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History: HIST 571 - Spring 2013

George Washington Books at Carmichael

Carmichael Library, like almost any academic institution, has some primary materials of the prominent historical figures bound in book format. Examples include:

The diaries of George Washington, 1748-1799, edited by John C. Fitzpatrick

E312.8 1748-99

The Papers of George Washington: Colonial Series

E312.72 1983

But don't overlook biographies or other works as they can give helpful clues. For example, the book George Washington's War by Bruce Chadwick, published in 2004, contains an extensive bibliography. Broken into source sections, the first batch of listed material are 'Archival Sources' and very worthwhile search terms for Google.

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

A word about the Wikipedia source to the right of this box

This is the excerpted bibliography from George Washington's Wikipedia entry. At the top is a link to George Washington sources pointed out during our library session.

At the bottom, you'll find "External Links." Among those are links to GW's State of the Union Addresses and Masonic Correspondence at Project Gutenberg. Project Gutenberg is an effort to centrally locate the texts of all primary and secondary materials in the public domain (copyright is no longer applicable). Also, there are scanned versions of George and Martha Washington's respective wills made available through the Internet Archive.

Find a Style Manual for Your Assignment

Print copies of both the 15th edition of the Chicago Manual and Turabian are available in the Reference Collection on the library's main floor.

(edit text)

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.

Welcome to the History 571 Research Guide

This guide is a starting point for identifying, locating, and evaluating materials relating to the study of History in Carmichael Library, in academic libraries throughout the globe using WorldCat, and material available on the Internet. If you need additional assistance please contact Mr. Carey Heatherly, Reference Librarian and University Archivist.

About Your Assignment

You have two distinct advantages with this assignment; 1.) the Founding Fathers are biggies in the field of US History and 2.) that means almost any book you pick up, no matter the date, will point to a collection of primary materials that is now most likely digitized and availble online. Also, many of the Founding Father's papers are published in book form and are available at most academic libraries.

This guide uses George Washington, your first topic, as an example. By no means exhaustive, think of the guide as a 'cheat sheet' indicating possible tools and search strategies for locating primary source collections.

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.

Unable to display content. Adobe Flash is required.

Using Google to Search for Founding Fathers

Google is a powerful search engine if you know how to manipulate search terms. Here are a few that are applicable to this assignment.

Instead of just typing George Washington's name into Google, researcher's have the ability qualify a search on our first president. If terms are couched in quotations, Google knows you are looking for those terms exactly as they appear and in the order they appear. So 'Googling' George Washington searches for George Washington, George Washington Carver, Washington state and D.C., and the film George Washington. However, "George Washington" will eliminate some of this clutter. Adding addtional terms, like Virginia, with plus sign ("George Washington" +Virginia) tells Google you seek sites about George Washington which contain the word Virginia. Additionally, use the minus sign to exclude certain results. -Carver and -University will ignore many sites about George Washinton Carver and George Washington University.

Google will also limit searches to certain domains, .edu, .gov, .org. To do this, simply add to the beginning of any term. For example, "George Washington" +Virginia tells the engine to return results for George Washington which contain the word Virginia and are educational websites/pages.

I suggest beginning your Google searches by broadly combing domains, "George Washington" and then use additional terms to narrow and focus. Google allows searchers to be as broad or narrow as possible and multiple strategies may be utilized in one query ( "george washington -carver -university).

Google Web Search

GW's Wikipedia Bib

For a bibliography see George Washington bibliography

  • Anderson, Fred (2000). Crucible of War: The Seven Years' War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754–1766. New York: Alfred Knopf.
  • Anderson, Fred (2005). The War That Made America: A Short History of the French and Indian War. New York: Viking. ISBN 978-0-670-03454-3.
  • Buchanan, John. The Road to Valley Forge: How Washington Built the Army That Won the Revolution (2004). 368 pp.
  • Burns, James MacGregor and Dunn, Susan. George Washington. Times, 2004. 185 pp. explore leadership style
  • Chernow, Ron (2010). Washington: A Life. New York City: The Penguin Press. ISBN 978-1-59420-266-7.
  • Cunliffe, Marcus. George Washington: Man and Monument (1958), explores both the biography and the myth
  • Elkins, Stanley M. & McKitrick, Eric (1995). The Age of Federalism. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-509381-0.
  • Ellis, Joseph J. (2004). His Excellency: George Washington. New York City: Alfred Knopf. ISBN 1-4000-4031-0.
  • Espinosa, Gastón (2009). Religion and the American Presidency: George Washington to George W. Bush with Commentary and Primary Sources. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 9780231143325. OCLC 237176915.
  • Ferling, John E. The First of Men: A Life of George Washington (1989). Biography from a leading scholar.
  • Fischer, David Hackett. Washington's Crossing. (2004), prize-winning military history focused on 1776–1777.
  • Flexner, James Thomas. Washington: The Indispensable Man. (1974). ISBN 978-0-316-28616-9 (1994 reissue). Single-volume condensation of Flexner's popular four-volume biography.
  • Freeman, Douglas S. George Washington: A Biography. 7 volumes (1948–1957). New York: Scribner. OCLC 425613. The standard scholarly biography, winner of the Pulitzer Prize.
  • Freeman, Douglas S. and Harwell, Richard. Washington (1968). New York: Scribner. OCLC 426557. Abridgement of Freeman's multivolume biography.
  • Grizzard, Frank E., Jr. George Washington: A Biographical Companion. ABC-CLIO, 2002. 436 pp.  Comprehensive encyclopedia; Grizzard was Senior Associate Editor of The Papers of George Washington
  • Grizzard, Frank E., Jr. The Ways of Providence: Religion and George Washington. Buena Vista and Charlottesville, VA: Mariner Publishing. 2005. ISBN 978-0-9768238-1-0.
  • Grizzard, Frank E., Jr. George! A Guide to All Things Washington. Buena Vista and Charlottesville, VA: Mariner Publishing. 2005. ISBN 978-0-9768238-0-3.
  • Higginbotham, Don, ed. George Washington Reconsidered. University Press of Virginia, (2001). 336 pp of essays by scholars
  • Higginbotham, Don. "The Washington Theme in Recent Historical Literature," Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Volume 114, Number 3 (July, 1990), 423-438 online edition
  • Higginbotham, Don. George Washington: Uniting a Nation. Rowman & Littlefield, (2002). 175 pp.
  • Hirschfeld, Fritz. George Washington and Slavery: A Documentary Portrayal. University of Missouri Press, 1997.
  • Hofstra, Warren R., ed. George Washington and the Virginia Backcountry. Madison House, 1998. Essays on Washington's formative years.
  • Johnson, William (1919). George Washington the Christian. New York: The Abingdon Press. OCLC 19524242.
  • Ketchum, Richard. The Winter Soldiers: The Battles for Trenton and Princeton. Holt Paperbacks; 1st Owl books ed edition, 1999. ISBN 978-0-8050-6098-0.
  • LaBan, Craig. Hercules: Master of cuisine, slave of Washington. Philly.Com(Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News). 2010-02-21.Hercules: Master of cuisine, slave of Washington
  • Laban, Craig. A birthday shock from Hercules. Philly.Com(The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News). 2010-02-22. A birthday shock from Washington's chef
  • Lengel, Edward G. General George Washington: A Military Life. New York: Random House, 2005. ISBN 978-1-4000-6081-8.
  • Lodge, Henry Cabot. George Washington, 2 vols. (1889), old fashioned biography vol 1 at Gutenberg; vol 2 at Gutenberg
  • McDonald, Forrest. The Presidency of George Washington. 1988. Intellectual history showing Washington as exemplar of republicanism.
  • Smith, Richard Norton Patriarch: George Washington and the New American Nation (1997) Focuses on last 10 years of Washington's life. excerpt and text search
  • Spalding, Matthew. "George Washington's Farewell Address", The Wilson Quarterly v20#4 (Autumn 1996) pp: 65+.
  • Vadakan, Vibul V., M.D. "A Physician Looks At The Death of Washington", The Early America Review Vol VI, #1(Winter/Spring 2005) A Physician Looks At The Death of Washington
  • Wallenborn, White McKenzie, M.D. George Washington's Terminal Illness:A Modern Medical Analysis of the Last illness and Death of George Washington.Washington's Terminal Illness
  • Wiencek, Henry. An Imperfect God: George Washington, His Slaves, and the Creation of America. (2003).

External links

Video help

What is an annotated bibliography?

Video tutorials for citing sources

Chicago-Turabian Footnote and Endnote Citation Tutorial (Please note this is the first installment of a series of video tutorials)

Subject Guide

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Anna Mary Williford
(205) 665-6108

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.


HISTORY OF THE AMERICAS (E=America and F=U.S. local history, Canada, Latin America)



A Scholar's Guide to Google

Harvard University's Libraries have compiled and created A Scholar's Guide to Google. Covering three distinct Google Search tools, this guide is desinged to help researchers maximize the full potential of this search engine.  

Click here to view the site

The Avalon Project

Dr. Day mentioned The Avalon Project. This is Yale Law School Library's effort to create a digital library relating to history, primarily legal and diplomatic history. Think Bill of Rights, Magna Carta, Vetoes, Presidential Addresses, etc.

This provides another good example of "Googling." Simply search "George Washington" +avalon.

George Washinton's Wikipedia Page

George Washington

Notice that the end of the entry contains notes, sources, bibliographies, and links to other bibliographies. It is well worth the time and effort to check these out.


At the graduate level, students should have a firm grasp on what is and what is not scholarly information and should also know when to seek help or guidance. As we all know, Wikipedia is neither a reliable nor stable resource and should not be used as such. However, Wikipedia can be a valuable tool for locating resources.

Chicago/Turabian Weblinks

Offers explanations for changes in rules and other basic information concerning this tool.

Build your citation using this web-based form from Calvin College Hekman Library

Get writing and citing help from your campus writing center!

An online tool designed to guide users using explanations and examples of formatting rules.

On Plagiarism

Don't do it.

These web sites are designed to help you avoid plagiarism in your own work. For more information on accurately citing sources, consult a librarian or your professor.