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The Hulbert Taft, Jr. Library

20th Century US History: 1960s-1970s Activists Project: Secondary Sources: Books / eBooks


Secondary source books will have more specific information about your topic.

Think "Chapter Books"!


  • Secondary source books are second-hand sources written by scholars which present a new interpretation or thesis based upon a synthesis of primary sources, scholarly journal articles, and other secondary sources.

  • Sometimes there will be an entire book, sometimes you may have to assemble information from multiple monographs.

  • Secondary sources will usually have a bibliography of materials for further study, including primary sources, journal articles (which are also secondary sources), and books. 

Discover print and electronic books by searching RhinoCat, our library catalog, below.
RhinoCat is the Library's automated catalog of books, ebooks, and other library materials.

A Keyword search using a broad term will yield the most hits. 

  • When you identify a book that looks useful, click on the book title to open the book's full record. 
    • Scroll down to Subject(s): and click on a subject heading to find other books with the same subject headings.
    • Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on Browse shelf to see books that sit to the left and right on the shelf.


Search Library Catalog

Visit Library Catalog Page


How to Cite a Book in MLA Style


Basic format for a book with one author:


Author's Last Name, First Name. Title of the Book. Name of Publisher,

     Year of Publication.


See more book examples at the MLA Style Center.

How Can I Tell If A Book Will Be Useful?

Follow these steps to determine if a book will be useful:
1. Look at the Table of Contents at the front of the book.
  • Are chapter titles descriptive? If so, you can start by going directly to those chapters. 
  • If chapter titles are not descriptive, go to the Index.
2. Look at the Index at the back of the book, using the names, words, and other terms you learned from reference sources about your topic.
3. Read the author's introduction. The thesis will be presented here.