Skip to main content


Library: History/Political Science

 Primary vs. Secondary Sources


Primary sources are documents/evidence that were created at the time period you are researching, or memories of those who participated during that time period.

Secondary sources are documents that analyze or interpret primary sources from that period.  An example of this is when a researcher examines primary sources and discusses them in a paper, book or in a documentary.  In general, if the researcher has gathered information to recreate the history of the time period, it is a secondary source.

Some good sites to start your search for primary sources are the Library of Congress and National Archives.

 Reference Material


Credo eBook Reference Collection

  • A complete reference collection with access to full text of reference books.

The World Factbook

  • Provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities. Includes maps of the major world regions, as well as Flags of the World, a Physical Map of the World, a Political Map of the World, a World Oceans map, and a Standard Time Zones of the World map.

Books for History and Political Science can be found in the online catalog OPALS by title, author, or subject/keyword.  

If you would like to browse by section, books on History and Political Science are generally found in the following areas on the shelves, in both the stacks and the reference section:

Political Science 300s:

320 Political science (Politics & government)
321 Systems of governments & states
322 Relation of state to organized groups & their members
323 Civil & political rights
324 The political process
325 International migration & colonization
326 Slavery & emancipation
327 International relations
328 The legislative process

History 900s:

900 History, geography, & auxiliary disciplines
901 Philosophy & theory of history
902 Miscellany of history
903 Dictionaries, encyclopedias, concordances of history
904 Collected accounts of events
905 Serial publications of history
906 Organizations & management of history
907 Education, research, related topics of history
908 History with respect to groups of people
909 World history

910 Geography & travel
911 Historical geography
912 Graphic representations of surface of earth and of extraterrestrial worlds
913 Geography of & travel in ancient world
914 Geography of & travel in Europe
915 Geography of & travel in Asia
916 Geography of & travel in Africa
917 Geography of & travel in North America
918 Geography of & travel in South America
919 Geography of & travel in Australasia, Pacific Ocean islands, Atlantic Ocean islands, Arctic islands, Antarctica, & on extraterrestrial worlds

920 Biography, genealogy, insignia
921-928 This range is reserved as an optional location for biographies, which are shelved alphabetically by subject's last name.
929 Genealogy, names, insignia

930 History of ancient world to ca. 499
931 China to 420
932 Egypt to 640
933 Palestine to 70
934 South Asia to 647
935 Mesopotamia to 637 & Iranian Plateau to 637
936 Europe north & west of Italian Peninsula to ca. 499
937 Italian Peninsula to 476 & adjacent territories to 476
938 Greece to 323
939 Other parts of ancient world

940 History of Europe
941 British Isles
942 England & Wales
943 Germany & neighboring central European countries
944 France & Monaco
945 Italy, San Marino, Vatican City, Malta
946 Spain, Andorra, Gibraltar, Portugal
947 Russia & neighboring east European countries
948 Scandinavia
949 Other parts of Europe

950 History of Asia
951 China & adjacent areas
952 Japan
953 Arabian Peninsula & adjacent areas
954 India & neighboring south Asian countries;
955 Iran
956 Middle East (Near East)
957 Siberia (Asiatic Russia)
958 Central Asia
959 Southeast Asia

960 History of Africa
961 Tunisia & Libya
962 Egypt, Sudan, South Sudan
963 Ethiopia & Eritrea
964 Morocco, Ceuta, Melilla Western Sahara, Canary Islands
965 Algeria
966 West Africa & offshore islands
967 Central Africa & offshore islands
968 Republic of South Africa & neighboring southern African countries
969 South Indian Ocean islands

970 History of North America
971 Canada
972 Mexico, Central America, West Indies, Bermuda
973 United States
974 Northeastern United States (New England & Middle Atlantic states)
975 Southeastern United States (South Atlantic states)
976 South central United States
977 North central United States
978 Western United States
979 Great Basin & Pacific Slope region of United States

980 History of South America
981 Brazil
982 Argentina
983 Chile
984 Bolivia
985 Peru
986 Colombia & Ecuador
987 Venezuela
988 Guiana
989 Paraguay & Uruguay

990 History of Australasia, Pacific Ocean islands, Atlantic Ocean islands, Arctic islands, Antarctica, extraterrestrial worlds
991-992 Not assigned or no longer used
993 New Zealand
994 Australia
995 New Guinea & neighboring countries of Melanesia
996 Polynesia & other Pacific Ocean islands
997 Atlantic Ocean islands
998 Arctic islands & Antarctica
999 Extraterrestrial worlds