American History

Your guide to the best sources for American History!

Research Overview

The SUNY Adirondack Library has a variety of resources for research and learning.

Books: We have circulating books that can be checked out and reference books (for use just in the library). Books on American History are shelved under "E" and "F" using the Library of Congress system. 

Online Resources: We also have online resources--e-books, articles in databases, and videos via Films on Demand--that you can access in the library or anywhere off-campus via internet using your student username and password.

Periodicals: There are also physical copies of periodicals (magazines and journals) such as American Historical Review and Journal of American History for you to look through here in the library. 


To search for all library materials with SUNY Adirondack Library's online catalog, use the Start Your Research Here search box (on the library's home page) or the box on our main page:


Keyword Searches:  Keyword searching is quick and easy--anyone who has ever used a Web search engine is familiar with it. However, the more specific you can be the better. For example just using "revolutionary war" as a search term will bring up materials about France's revolution in addition to the American Revolutionary War. There are search tools to then help you narrow down your focus. 

Subject Heading Searches: Library of Congress Subject Headings look complicated but they can give you more focused results once you get used to them. Below are some examples of LOC Subject Headings you may run into while researching American History. If you can't figure out what you need, find at least one source that is on target then look at the catalog entry and see what subject headings are listed there. Clicking on those subject links will bring up more results with that heading. Examples:

United States -- History                                             United States -- Race relations                        Indians of North America
United States -- History -- Revolution, 1775-1783       United States -- Politics and government        World War, 1914-1918
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865          New York State -- History                                World War, 1939-1945

Search tips: 

  • To find books using subjects that can have variant endings, use truncation, or wildcard endings. This technique looks for any ending of a word after a symbol, usually an asterisk. Not sure if a book is listed by the terms "history" or historical"? Type in "histor*" to retrieve books listing either.

  • You may also search for names (Roosevelt) and other specific topics.

  • Consult a reference librarian if you are not finding what you need.