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American Civil War: Subject Headings

This guide will assist you in locating resources on the American Civil War.

Search Term Suggestions

Search Term Suggestions


  • United States - History - Civil War, 1861-1865
  • United States - History - Civil War, 1861-1865 - Biography
  • United States - History - Civil War, 1861-1865 - Campaigns
  • United States - History - Civil War, 1861-1865 - Encyclopedias
  • United States - History - Civil War, 1861-1865 - Historiography
  • United States - History - Civil War, 1861-1865 - Personal narratives
  • United States - Hisotry - Civil War, 1861-1865 - Social aspects
  • United States - History - Civil War, 1861-1865 - Sources

For a Narrower search try

  • Civil War and Reconstruction
  • Confederate States of America
  • Generals - Confederate States of America - Biography
  • Generals - United States - Biography
  • "Lost Cause" (Southern States)
  • Reconstruction (U.S. History, 1865-1877)
  • Secession
  • Southern Confederacy
  • United States - History - 19th century
  • United States - Politics and government - 1861-1865
  • War Between the States
  • War of Northern Aggression
  • Name of important individual (i.e. Sherman, William T.; Chesnut, Mary; Whitman, Walt etc.)


General Search Strategies

Searching in the OPAL catalog for your topic:  

SUBJECT AND KEYWORD searches are not the same. The catalog uses controlled vocabularies for subjects. Keywords are natural language. If you find an appropriate book using a keyword find similar books by searching the same subject headings.

A CONTROLLED VOCABULARY like Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) helps ensure the same topics are described using a formalized terminology. The terms are based on broad and narrow topics. Other controlled vocabularies include: Medical Subject Headings (MeSH), or LC subject headings for children's literature.

SEARCH TIPS  on the catalog page explain combining words for the most efficient way to find what you need. Or, look at the help link to decide how to search.

MARKING RECORDS enables you to save to a list then print or email a selected group of items.

A BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD  in the online catalog will give important information including the title, author, publisher, publication date, subject headings and the Dewey decimal call number. 

THE DEWEY DECIMAL SYSTEM is a classification scheme used to organize books. Other libraries may use the Library of Congress Classification System.