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History: Library of Congress Call Numbers and more

Resource Profile: Scholarly Books

Photo courtesy of rhousewright at Flickr

Photo by rhousewright at Flickr

How can you tell if a book is scholarly?  The best way to tell is to look at who publishes it.  If it's published by a university press or by several other academic presses (e.g., Blackwell, Routledge, Palgrave, Ashgate) it is scholarly.  There are other presses that publish scholarly books as well, depending on the discipline.  Another way to decide is to look at the book's intended audience and purpose.

How are scholarly books different from regular books?  Scholarly books are published regardless of whether or not they will make money.  In fact, most scholarly books actually loose a lot of money. Instead, scholarly books exist to contribute to knowledge, and they support the research of academics and scholars at all levels.  All other books at least have an ostensible goal of making money.

Who decides whether or not a scholarly book gets published?  Editors at scholarly publishers express initial interest in a book, but they don't make the final decision.  All scholarly books go through an extensive process in which experts in the field read the manuscripts and decide if the book is worthy to be published.  In other words, scholarly books are peer reviewed sources.

What are the features of scholarly books?

  • Often directed toward a narrow audience that has specific reseasrch interests.
  • Always have information cited in text or in footnotes.
  • Provide extensive bibliographies and overviews of existing research.
Remember, scholarly books are just one of many kinds of books.  If you still have questions, ask a librarian or your professor.

Finding Books with Library of Congress Subject Headings

Once you find a book in the catalogue that you know will help you with your research, you should try to find other books with the same Library of Congress subject headings.  What does this mean? Watch the video below.

Click on the lower right-hand corner of the video player to view in full-screen format.

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Relevant LC Call Numbers

If you are looking for books and don't know where to begin, you can search within these call number ranges.  

Refer to the Library of Congress Classification Outline for more information.

CLASS D 
WORLD HISTORY AND HISTORY OF EUROPE, ASIA, AFRICA, AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND, ETC.

 
CLASS E-F 
HISTORY OF THE AMERICAS

CLASS U
MILITARY SCIENCE

CLASS C
AUXILIARY SCIENCES OF HISTORY

How to Read Call Numbers

The Carmichael Library uses the Library of Congress classification system to catalogue books. Below is a list of guides to interpreting the call numbers and finding books on the shelf.

Top Choices:

Periodically, Carmichael Librarians will recommend influential books to read.  Think of this section as a "Staff Picks" list in your favorite independent bookstore

Interlibrary Loan

Looking for a book that the Carmichael Library doesn't own? Make use of our Interlibrary Loan department.