World History

Find books, articles, videos and more at the SUNY Adirondack Library.

Keyword Searching

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. 

Subject Searching

Here are some useful Library of Congress Subject Headings: 

World War, 1914-1918 -- United States 
World War, 1939-1945 -- France 
History, Modern
Russia -- Foreign Relations -- Germany 
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) -- Causes   
Propaganda, Soviet     
Hitler, Adolf, 1889-1945 -- Military leadership      
Military history, Modern -- 20th century 
India -- History

Reference Collection

Books in the Reference Collection can be used in the library but not checked out. They are interfiled with the Circulating Collection on the upper floor of the library, with yellow stickers on the spine. Examples are to the right.

You can also try these two reference databases:

  • The Gale Virtual Reference Library database links to chapters from more than 600 reference books.
  • The CIA's World Factbook offers a great deal of information on world countries. 

World History Circulating Books

The Circulating Collection can be found on the upper floor of the Library
(which is the 3rd floor of the Scoville Learning Center).

There you will find books arranged in Library of Congress order.

C section: Auxiliary Sciences of History (i.e. General History, History of Civilization, Archaeology, Biography)

D section: World History (except the Americas)

E section: American History (General)

F section: History of Canada, Latin America, South America (as well as Local United States)


Books on world history are shelved primarily under "D" (General and Europe) with Canadian, Latin American and South American history being found under "F" (Americas), using the Library of Congress system. Also "C" (Auxiliary Sciences of History) includes such subtopics as General History (C), History of Civilization (CB), Archaeology (CC) and Biography (CT).


Search for books, e-books and streaming videos on the library main page. Use the boxes on the left side of this page to find useful search terms.

Tip: Once you find a book you really like, check its subject headings to link to similar titles. 

Ebook Databases 

These databases link to electronic books: you can read a whole book on your screen! The first three databases require login with your SUNY Adirondack username/password if accessing from off-campus. 

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: palestin* AND israel* AND histor*.

You may also search for names (Churchill) and other specific topics (Holocaust). Consult a reference librarian if you are not finding what you need.

Getting Started on Your Research

  • The search box on the library's home page searches most but not all of our 120 databases. 
    • Do a search then limit to e-books, articles (limit to scholarly if wanted), or videos. 
    • Click Advanced Search to overlap another subject. 
    • To borrow a print book, contact a librarian ( to arrange to pick it up. 
  • Depending on your subject and research needs, you can also search individual databases below.  

Accessibility Statement