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BOS 101: Text and Context: Books on Your Topic

Books: In-Depth Information on Your Topic

The library catalog is a great place to find in-depth information on any topic you might be working on.  Use a simple keyword search to locate information on a particular topic.  You can also look for specific books by title or for books by an individual author or browse the stacks by call number.

Remember that books are still the best place to go to understand a topic from beginning to end.

What will you find in books that you can't get other places?

In the box just above this one, we talk about books providing in-depth information on a topic.  But what does that really mean?  Let's say you're writing about the events of the Boston Massacre.  If you look up your topic in a reference source like an encyclopedia, you'll get a relatively short overview of the history of this event.  If you read an article on your topic, either from a scholarly journal or popular magazine, you'll only get one small part of the picture, such as a comparison of the Boston Massacre to subsequent historical events.

But if you look at a book on the topic, you will find a thorough overview, from the history and background of the colonial period to current historiography. So if you want to know enough about a given topic to make an informed argument, you'll find that information in a book like the ones listed below.

Still can't find a book? Try WorldCat.

If you don't find what you need in Simmons' catalog, search WorldCat for books in other local libraries or in libraries around the world.

Search with WorldCat

Serendipity in the Stacks: Browse by Call Number

One of the best ways to discover the perfect source for your topic is to browse the library stacks by call number range.  Each call number range represents a particular subject and all of the books on a particular topic will be located in the same general area on the shelves.  So if you want a book on the history of Massachusetts, go to the call number range beginning with F61 to see what we have!

 LC Call Number


 E 11-143


 E 151-909

 United States

 E 186-199

 Colonial history (1607-1775)

 E 201-298

 The Revolution, 1775-1783

 E 310-337

 1789-1809. Constitutional period

 E 337.5-E738

 Nineteenth century

 E 456-655

 Civil War period, 1861-1865

 E 660-738

 Late nineteenth century, 1865-1900

 E 740-837.7

 Twentieth century

 E 895-904

 Twenty-first century

 F 1-975

 United States local history

 F 1-15

 New England

 F 61-75


Free E-Books!

Are you looking for an e-book that we don't have or for a free downloadable ebook version of your favorite title?  Try looking for it at one of these free e-book sites. Have fun exploring!