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BOS 101: Virtual Boston: 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 that you're writing about South Boston and the busing crisis of the 1970s.  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 this crisis 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 the population of South Boston 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 how social media has had an impact on social change, go to the call number range beginning with HM831 to see what we have!

 LC Call Number

 Subject

 F 1-975

 United States local history

 F 1-15

 New England

 F 61-75

 Massachusetts

 HM 831-901

 Social change

 HM 1106-1171

 Interpersonal relations. Social behavior

 HM 1176-1281

 Social influence. Social pressure

 P 87-96

 Communication. Mass media

 TK 5101-6720

 Telecommunication

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!