This guide is selective and intended as a point of departure for research in American Studies.
Sources for world history are listed in the Library Research Guide for History.
Please feel free to email me with questions. We can make an appointment for you to come in, and we can talk at length about your project. Fred Burchsted, (firstname.lastname@example.org) Research Librarian and Liaison for American Studies, Widener Library.
Guide to Graduate Student Resources covers many of the basics, including use of the online catalog, HOLLIS, and the Harvard gateway to electronic resources, Harvard Library. To find research guides in Harvard Library: E-Resources: choose Subject + Resource Type: Research Guides. Guides are also available via the Harvard Libguides site which includes some guides not accessible through Harvard Library.
Get It offers links and instructions for Borrow Direct, Scan & Deliver, and Interlibrary Loan
This guide concentrates on historical sources. For other areas related to American Studies, the following guides are useful:
Getting What You Need
There is a guide to Finding Materials in Widener. Social Science and humanities material including much secondary and some primary material is in Widener, but the bulk of more specialized material is the Gutman Education Library.
Finding a pertinent book on the shelf and then looking at its neighbors is an excellent way of finding more material, because the call number system is also a subject system: QH 30 means biographies of biologists and naturalists.
If a book is checked out, you can probably get it within 1-4 days via Borrow Direct. This is quicker than recalling it from the person who has it.
The new Harvard Direct system allows you to request a book from Countway Medical, the Law Library or Widener to be delivered to another. Hit Request item on the HOLLIS record for a book that is not checked out. More on Harvard Direct.
If you have the citation to an article which is not available online or the pages or chapter (up to 30 pp.) from a book, Scan & Deliver will email you the pdf within 1-4 days. Hit Scan & Deliver on the HOLLIS record.
Interlibrary Loan will obtain, generally within 1 week-10 days, material not held by Harvard. This includes books (for which try the quicker Borrow Direct first), DVDs, microfilm and other formats. ILL will also obtain scans of periodical articles and book chapters not available at Harvard: choose Request Article/Chapter under ILL Requests on your ILL page. This takes only 1-4 days. Use WorldCat to verify references for InterLibrary Loan. Give them the Accession no. at the bottom of the WorldCat record in the OCLC field of the ILL request form.