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History Pathfinder: Finding Materials in the Waidner-Spahr Library
Use the library catalog to search for books that the Dickinson College library owns. Once you find a book you want, you will need to print or write down the call number for the item in order to locate it on the shelves.
In our library, books that are available for checkout are located on two floors of the library. You will find all books with call numbers beginning with A through F on the east wing of the main level of the library. All books with call numbers beginning with G through Z are located on the third floor. All reference books (non-circulating dictionaries, encyclopedias, etc.) are located on the main level of the library behind the computer workstation area.
A map of the Waidner-Spahr Library is available here.
For more information about how books are arranged,
please read the next section, Library of Congress Classification
Use WorldCat to search for books that are owned by other libraries worldwide.
of Congress Classification System
At the Waidner-Spahr library, we organize and shelve our materials using the Library of Congress (LC) Classification System. The call numbers of books shelved according to this system always start with one or two letters, and are completed with a mix of decimal and ordinal numbers and more letters. For example, call numbers beginning with D always denote materials that belong to the General History and History of Europe categories. More specifically, call numbers beginning with DA always denote materials dealing with Great Britain. To see the complete LC classification outline, follow this link: Library of Congress Classification Outline.
An example of a typical call number is this:
DA197 .F57 2004
Kings and Lords in Conquest England
Your professors at Dickinson will usually require you to use scholarly journals for your research.
A scholarly journal has a narrow subject focus. The articles are written by experts in the field who are conducting original research, or writing reviews or essays; and the articles are often reviewed by the author's peers. Articles in scholarly journals may include bibliographies (citations to books and articles) and abstracts (short summaries of the article). Scholarly journals usually have a serious "look," including few if any ads or pictures. They may, however, include graphs, charts, or diagrams. Scholarly journals are usually available only by subscription.
Scholarly journals may have the additional requirement of being peer-reviewed, which means that a panel of experts will review all articles submitted for publication.
A popular magazine is meant for entertainment or informational purposes. Authors are usually professional writers, but not experts in any particular scholarly field. Magazines will include lots of photographs and advertisements. The subject material will be wider in scope than that of most scholarly journals. Popular magazines usually do not contain bibliographies or abstracts. These are the types of periodicals you can find at a newsstand.
An index is the tool to use when you are looking for scholarly articles that have been published in scholarly journals. Indexes may take the form of printed books, which are usually arranged alphabetically by subject; or electronic databases, which can be searched in a variety of ways (by keyword or author, for example). The subject-specific pages on this English Pathfinder will suggest the most appropriate indexes to use for your specific search. The Dickinson College Library does not own every journal covered in every index. You may have to use interlibrary loan to obtain an article.
The Journal Locator is a searchable, alphabetic list of all the journals that Dickinson College owns in any format. The Journal Locator will tell you what issues of each journal we own.
To search for journals dealing with chemistry, first access the Journal Locator. Change the selection box under "Browse Journals by Subject" from "--Please select a subject category--" to "Humanities and Reference." Then click on "History" or any of the specific sub-catgories under history. Most of the databases will allow you to perform a search within each individual journal once you choose one.Most of the printed journals owned by Dickinson College are located on the lower level of the Library, east wing (the side closest to the HUB). Journals are arranged in alphabetical order by title. When you locate a journal title, be sure to read the details of the the record to make sure we own the specific issue or years you need.