1450-):

Research Databases for History (to 1450):

Research Databases for Politics: 

Research Databases for Social Policy, Sexuality & Gender

Research Databases for the Arts

Multidisciplinary Databases

Historical Period Search
Databases focused on a particular subject area (often called subject or subject-specific databases) often come with special features geared towards the needs of that subject area. 
One such tool can be found in the Historical Abstracts and America History & Life databases. Most databases will allow you to search for articles published within a certain time-frame, but this is not as useful if you are trying to locate information on a specific historical era -- you won't be looking for (secondary) sources published in the 1800s! 

These databases include Historical Period information for each article, allowing you to search for articles about a specific time period.  

Combining Databases

You will sometimes find that you need to search multiple databases to get a complete range of information on your topic. For example, if your topic crosses national borders, it may not be enough to search only Historical Abstracts or America History & Life alone. 
Many of our databases are made by the same company, and some companies allow you to search two or more of their databases simultaneously, through a single interface. In EBSCOhost databases (which includes the Historical Abstracts/America History & Life tools as well as AAS Periodicals), you can do this using the Choose Databases option.
Note: It is generally best not to mix types of databases in the same search.  For example, it is generally best not to search America History & Life (secondary, scholarly sources) at the same time as the AAS Collections (primary sources), partly because it will produce confusing search results, and partly because the most effective search strategies and terms will vary widely between secondary and primary sources. 




Browzine, our  E-Journals search (also on the library homepage) is a "cheat-sheet" to our research databases -- it will tell you which journals we have online access to, for which dates, and in which online tool. 

To use Browzine to find an online copy of an article: 


  1. Locate the important citation information for the article you want. This will include things like the name of the journal, the volume and issue in which the article was printed, and the year it was published. 

    Ex - Cormier Hamilton, Patrice. "Black Naturalism and Toni Morrison: The Journey Away from Self-Love in The Bluest Eye." MELUS, vol. 19, no. 4, 1994, pp. 109-127. JSTOR,

  2. Search for the Journal Title (not the article title!) in the search box in Browzine. 

    In the above example, our journal title is MELUS 
  3. A panel will pop out with a list of any journals by that title in our online collection. If the journal you want is listed, click on it. Browzine will open the landing page of the journal you have selected. If not, proceed to the next tab (Journals in Print)! 

  4. If the article you are looking for has been published in a fairly-recent issue, you may be able to find it on this page. Use the article citation to guide you in browsing through recent issues of the journal. 

    In the above example, since our article was published in volume 19, issue 4, which was published in 1994, you will first need to scroll through the list of dates on the left to click on 1994, then click again to access Vol 19 Issue 4, then click a final time on the specific article. 

    If the issue you are looking for is an older one (i.e., usually those published before 2005), it will not be listed on the landing page. To access these older articles, first scroll to the very bottom of the date list on the left side of the screen, and choose See All. 
  5. You will see a list of databases where the journal is available, which will be similar to (but may not look exactly like) this one: 

  6. Choose the database with dates that match the article you are looking for.

    In this case, our article is from 1994, so we could choose any databases in this list except for Oxford Journals, and possibly ProQuest Central (depending on the month). If more than one database is available, feel free to choose any of the databases listed. 
  7. The link will bring you to a 'homepage' for the journal which will usually include either a list of available issues, or a link to the Archive (which will contain a list of issues).  Using the citation information you found above, browse to the correct year, then find the correct volume and, if necessary, the issue within that volume. The citation above is labeled with all of the pieces you will need. 
  8. Once you have opened the correct issue, all articles published in that issue will be listed in page number order. Use the citation information you found above to identify your article's page numbers and browse to your article in the list


If the journal, or the issue of the journal you need, is not available online, check to see if we have a print (physical) copy.  It sometimes happens, particularly with older articles, that an article will not be in our online collection, but may be available somewhere in the library building.  The Library Catalog and CrossSearch both contain information on everything we have in physical copy  in the libraries. 

To look for journal articles that may be available in physical copy: 

  1. Again, make sure that you have the citation information for your article handy. 

    Cormier Hamilton, Patrice. "Black Naturalism and Toni Morrison: The Journey Away from Self-Love in The Bluest Eye." MELUS, vol. 19, no. 4, 1994, pp. 109-127. JSTOR,
  2. Go to CrossSearch or the Library Catalog, and search for the journal title (not the article title). 

    For example, in the citation above, MELUS is the journal title. 
  3. If using CrossSearch, narrow your search to Catalog Only. 

  4. If we own the journal (not necessarily this article) in physical copy, you will see a record like this one, with a call number.  If not, proceed to Sources Beyond the Library. 

  5. Read the entry for the journal. Check to be sure that the date of your article is included in the range of volumes/issues that the library owns. Note that not every issue will be listed, so you need to read the date ranges carefully. If not, proceed to the Access Sources page to learn about Interlibrary Loan! 

    In this case, we need the volume for 1994. We do have the issue!

  6. If the Libraries own the volume/issue you need, note the call number and location. Journals in Dinand Library will typically be shelved by call number, alongside books in that section. Follow the instructions for finding books to locate the specific journal.  Journals in the Science Library are shelved alphabetically in a separate section of the library. 

  7. Once you find the volume in the library, use the issue number and page number from the article citation to locate a copy of the article. All 3 campus libraries have scanners that you can then use to send a PDF of the article to your email.