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Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, and Other Reference Books
Why use Reference Books?
- Browse for a topic of interest, if you aren't sure what to research;
- Get a quick overview of a topic you don't know much about;
- Identify key words/phrases, people, places, dates, etc. to use in searching for primary and secondary sources;
- Get recommendations of scholarly books and articles to jumpstart your research;
- Look up unfamiliar words/phrases, people, events, etc. while reading a primary source, so that you understand the source in context.
Slavery in the United States: A Social, Political, and Historical Encyclopedia
Call Number: REF E441 .S635 2007 vol. 1-2 (2nd floor)
Encyclopedia of Slave Resistance and Rebellion
Call Number: E447 .E53 2007 vol. 1-2, Reference
Slavery in America
Call Number: E443 .S58 2008 vol. 1-2, Reference
Slavery in the South: A state-by-state history
Call Number: E441 .J49 2004 (4th floor)
Covers Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. Comparative summary of the southern slave states from Colonial times to Reconstruction. Each state chapter explores the genesis, growth, and economics of slavery, the life of free and enslaved blacks, the legal codes that defined the institution and affected both whites and blacks, the black experience during the Civil War, and the freedmen's struggle during Emancipation and Reconstruction.
The Underground Railroad: An Encyclopedia of People, Places, and Operations
Call Number: REF E450 .S65 2008 vol. 1-2 (2nd floor)
The Underground Railroad: Official Map and Guide
Call Number: I 29.6/6:R 13, Government Documents, 1st floor
Historical Statistics of Black America
Call Number: REF E185 .H543 1995 volumes 1-2 (2nd floor)
Nearly 2,000 tables of statistical information on blacks in North America from colonial times until 1975. Subject-specific chapters are chronologically arranged and reflect developments in black history. Subjects include slavery, and the migration of blacks into the south between 1870 and 1910.
The Language of the Civil War
Call Number: REF E468.9 .W755 2001 (2nd floor)
Dictionary of about 4,000 entries covering the slang, nicknames, military jargon and terminology, idioms, colloquialisms, and other words or expressions used (and often originating) during the American Civil War.
Search Reference Universe
The Bibliography of Slavery and World Slaving
The Bibliography of Slavery and World Slaving
- Searchable databases of references to approximately 25,000 scholarly works.
- Slavery/slaving, worldwide, historical and modern.
- All academic disciplines, all western European languages.
- All known print materials published since 1900 in scholarly formats.
- Includes books, scholarly journals (print and digital), recent conference presentations, professional historical sites, major museum exhibitions and catalogs.
- Note: the SHSU Library may not necessarily own all the sources referenced in this bibliography.
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 Slavery, then look for more specific subjects, such as Slavery United States 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.
ARGUMENTS FOR AND AGAINST SLAVERY:
SLAVERY AND RELIGION / THE CHURCH / RELIGIOUS ARGUMENTS FOR AND AGAINST SLAVERY:
LIVING CONDITIONS, SOCIAL LIFE, AND RELIGION OF SLAVES:
FUGITIVE (RUNAWAY) SLAVES:
ECONOMICS OF SLAVERY:
POLITICS OF SLAVERY:
AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE MILITARY DURING AMERICAN SLAVERY
Browse the Collection
An excellent way to discover additional resources is to browse for books in relevant call number ranges. Many books on the history of American slavery will be located on the 4th floor in the following ranges:
- E184.5 - E185.98 - United States, Elements in the population, Afro-Americans
- E441 - E453 - Slavery in the United States and Antislavery Movements.
To discover the call number ranges for broader, narrower, or different subjects, consult the Library of Congress Classification Outline.
Search the Library Catalog
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!
A Sampling of (Secondary Source) Books in the Main Collection
Redemption Songs: Suing for freedom before Dred Scott
Call Number: KF4545 .S5 V36 2014 (4th floor)
There is no more legendary case in American legal history than Dred Scott v. Sanford. An extraordinary example of a slave suing his master for freedom, it led to a devastating pro-slavery ruling by Chief Justice Roger Taney in the Supreme Court and helped precipitate the Civil War. But was it so remarkable? Did others fight for liberty in court? The author, together with Missouri's state archivist and other researchers, found roughly 300 "freedom suits" filed in St. Louis between 1814 and 1860.
The Fight for Interracial Marriage Rights in Antebellum Massachusetts
Call Number: HQ1031 .M68 2015 (4th floor)
Well known as an abolitionist stronghold before the Civil War, Massachusetts had taken steps to eliminate slavery as early as the 1780s. Nevertheless, a powerful racial caste system still held sway, reinforced by a law prohibiting marriage between whites and blacks. Assembling information from court and church records, family histories, and popular literature to chronicle a grassroots movement to overturn the state's ban on interracial unions. This pre-Civil War effort to overturn antimiscegenation law was a crucial chapter in the deep history of the African American struggle for equal rights.
Amistad's Orphans: An Atlantic story of children, slavery, and smuggling
Call Number: E447 .L39 2014 (4th floor)
The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation
Call Number: E449 .D24 2014 - 4th floor
Publication Date: 2014
The Counter-Revolution of 1776: Slave resistance and the origins of the United States of America
Call Number: E446 .H83 2014 (4th floor)
The Problem of Slavery in Western Culture
Call Number: HT871.D3 - 4th floor
Publication Date: 1966
"We Hold These Truths to Be Self-Evident...": An Interdisciplinary Analysis of the Roots of Racism and Slavery in America
Call Number: E184 .A1 A33 2009, 4th floor
Generations of Captivity: A History of African-American Slaves
Call Number: E441 .B47 2003, 4th floor
Cotton and Race in the Making of America: The Human Costs of Economic Power
Call Number: E441 .D237 2009, 4th floor
Abolition and the Press: The Moral Struggle Against Slavery
Call Number: E449 .R57 2008, 4th floor
African Americans in the Colonial Era: From African Origins Through the American Revolution
Call Number: E185 .W94 2010, 4th floor
Cabin, Quarter, Plantation: Architecture and Landscapes of North American Slavery
Call Number: E443 .C325 2010, 4th floor
Dred Scott and the Politics of Slavery
Call Number: KF4545 .S5 M35 2007, 4th floor
Fanatical Schemes: Proslavery Rhetoric and the Tragedy of Consensus
Call Number: E449 .R635 2009, 4th floor
Labor, Free and Slave: Workingmen and the Anti-Slavery Movement in the United States
Call Number: E449 .M25 2007, 4th floor
Neither Fugitive nor Free: Atlantic Slavery, Freedom Suits, and the Legal Culture of Travel
Call Number: PS217 .S55 W66 2009, 3rd floor
The Political Worlds of Slavery and Freedom
Call Number: E449 .H15 2009, 4th floor
Truthful Pictures: Slavery Ordained by God in the Domestic Sentimental Novel of the Nineteenth-Century South
Call Number: PS374 .S58 C37 2009, 3rd floor