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HISTORY 306: United States since 1945 (Summer 2022) : Find Books


Books often provide background and comprehensive information about a topic.  To find books and more on your topic, search the Library Catalog

Find a Book by the Call Number

A call number is like an address; it tells you where the book is located on the shelf. Each item in the library has its own unique call number which is attached to the book's spine.

The Library of Congress arranges materials by subject: 

  • The first section fo the call number represents the subject of the book.
  • The second section often represents the author's name.
  • The last section is the date of publication.

How to Read a Call Number

This graphic shows how to read a call number to help you locate a book on the shelf in the library. 

Libraries for Historical Materials

Memorial Library and the Wisconsin Historical Society Library are the two main libraries on the UW-Madison campus for library resources about history and historical documents.  Wisconsin Historical Society Library has materials related to North American history including the United States and Canada.  Memorial Library has materials about the rest of the world.  Another location with primary source materials is the Special Collections Department on the 9th floor of Memorial Library. 

To find an item in a particular library

1) In the library catalog, use search terms relevant to your topic 

2) Adjust search terms to find better sources based on what results you get

3) Limit to the library in which you want to find the resources or be prepared to request an item to be sent to another library. 

4) Check to make sure the item is available

5) Find and note the location information for the item (library, call number)

6) Use a stack guide if needed to find the item in the library