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Topic : History Day 2020 @ the University of St. Thomas: Getting Started

The guide is intended to assist middle school and high school history students researching History Day projects.

Understanding LC Call Numbers

The books (and DVDs) you will come across  in our (UST) libraries have a Library of Congress Call Number. Call number labels are located on the lower part of the spine of the book. (Reference materials will also include REF on the call number label).

Think of a call number as a book's address that enables you to locate the book (item) on the shelf. The first line in a Library of Congress call number classifies the item by its subject according to the LC Classification System. The entire call number should be noted in order to locate the item.

LC call numbers are first arranged alphabetically, according to the letter or letters at the beginning of the call number, which correspond to the subject matter of the item. 

Within the alphabetical section, books are arranged by the number(s) that follow. Notice that these numbers are regarded as whole numbers.

CLICsearch book search

Results here are limited to books, ebooks, and book chapters.

Scholarly Article Resources

OSF Library Map & Locations

Finding items in the O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library:

What is a Primary Source

What is a Primary Resource?

Primary sources provide first-hand testimony or direct evidence created by participants and/or observers of a historical event or time period enabling researchers to get as close to the truth of what actually happened. Often, these materials are created at the time when the events or conditions occured. However, primary sources can also include autobiographies, memoirs and oral histories that are written or recorded later. 

Primary sources are characterized by their content not their format.  Therefore, primary sources can be found in published books, on microfilm/microfiche, in digital form or in their original format.

The following types of materials are generally considered primary resources:

  • Diaries or journals
  • Letters or other manuscripts
  • Speeches and interviews
  • Photographs
  • Sound recordings
  • Video or motion picture recordings
  • Memoirs and autobiographies. 
  • Published materials (books, magazine and/or newspaper articles)
  • Government documents
  • Objects and artifacts