Skip to Main Content

Environmental History

For research and course work in environmental history.

Books Matter

Even in the Digital Age, books are still the major publication format for academic historians.  In fact, journal articles are frequently the precursor to full-length books.  Here are some tips on how to use books more effectively in your research:

  • Read the table of contents, introduction, and conclusion first. Academic works are not novels - you'll get more out of it if you know in advance the author's main points and conclusions.
  • Found a good book on your topic? Look at the titles near it on the shelf for related works.
  • Raid the bibliography of a good book for more sources, both primary and secondary. Ask a librarian if you need help locating a cited source.

Search Tips

Try some of the following subject phrases to find books in the catalog relating to your topic:

"Description and travel"

"Environmental aspects"

"Environmental conditions"

"Environmental policy"

"Human ecology"

"Southern States", "Gulf Coast (U.S.)", or a specific state name (e.g. "Louisiana")

Primary Sources in Book Form

In addition to print archives and digitized collections, primary sources can also be found in book form, published as collected documents or as appendices in a secondary source.  When searching the catalog for books, keep an eye out for published primary sources in the stacks.

In combination with a subject term or keyword on your topic, the following search terms can help you focus in on primary sources in the catalog:

"Personal narratives" - used to designate memoirs or autobiographical accounts of a war or event.

"Diaries" - a less commonly used catalog term, but still valuable.

"Correspondence" - used to describe personal letters or the collected correspondence of a class of persons (e.g. soldiers).

"Interviews" - often used to describe oral histories in print, audio, and video formats.

"Sources" or "Archives" - describes collected documents of all kinds.

You can also search for an important historical figure as AUTHOR in the catalog. This will retrieve any published works or collections of papers written by that person. 

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.