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HST 497 - Capstone Seminar in American History (Clark)

Find Background Information
Find Books
Kresge Library catalog Unrestricted Resource
You can use the library catalog to find books, scholarly & popular journals, government documents, dvds & videos, reference materials, sheet music, and more.
  • MelCat
    A statewide catalog of many of Michigan's libraries. It allows you to request books at another library be sent to Kresge Library for you.
  • WorldCat
    A global catalog of libraries. It allows you to request books at a library beyond Michigan to be sent to you via ILLiad. 
To request an item from another library:
MelCat (Michigan libraries)
ILLiad (libraries worldwide).

Find Articles
  • America: History & Life Access limited to OU students, faculty, and staff
    The definitive index of literature covering the history and culture of the United States and Canada, from prehistory to the present. Provides indexing for 1,700 journals. How to export to RefWorks. Coverage: 1964-present
  • JSTOR Access limited to OU students, faculty, and staff
  • Project MUSE Access limited to OU students, faculty, and staff
  • Google Scholar Access limited to OU students, faculty, and staff   to find citations to books, conference proceedings, journal articles and more. Google Scholar provides information on who has cited a particular work.
Find Primary Sources
In print in the library
  • Annals of America  (in the library's reference collection on the 2nd floor, call number E 173 .A793) contains hundreds of primary source documents.
  • You may also find primary sources by searching the Library Catalog. Often, important primary sources are gathered together and reprinted in books. The following words and phrases in the Subject Headings of a book record may indicate that the item contains primary source material:
--Sources --Photography
--Personal Narratives --Interviews
--Correspondence --Sermons
--Diaries --Songs and music
--Notebooks, sketchbooks, etc. --Facsimiles
--Records and correspondence --Manuscripts
You can use any of these terms in a Boolean Keyword search of your topic. For example: eisenhower and correspondence.

Government documents
Civil RightsArchives on the web
  • ARTstor
    A digital library of more than one million images in the arts, architecture, humanities, and social sciences with a suite of software tools to view, present, and manage images
  • VAST: Academic Video Online Access limited to OU students, faculty, and staff
    Streaming video is at your fingertips with VAST! Look for specialized collections (Theatre in Video, Opera in Video) under Advanced Search.

The history research guide and 20th century U.S. history guide contain references to some of the largest digital archives online.

For help in working with primary sources, consult History Matters and American Historical Association Archives Wiki - A searchable wiki of information on print and digital archives worldwide.

Locating a Cited Article

1. Consult notes and bibliographies
of books and journal articles that you find (these bibliographies should help you identify other valuable materials on your topic)

2. Determine whether KL owns that book or journal article.

e.g.: Suppose you find the following citation in a bibliography:
Walker, J. S. "Recent Literature on Truman's Atomic Bomb Decision: A Search For Middle Ground." Diplomatic History 29 no. 2 (2005): 311-334.

Search the  Library Catalog for the journal title (Diplomatic History ). Be sure to perform a Journal Title search — — NOT the title of the article. 

3. If Kresge Library does not have this article, you can order a copy through Interlibrary Loan.

Research in the Oakland University Archives
The Oakland University Archives documents the history of the University and its impact in Oakland County, Michigan, and beyond.

Some key aspects of American history since the 1960s are illustrated in the archives.

Explore examples of topics and primary sources to research them.

The Billie Farnum Papers are also a good source for research on the 1960s in the U.S. Billie Farnum served in the House of Representatives as a Democrat for the 19th Congressional District (around OU) in 1965-1967. His papers document the legislative and political history of the Johnson era, both in Michigan and the U.S.


A citation manager that allows you to create a personal database of references and automatically generate formatted bibliographies for your projects.

Library Contact
Picture: Dominique Daniel

Dominique Daniel
Humanities Librarian for History and Modern Languages

To make an appointment:


OU Libraries | 100 Library Drive, Rochester, Michigan 48309-4479 | (248) 370-2471
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