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History: Your reading list: a guide for undergraduates

Library Guide for Undergraduates


As an undergraduate student at Queen's you will need to find resources such as journal articles, books as well as primary sources to help you with your assignments.  There are a number of information sources available to help you with this. To get started, refer to your module handbook or reading list provided by your tutor. This will provide details of all the essential and additional material you need to read for your assignments. Much of this material may be available to you on Canvas, but in some cases you may be expected to find them yourself using the Library at Queen's. This guide will get you started finding books, book chapter and journal articles. Have a look at the other tabs, such as Primary Sources, for other resources at Queen's. 


Book references look like this:

Book reference











Your reading list may also list chapters in books. To find a chapter in a book you need to locate the book. A book chapter reference looks like this:


The Library aims to stock copies of all books specified on reading lists. To find books, go to the Library website and use Library catalogue option to search for a specific book title, or type in a topic to view all books in the Library about that topic.

The catalogue will show the locations of all print copies of books that you can borrow. It will also include links to any books are available for you read on-line in e-book format.

If a book you need does not appear in our catalogue, please email your Subject Librarian, who will investigate purchasing the book.


A journal reference looks like this:

Alongside the journal articles available to you via Canvas. you can also find articles by going to the Library website and clicking on the Article search option tab. Type in a topic (or a specific article title), and click Search.

Article Search will look in all the journals subscribed to by the Library, and display a list of articles relevant to your topic. Read, and download, an article by clicking on the link that appears underneath the article details, and following the links through to the relevant publisher's website, logging in with your student number and password if prompted to do so. Most articles will be available for you to print or save in PDF format.

If you want to search within one specific journal, rather than across all the journals subscribed to by the Library, go to the Library website and click on the E-Journals A-Z link. In the E-Journals A-Z, search for the journal you need. If the Library subscribes to the journal, it will appear in the list of results. To access the journal website, click the Full Text Access link that appears underneath the journal details. You can then search the journal website for articles on your topic, or browse the list of all available issues to find a specific article

Browsing the Library shelves

The most common shelf-marks for History are:

BL-BX - for Religion and Religious History
D - for European and World History
DA - for British and Irish History (DA900-DA995 for Irish History)
E & F - for the History of the Americas
HC-HD - for Economic History
JC & JN - for Political Theory and Institutions.

Recommended readings may also be found in Short Loan on the Ground Floor.