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National History Day Resources at University of Missouri Libraries: Secondary Sources-Books and Articles

Guide for educators and students participating in National History Day projects.

Definition

Secondary sources are books, articles, and documentaries created to describe, explain and/or evaluate historical events to people who did not experience them as participants or contemporaries.

photo of pen, journal, glasses

Finding Basic Overviews and Summaries

Places to Look for Secondary Sources in MU Libraries

Use Call Number to Find Book

For physical books in libraries, you need a call number and building location, and you need to know if the book is available. Write down call numbers because they are addresses for books.

Three places to find where call numbers are located in Ellis Library:

  • Online
  • On signs near elevators and on ends of bookshelves
  • On yellow sheets

On the guides, you will compare the first part of the call number with the list to get the floor location.

Most books in Ellis Library have Library of Congress (not Dewey Decimal) call numbers that start with letters. Example: E373 .F67 2007.

Use FindIt@MU to Get Articles

Many databases don't contain the entire magazine, journal or newspaper article - just a little information identifying the article, sometimes with a summary or "abstract."  To get the entire article, you will either click on a link that says "full text" or "download PDF" or "download article," or if these are not available, you'll click the button for Find It @ MU icon to look for full text in some other database.