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HISTORY 201: The Historian's Craft: Nation Breakers, Nation Makers (Spring 2022) : Finding Books

This course guide is designed for students of History 201: Nation Breakers, Nation Makers to help them in their research.

Memorial Stack Guide

Consult the Memorial Stack Guide using the book call number to which floor and which stacks (North/South) the book is located in.

Reading LC Call Numbers

For help reading library call numbers, consult this Library Research Guide by the University of Michigan Library: Library of Congress (LC) Call Numbers.

Searching in the Library Catalog

The quickest way to find books is by searching the catalog on the main library website.

Finding Books in the Library Catalog

  1. From the UW-Madison Libraries homepage, choose “Catalog” from the drop-down menu.
  2. Enter a book title, author name, or other subject keywords into the search box and press “Enter” on your keyboard.
  3. From the results page, you can select a book title to see its full record, which provides more information about the book, as well as where to find the book.

Advanced Search

  • If you want to have more control over search results, you can try an “Advanced Search” within the library catalog
    • On the UW-Madison Libraries homepage, the “Advanced Search” option is in the left-hand corner under the Catalog search box.
    • The options within the advanced catalog search window allow you to limit searches by:
      • Subject
      • Call number
      • Publication Year
      • And more…
  • There is a “Format” list to your right on the advanced search page screen. It is underlined in blue. This list will give you options for limiting the format of media sources returned with your search results.
  • Above the “Format” option, on your right, there is the option to select “Locations,” including specific UW-Madison Libraries and other UW campuses’ libraries. You can limit searches to a specific library or libraries by clicking on “Locations,” clicking on a UW campus, and then clicking on a library.

Boolean Operators

Finding Books

Books may be or contain primary sources. Examples may include personal narratives, memoirs, and autobiographies, collected works, and collections of documents. They may be published at the time or compiled and published at a later time.  

The following catalogs can help you find both print and electronic books.  

Useful Subject Headings

Library Catalog records include subjects, or tags from an official list. They describe what the books or other items are about. Clicking on subjects from within a catalog record or using them as keywords in searches can help you find similar books.

These subject headings might be useful to you for this class:

Anti-imperialist movements


Independence movements


Latin America -- History -- Wars of Independence, 1806-1830


Revolutions -- Latin America

Social conflict

South America -- History -- Wars of Independence, 1806-1830

Most of these subject headings can be divided by country or region (e.g. Peru, Brazil, Latin America, Caribbean Area) and many can also be further subdivided by topic. Useful sub-headings may include:


Campaigns [used after the name of a particular battle or war]

Colonies [used after a country name, e.g. Spain -- Colonies]

Economic conditions

Foreign participation

History -- Autonomy and independence movements [used after a country name, e.g. Mexico -- History --Autonomy and independence movements]

Personal narratives

Social conditions

Politics and government [used after a country heading only]