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History / World History


This guide is intended to help History students find relevant research material for assignments in KPU History courses. Please contact the History librarian for questions about Library research. All questions about the content of courses and assignments should be directed to your instructors.

You may find other History subject guides useful in your research as well - American History; British HistoryCanadian History; Chinese History; Japanese History;  Medieval History;

Books & eBooks

Search our Library Catalogue for books & films

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What's New?  Check out our New History Books list!

Call numbers are like a book's address on the shelf - they help you locate items in the library. You will always find books shelved together by subject so understanding call numbers can help you find many resources on the shelves. Your Kwantlen library  - like most academic libraries worldwide - uses an alpha-numeric (letter and number) system to arrange books on the shelf.

Locating a book is a progressive process: for example, to find a book with the call number DC256 B4613 1966 follow these steps.

DC first find the call numbers starting with D: following that will be DA, DB, DC etc

   256 now start looking for the number, starting with 1 and working your way up to 256

      B  → now start looking for the next letter, starting with A, B, C, etc.

         4613 → now start looking for the next number, starting with 1 and working your way up to 4,613

            1966  → the year the book was published

The Location: This will tell you which campus has the item, or if it is available full text online. Most items can be transferred to another campus through the "Place Hold" or "I Need Material" links.

Reference books and circulating books are shelved separately. In the Surrey library reference books are on the ground floor and circulating books are on the second floor.

Call Number Ranges for History

B 61: History and Philosophy               DD: German History  
D: General History                                DS 436: History of India
D 51-90: Ancient History                       DS 735: History of China
D 111-203: Medieval History                 E75-99:*Indians of North America
D 204-725: Modern History                   E 100-908: American History
DA: British History                                 FC: Canadian History
DC: French History                               U-VK: Military History
 *Although this is not a preferred term in Canadian society today, subject headings are standardized by the Library of Congress in the US. - but changes are slowly being made.

Who is the author?

  • holds an advanced degree in the subject covered by the book?
  • professional or researcher in the field?
  • is the author affiliated with a university / professional organization?


  • original research
  • literature review
  • advances research in discipline

Cited Sources?

  • bibliography / extensive notes
  • cites other scholarly sources
  • has an index


  • university press
  • scholarly publisher


  • uses terminology of the discipline
  • is written for other scholars / students

Reference books are useful as a first step in research - they will provide a quick overview of a topic that will allow you to understand its specific terminology and parameters.

The University Library maintains a separate collection of old, rare, valuable, fragile, or unique items which require special handling or care to assure their long-term availability. The primary purpose of this collection is to support teaching and research within the University and the community. Special Collections is located on the first floor of the Surrey campus library.

The collections are for research use by faculty, staff, and students as well as visiting scholars and may be of particular interest to History students. To access Special Collections material ask for help at the Library checkout counter.

Users of the collections must adhere to general restrictions:

- Material must be used in the Special Collections room

- Material cannot be borrowed from the collections except by express permission of the Special Collections librarian

- Material is not eligible for interlibrary loan or intercampus transfer

- Permission must be granted to photocopy items from the collections

- Eating and drinking are prohibited while using Special Collections material

Our oldest book:

The oldest title the Library owns is a three volume set by Gilbert Burnet (1643-1715):

The history of the reformation of the Church of England, printed at the Rose and Crown in St. Paul's Church-yard, 1679-1715.

Call number: BR 375 B87 1679 (Special Collections - Surrey)

Books & Videos in the Library