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HIST5600: Twentieth Century United States Foreign Relations: Finding Books

Search Tips for Finding Books on U.S. Foreign Policy

Library catalogs and article databases use a special form of subject tagging to help users find materials on subjects. By using these terms you can get good search results and reduce the number of irrelevant items in your result list.

For works on historical and contemporary U.S. foreign policy, include the terms

United States foreign relations

in your search. To this you can add specific countries, events, or other topics. For example:

  • World War, 1939-1945
  • Cold War
  • Vietnam War, 1961-1975
  • Iraq War, 2003-2011

This will give you more relevant and precise results. To identify published primary sources, you can also add the terms like

  • sources
  • correspondence
  • personal narratives
  • public opinion
  • speeches

to your search.

Library Catalogs

Cheng Library Catalog
The Cheng Library catalog provides access to over 400,000 books, of which some 40 percent are accessible online. The Cheng Library catalog is the most convenient tool for identifying books accessible to you for the course.

If you're taking the course from a location far from the WPUNJ campus, the JerseyCat union catalog can help you identify books in libraries closer to where you are. It includes the holdings of many of the major county and public library systems in New Jersey, along with several other academic libraries, and it's easy to search and sift results.

WorldCat is the world's largest and most comprehensive union catalog, currently featuring over 271 million bibliographic records that represent more than 1 billion individual items held by participating institutions. WorldCat includes records for books, videos, serial publications, articles, recorded books and music, electronic books, sheet music, genealogical references, cultural artifacts, digital objects, Web sites and much more. The cataloged works span thousands of years and nearly every form of human expression, with materials in over 470 languages from 112 countries and territories.

Some Other Sources of Books

Google Books (Advanced Book Search Screen)
Access to thousands of twentieth century titles in the public domain (i.e., with copyright dates of 1922 or earlier).

Hathi Trust Digital Library
HathiTrust is a partnership of major research institutions and libraries working to ensure that the cultural record is preserved and accessible long into the future. There are more than sixty partners in HathiTrust, and membership is open to institutions worldwide. The HathiTrust Digital Library brings together the immense collections of partner institutions in digital form, preserving them securely to be accessed and used today, and in future generations. A substantial part of the collections accessible through the digital library are in the public domain and accessible, but not all of it, so be aware of this if you search it.

Internet Archive: E-Books and Texts
Over 6 million scanned texts public domain, including many twentieth century titles and a substantial collection of U.S. Government Documents.

Subject Guide

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Richard Kearney
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Electronic Resources Librarian
Reference and Information Services Office, Room 107g
David and Lorraine Cheng Library
William Paterson University
300 Pompton Road
Wayne, NJ 07470