General works (handbooks, dictionaries and encyclopedias) that cover background information for your research. These works are based exclusively on secondary sources
For Distance Students who do not have physical access to the Lemieux Library, you have some options to get books for your paper.
Why bother with subject headings?
You will likely be successful finding sources with good keyword searches. This technique is most useful when you only need two or three books on a topic. However, if your want to be more comprehensive, you will want to use both keywords and subject headings.
An easy way to discover subject headings is to indeed start out with a keyword search. Then look at the record and see what subject headings were assigned and then search on the headings.
For historicial topics, there are likely to be multiple headings that you will want to try; in your searching you will see works with both broad and narrow headings.
Here are some Library of Congress Subject Headings which may help you in your search: