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History Research Guide

Find primary sources, books, scholarly articles and other secondary sources in the field of History.

History in LC Call Number Classification

Books (also known as monographs) are an important publication format in the field of History. They are often considered secondary or scholarly sources and provide analysis of events, eras, and figures in retrospect. Some books, however, can be considered primary sources if they were written in an era or by a figure you are studying. 

Search for books and ebooks in the MSU library's collection. The advanced search allows you to search by multiple criteria and limit your search results. There is no limit on the number of books you can check out.

Books in the MSU Library are shelved by Library of Congress call numbers. Going to the area where specific call numbers are shelved and browsing can lead you to new sources and connected ideas.  You can see a map of call number locations in the MSU Library here. For a full Library of Congress Classification outline, visit their website here.

  • AM: Museums, museum methods, and techniques
  • AY: Yearbooks, almanacs, directories
  • AZ: History of scholarship and learning
  • CB: History of civilization
  • CC: Archaeology
  • CD: Diplomatics, archives, seals
  • CT: Biography
  • D: General history
  • DA - DR: European and Russian history
  • DS: Asian history 
  • DT: African history
  • E: History of the Americas
  • F: American local histories (South, Central and North)
  • G: Geography, atlases, maps
  • H - HX: General social sciences and subdisciplines of social science
  • LA: History of education
  • ML: Music literature and history
  • Q: General science and history of science
  • S: General agriculture and history of agriculture
  • SB: Plant culture and history
  • SD: Forestry and forestry history
  • SF: Animal culture and history
  • TX: Home economics and food history
  • U - V: General military and naval science and history
  • Z: General books and history of books and libraries


WorldCat is the world's largest library catalog. It itemizes collections of over 17,000 libraries across 123 countries and territories. Montana State University is a subscribing member library. Available items are not limited to physical books, but also include ebooks, audio/visual items, microfiche, and other means of resource sharing. You can search and find items through WorldCat here.

Google Books

Google Books can be a useful resource for discovering sources. Google has made a comprehensive index of full-text books available through their online platform. For sources not restricted by copyright law that you may not be able to find anywhere else, try searching here.

The Internet Archive

The Internet Archive is a non-profit library with millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites and more. It is an American digital library aiming to provide universal access to knowledge. It currently holds 28 million books and texts, 6 million movies and videos, 600,000 software programs, 15 million audio files and 492 billion web pages in the Wayback Machine. For digitized books and more, visit the archive here.


The website searches books with a powerful algorithm. This search can tell you what is popular with the general public and what the company thinks you would be interested in reading based on your past searches, purchases or other information. Amazon can be just as useful a tool as any other. However, be aware that these search results are biased, too, just like with any other algorithmic-based search. You see what the search creators intend for you to see.

Ebooks and Online Archives

You can view, borrow and read books virtually with these resources.