Skip to Main Content

Native American Studies: Books

A guide to the indexes, reference works, legal sources, and primary resources in Native American Studies.

Key finding tools

Dartmouth Library Catalog Advanced Search

Search Tips

  • Start with a keyword search, but if you see a good subject heading in a full record for a title, rerun your search using some of that new terminology.

Keyword search

Keyword searches can be simple -- searching across the full catalog record:

Or complex & field-specific (example search limits to the subject fields; the wildcard/truncation character "*" finds word stems):

When searching the library catalog, pay attention to the subject headings assigned to relevant titles. Refining your search using the same subject heading terminology may yield more precise results.


Subject search

We use standardized subject headings to describe the content of our collection.  Browsing the headings in subject search results can be especially useful for broad or unfamiliar topics.  Subject searches also tie in to a cross-referencing system, pointing to alternative or related headings. [Keyword searches don't tie in to these cross-references.]

The Library of Congress uses many different headings to represent the indigenous peoples of the Americas:

  • Indians of North America  
  • Indians of Mexico
  • Indians of Central America
  • Indians of South America
  • headings for individual Indian nations usually structured as
    "community/tribe Indians", e.g., Cree Indians
    exception: many Arctic, Alaska Native & Hawaiian communities: "Hawaiians", "Inuit", "Inupiat", "Eskimos"; as well as some Mesoamerican communities: "Aztecs", "Mayas"
  • and the broad-reaching "Indians" or "Indigenous Peoples" (for works not specific to a region). 

"Indian" also qualifies many specific headings, either as a main heading (e.g., Indian Art, Indian courts ) or a sub-heading (e.g., American literature -- Indian authors.)

Subject headings are often qualified with subheadings -- usually set off with hyphens to indicate geography, time period, topical subdivision, etc.

  • Cherokee Indians -- Government relations
  • Indians Of North America -- New Hampshire.
  • Indians of North America -- Legal status, laws, etc. -- Cases.
  • United States -- History -- Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775.
  • Indians, Treatment of
  • Indians -- Colonization
  • Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804-1806) -- Maps.
  • Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-1826 -- Relations with Indians.


Subject heading patterns of interest

  • [Place] -- Discovery and exploration -- [Explorers' nationality]
    e.g., America -- Discovery and exploration -- Spanish
    e.g., Canada -- Discovery And Exploration.
  • [Place] -- Territorial expansion
    e.g., Europe -- Territorial expansion
    e.g., United States -- Territorial expansion
  • [Place doing the colonizing] -- Colonies -- [Place colonized]
    e.g., Spain -- Colonies -- America -- Administration.
  • [Topic] -- History -- [Date]
    Latin America -- History -- To 1600 -- Sources.
  • [Group of people] -- First Contact With Europeans.
  • [Group of people or specific individual] -- Relations with [Group of people]

Relevant titles fall throughout our collection, but the E75 through E99 call number section houses a sizeable amount of material, located on Baker Stack Level A:

  • E75-E77 (General history)
  • E78 (By state, province, or region, A-Z)
    e.g., E78.A3 = Alaska; E78.N78 = Northwest Coast
  • E81-87 (Indian Wars and captivities)
  • E89-90 (Biography)
  • E91-93 (Government relations)
  • E96-97 (Education)
  • E98 (By special topic, A-Z)
    e.g., E98.A7 = Art; E98.E2 = Economic Conditions; E98.R3 = Religion
  • E99 (By tribe, A-Z)
    e.g., E99.C5 = Cherokee; E99.S28 = Seminole


WorldCat is a collective catalog for a large network of libraries. Search to discover books both here and beyond Dartmouth. Request the latter via BorrowDirect or DartDoc

Search for an item in libraries near you: >>