HIST 4369: Civil War & Reconstruction

Get started researching topics in the history of the American Civil War and the Reconstruction period.

History Librarian

Profile Photo
Kristina Claunch
Library (NGL) Room 223G

Encyclopedias, Dictionaries, and Other Reference Books

What are reference books good for? A lot!

  • Verify facts (with more authority than Wikipedia)!
  • Browse contextual essays for inspiration in finding a research paper topic.
  • Read topical entries to increase your background knowledge of a topic.
  • Read essays, topical entries, and bibliographies to refine your topic into a focused research question
  • Quickly access timelines of events, maps, key primary documents, extensive bibliographies (that is, lists of key books and articles on focused topics), and more to supplement your research and help you decide what sources to read next.
  • When you're reading primary sources, use a historical dictionary to find definitions of or context for slang words or unfamiliar cultural references.

Reference Universe logo

Search a selection of print and electronic encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other Reference books.


People of the Civil War - Biographical Reference Books

Find more in-depth biographies of specific Civil War figures by browsing the books under this subject heading:

Browse the Collection

If you aren't sure exactly what you're looking for, walk around and see what books you stumble upon.

Most books dealing with the Civil War are on the 4th floor of the library between call numbers E456 and E655; most books focusing on Reconstruction are on the 4th floor at call number E668. Start in these call number areas:

  • E456 - E655 - Civil War period, 1861-1865
    • E456 - E459 - Lincoln's administration, 1861-April 15, 1865
    • E461 - E655 - The Civil War, 1861-1865
    • E482 - E489 - Confederate States of America
    • E491 - E586 - Armies. Troops
    • E591 - E600 - Naval history
  • E666 - E670 - Andrew Johnson's administration, April 15, 1865-1869
    • E668 - Reconstruction, 1865-1877

To find the call number areas for more specific subjects, check out the call number outline at the Library of Congress website.

Search the Library Catalog

Search for books and other items in the library catalog.


More Search Options


Video Refresher: Intro to Searching the Catalog

Click the icon in the bottom right corner of the video player to view it in full screen!

Search with Subject Headings

Subject headings allow you to find books according to broader and narrower topics.

Below are sample subjects. To browse for different, broader, or narrower subjects, go to the library catalog and click "Exact Search." Enter a term and click "subject."

You can start browsing for a broad subject like Education, then look for more specific subjects, such as Education England History 18th century.

Once you know some subject headings, you can also just use them as keywords during an advanced search, using the subject row.

State-Specific Resources

States at War Series

This multi-volume reference work draws from numerous original sources and can be read in two ways: by individual state, or across states, comparing reactions to the same event or solutions to the same problems.


Newton Gresham Library | (936) 294-1614 | (866) NGL-INFO | Ask a Question | Share a Suggestion

Sam Houston State University | Huntsville, Texas 77341 | (936) 294-1111 | (866) BEARKAT
© Copyright Sam Houston State University | All rights reserved. | A Member of The Texas State University System