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Books are shelved in general subject categories using the Library of Congress classification system. You may want to supplement your use of the catalog book search with browsing shelf areas for your topic.
Many books on history are shelved on the library's upper level from D (world history) through E and F (history of the Americas).
If you're looking to get started finding resources pertaining to your topic, you should start by searching the library's catalog. Unless you know a specific title or the name of an author, it is best to search via Keyword (the default setting).