Senior Theses Session

Many more history of science resources: The Library Research Guide for the History of Science

General historical and contextual resources Library Research Guide for History

Other Harvard Library guides

Getting What You Need section of this guide helps you gain access to anything that isn't as simple as clicking through.

New guide: Library Research Guide for HISTSCI 1461: Historical Perspectives on Global Health

Searching in HOLLIS

To find books, periodicals, manuscripts, videos, etc., on a topic in HOLLIS, put in likely keywords and choose Library Catalog.  Look at pertinent records and find the terms under Subject. For example, searching "Vietnam war" medical yields

Officer, nurse, woman: the Army Nurse Corps in the Vietnam War, by Kara Dixon Vuic. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010, 271 p.
United States. Army Nurse Corps -- History -- 20th century
Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- Medical care -- United States
Military nursing -- United States -- History -- 20th century
Military nursing -- Vietnam -- History -- 20th century
Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- Women -- United States
Women and war

Med. subject
United States - Army Nurse Corps.
Vietnam Conflict
Gender Identity
Military Nursing
Military Nursing - history

Note that there are two sets of Subject terms for medicine.

  • Library of Congress labeled: Subject
  • National Library of Medicine (called MeSH) labeled Med. subject

Under Refine my results: Subject on the right of the results list there are more main terms (Military medicine, Military nursing, Physicians) to try. NOTE: If you hit one of the terms in this Subject list, HOLLIS will find records with the term, say  "Military nursing", only on records in the set originally formed by searching "Vietnam War" medical

Redo your search using the terms that HOLLIS uses.    Also, go to Starts with.../Browse (top black band) and put in Military medicine adjusting to Browse by Subject.  This is very useful in breaking down a large subject and in giving you more subdivisions (the words after the --), which can be applied to other Subject terms.

Whenever you have a reference to a useful book, look it up in HOLLIS and see what the Subject terms are.

These terms can be searched in combination with the names of wars and other subjects:

  • Medical care
  • Health aspects
  • Psychological aspects
  • Casualties
  • Moral & ethical aspects
  • Medical aspects
  • Veterans

Any pertinent book published during your era may be a primary source, but certain kinds of primary sources, including originally unpublished sources such as letters and diaries published later, have particular terms attached to their Subject terms in a HOLLIS record.  Change Any field to Subject for cleanest results.   

  • --Archives
  • --Correspondence
  • --Description and travel
  • --Diaries
  • --Manuscripts
  • --Notebooks, sketchbooks, etc.
  • --Personal narratives (refers to accounts of wars and diseases only)
  • --Sources (usually refers to collections of published primary sources)

Subject contains: "Vietnam War" OR "Vietnam Conflict"
Subject contains: Archives OR Correspondence OR Diaries OR Manuscripts OR Sources OR Narratives
Subject contains: Physicians OR Nurses

When you find a pertinent book, go to Starts With.../Browse and put in the call number, adjusting the menu to Library of Congress (Wid-LC) or Other. This shows you other books on the same subject, even though they may be in storage or checked out.

See the Library Research Guide for History and the HOLLIS Help guide for more information on searching HOLLIS.

Exploring Your Topic

Subject Encyclopedias, Bibliographies and Similar Resources in this Guide

Exploring Your Topic in this Guide

Finding subject reference articles in HOLLIS Catalog & Articles

Finding reference works in HOLLIS


Other types to search for: companions, guides

Biographical material 

Subject encyclopedias may yield personal names. Look for them in HOLLIS

Finding biographical reference articles in HOLLIS Catalog & Articles

More sources in the "Biography" section of the general History of Science guide and the History guide

Guide to American Medical Biography

Biographical Sources in this Guide

Secondary Sources

  • Pay attention to natural language and proper names
  • What kinds of sources are used?
  • What kinds of sources can you imagine?

Secondary Sources in this Guide

Primary Sources

Primary Sources page of this guide: Kinds of Primary Sources

Outline of Primary Sources for History lists kinds of primary sources and offers links to sample HOLLIS searches and to information in the History and other research guides.

Periodical Articles


Digital Libraries and Collections

HathiTrust Digital Library includes a searchable database of digitized books and periodicals contributed by numerous libraries. Includes items contributed by these libraries to Google Books and to Internet Archive but with some unique material. Each full text item is linked to a standard library catalog record, thus providing good metadata. The catalog can be searched separately. Globally full text searchable, like Google Books and Internet ArchiveMore on HathiTrust and Internet Archive

Medical Heritage Library  --  Biodiversity Heritage Library

Use contemporary language, personal names

Internet Archive collection: Medical Officer of Health reports