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History: Modern America: Finding books

General tips and advice

  • Check BearCat for books, videos, and more at SUNY Potsdam; or do a keyword search for just videos.

  • Do a wider search using SUNY Union Catalog (searches all SUNY libraries) or WorldCat (searches thousands of libraries). Both of these have links to our Interlibrary Loan service - so that you can easily request the books you find. You must be registered with Interlibrary Loan at Potsdam - known as ILLiad - to use this service. (Register now!) NOTE: Not all materials listed in WorldCat are borrowable through interlibrary loan.

  • Don't forget to use the bibliographies in books and in articles to identify other resources on your topic.


Bibliographies are lists of publications organized by topic.  See this pages for suggestions about finding and using bibliographies in U.S. history

Library catalog subject browse

Finding the chronological and other subdivisions used in library catalogs for the history of a place can be challenging.  In BearCat you can use "Basic Search / Subject begins with..." and enter "United States history" to see the beginning of the long list of subject headings about U.S. history.

Searching for books and other materials

Most useful search tools:

  • BearCat - the libray catalog at SUNY Potsdam
  • SUNY Union Catalog - searches all of the SUNY libraries - and links to Interlibrary Loan
  • WorldCat - searches thousands of libraries - and links to Interlibrary Loan

Also consider using:

Subject headings in library catalogs

The information you find in the library catalog will usually include a list of SUBJECTS that describe the book.  Use these to help you identify the key subject terms to explore in you catalog searches. An example:

Browsing the shelves in Crumb

The Library of Congress Classification System organizes books by subject. These are some of the relevant call number areas:

  • E 740 - is U.S. history, twentieth century
  • F 1- F 195 - is local history of the U.S. For ex. New York history is F 128 - 129

But you will also find historical treatments in other areas. For example:

  • History of economics is at: HB 75 - 130
  • Women's history is at: HQ 1101 - 2030.7
  • History of education in the U.S. is at: LA 201 - 399
  • and many other similar topics.

It is best to use BearCat to find all the books related to your topic in our collection.


Crumb Library: 315-267-2485
Crane Library: 315-267-2451

Text Us! (Mon-Fri, 10 - 4): 315-277-3730

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SUNY Potsdam College Libraries
44 Pierrepont Ave
Potsdam, NY 13617