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Genealogy: Social and Historical Context

Finding Books (Catalogs)

Finding Books on Social Life and Customs

Search by Keyword

  • costume and victorian

Note: In library catalogs, the subject term for historical clothing is “costume”

Search by Subject Keywords (prefix su:)

  • United States Social conditions

Search by Series Title

  • american decades
  • daily life
  • day by day
  • everyday life
  • writer’s guide to everyday
  • everyday life in america

Subject keyword retrieves only records that have those words in the subject description.

Use the prefix or go to the Advanced Search screen.

Finding World and National Histories

Family historians will find the most benefit in using brief histories, encyclopedias, and dictionaries.

Useful search phrases

  • United States History Dictionaries
  • Russia  Encyclopedias
  • world history  encyclopedias
  • military history  encyclopedias

Finding Local and Family Histories

Find local histories by looking for the city or town name and by searching for the county name and by searching for the state name. Library catalogs list these publications in various ways.

Family histories, descendent lists, and genealogies are among the hardest works to locate. Many of these publications were privately printed and/or few copies were published.

Some of the works have only the name of the family or an individual as the subject term. But many can be located by searching for subject keyword Delaware Genealogy, e.g., su: delaware genealogy

Search by Keyword

  • delaware history
  • Delaware history local
  • Delaware genealogy
  • Genealogy delaware
  • Swedes Delaware

Search by Subject Keywords (prefix su:)

  • [name of the city or town] [name of state] history
  • New Castle delaware Buildings structures etc
  • Wilmington delaware pictorial works
  • delmarva peninsula history
  • Sussex County delaware genealogy
  • new sweden history

Subject keyword retrieves only records that have those words in the subject description.

Use the prefix su: or go to the Advanced Search screen.

What Day Was It?

When researching historical events, it may be useful to know what day of the week the event occurred. To find this out, consult a perpetual calendar.

What Was Happening at the Same Time? (Day in History)

Social and Historical Context

Social and historical information relating to the the time and place your ancestors lived adds insight into how people lived and what forces effected their lives. This kind of information may help you find new avenues of research, adds depth to your family research, and will help you when you write your family history.

Knowing the social life and customs of a region or time period:

Understanding the daily lives of the people

Knowing the history of a time period, country, or group of people:

Finding clues to next step for research

Understanding why people relocated

Social life and customs

World and national history

Local history

Family history

World and National History

Local History Reference Resources

County histories are valuable for history of the county, including changes in county boundaries. Many includes include lists and/or biographical sketches of early settlers or prominent residents.

What Was Happening at the Same Time? (Chronologies)

To gain perspective on other events occurring in the same time period as your research, consult a chronology, timeline, or "book of days." Here are examples of these types of resources.

Subject Guide

Rebecca Knight's picture
Rebecca Knight
Contact:
Associate librarian
Reference and Instructional Services Department
Morris Library, Room 117H
(302) 831-1730


Subjects: U.S. Government Information,
Delaware, census, family studies, RefWorks, APA style, and genealogy.


Education:
B.A., History. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. 1973.
M.S., Library Science. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. 1981.

Clothing and Dress

Finding books on Clothing

In library catalogs,

Search by Keyword

  • costume and victorian

Note: In library catalogs, the subject term for historical clothing is “costume”

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