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HI 374 - Special Topics: New South


This guide ties in with the class assignment to research a topic covered in Major Problems in the History of the American South. Vol. II. For further assistance, please visit the Reference Desk or contact the History liaison librarian.


Background Information

Before delving into scholarly books or journal articles, you may wish to consult reference sources to get background information on the people, places, events, or issues that you plan to examine in your research paper. Reference materials can also help you identify keywords for further searching. Some reference resources include bibliographies at the ends of each entry or volume, which will point you to additional books and journal articles worth exploring.

Companion to the Literature and Culture of the American South
     General Collection PS261 .C555

Dictionary of American History
     Ref E174 .D52 (print version, 10 vols.)

Encyclopedia of African-American History, 1619-1895
     Ref E185 .E545 (3 vols.)

Encyclopedia of African-American History, 1896 to the present
     In Oxford Reference Online

Encyclopedia of American Social History
     Ref HN57 .E58 (3 vols.)

Encyclopedia of Religion in the South
     Ref BR535 .E52

Encyclopedia of Southern History
     Ref F207.7 .E52

Encyclopedia of Southern Literature
     Ref PS261 .S525

Encyclopedia of the United States in the Nineteenth Century
     Ref E169.1 .E626 (print version, 3 vols.)

Encyclopedia of the United States in the Twentieth Century
     Ref E740.7 .E53 (3 vols.)

Oxford Reference Online: History
Search Oxford's reference works in the field of history, including the Oxford Companion to United States History.

Routledge Historical Atlas of the American South
     General Collection G1281.S5 F7


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Geisel Library Catalog
To find relevant books, you will want to try a combination of Subject and Keyword searching in the Geisel library catalog. Start by conducting Keyword searches on the issues, people, or events that relate to your topic. When you find a useful book, click on its subject headings to identify similar works. Here are some sample keyword searches:

  • Jim Crow AND south*
  • coal AND (mining OR mine*) AND history
  • literature AND women AND south* AND (United States OR America*)
  • south* AND (evangelical* OR fundamentalis*)

To find biographical works, search the person's name as a Subject Heading in the format Lastname, Firstname (e.g., Washington, Booker T.). For books on broader themes related to the New South, try performing Subject searches on some of the subject headings listed below.

  • African Americans - Southern States - History
  • American Literature - Southern States - History and Criticism
  • Southern States - Civilization
  • Southern States - Economic Conditions
  • Southern States - History
  • Southern States in Literature
  • Southern States - Politics and Government
  • Southern States - Race Relations
  • Southern States - Religion
  • Southern States - Social Conditions
  • Southern States - Women - History

By searching WorldCat, you can identify potentially useful books owned by other college libraries and have them delivered to Geisel Library for your use. Try searching the same keywords and subject headings that proved successful in the Geisel Library catalog. To request a book, open the book's WorldCat record, click the "Request via Interlibrary Loan" link, and follow the on-screen instructions. Allow 7-10 days for delivery. You will be emailed when your book arrives.


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As with the book catalogs, search the journal databases using keywords related to your topic, combining concepts together using the Boolean AND and OR operators. Once you find relevant articles, examine the subject headings that have been assigned to them and conduct Subject searches on the ones that seem most potentially fruitful. Be sure to read the bibliographies of articles to identify additional sources worth tracking down.

If there is no link to the full text of the article, click on the WebBridge icon to determine whether the journal is available in the Geisel Library or in full-text via another electronic database. If the article isn't available, consider clicking on the Interlibrary Loan link to request a PDF copy of the article from another library. Within a week, you should receive an email indicating that the article is available to access.

America: History and Life
The best place to start for journal articles about US history. Use the Historical Period From/To limiter to specify your time period of interest.

Academic Search Premier
A broad index providing abstracts and some full-text of scholarly and popular journals for a range of academic areas, including history.

Search here for full-text articles from major journals in the humanities and social sciences, including a number of important history journals. For tips on how to use JSTOR effectively, see our User Guide.

Supplemental Resources

History Cooperative
This resource offers full-text articles from several key journals and conference proceedings in the field of American history. Most, but not all, titles are accessible through our subscription.

Project MUSE
This database offers full-text articles from nearly 200 peer-reviewed journals in the humanities, arts, and the social sciences.

Consider searching SocINDEX for full-text journal articles if your topic involves social, cultural, gender, or racial/ethnic issues.


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Selected Websites

These websites were handpicked for the authoritative nature of their content. Some of the websites below contain primary source material that could provide good supplemental information in support of your paper's thesis.

American Memory Project
This massive Library of Congress undertaking includes two collections of pamphlets written by African-Americans during the late 19th century: From Slavery to Freedom and the Daniel A.P. Murray Collection. Also available is a collection of First-Person Narratives of the American South, 1860-1920.

Documenting the American South
Sponsored by the University of North Carolina, this online collection provides access to digitized primary materials that offer Southern perspectives on American history and culture. Five different projects make up the site: Southern literature; first-person narratives; slave narratives; the Southern Homefront, 1861-1865; and the church in the Southern Black Community.

Remembering Jim Crow
This radio documentary features interviews with black and white Americans reflecting on their experiences in the Jim Crow South. You can listen to audio clips and read transcripts of individual narratives. For more audio clips and narratives on this subject, see PBS's companion website to its documentary on The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow.


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Citing Sources

See the library's Citing Sources guide for resources on how to properly cite research materials. Always confirm the style required by your instructor.


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Book cover image for The Promise of the New South

Andrew Moore

Library Liaison
Jeff Waller

Background Information
Selected Websites
Citing Sources

Subject Guide