History, Genealogy, and Social Science


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Ancestry Library can be used to find census, birth, marriage, death records and more. Available inside the library only, with a limited number of users.

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Dig Memphis is the digital archive of the Memphis Public Libraries. We will showcase many of the treasures of the Memphis and Shelby County Room. As an ongoing project of the library, new items are added regularly, so check back frequently.

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Diversity Studies Collection: A must-have for social science, history and liberal arts coursework, this collection explores cultural differences, contributions and influences in our global community. This set includes more than 150 journals.

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Gale Virtual Reference Library is a database of encyclopedias and specialized reference sources for multidisciplinary research. These reference materials once were accessible only in the library, but now you can access them online from the library or remotely 24/7.
Contact us for password if accessing from outside of the Library.

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Gender Studies Collection: This collection of journals aims to provide balanced coverage of this significant aspect of our culture, covering such topics as gender studies, family and marital issues, health aspects, and many more.

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Genealogy Resources: Provides an overview of the genealogical resources available inside of the Library as well as links to other websites for specialized research.

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Heritage Quest provides libraries with a unique, growing collection of research materials for tracing family history and American culture. Beginning or professional genealogists can now use this powerful online library, with original page images for all documents.

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The Memphis and Shelby County Room is an area within the History/Social Sciences Department on the 4th floor of Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library where researchers may view items from the library’s archival and manuscript collections. This page provides an overview of the resources found in the Memphis and Shelby County Room.

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Military and Intelligence Database: Both the historian and reporter on the frontline will find useful information in this collection, composed of content from over 400 journals, which covers all aspects of the past and current state of military affairs.

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Newsbank provides access to archives of the Commercial Appeal from 1990 to the present.
Library Card is required when accessing outside of the Library

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Newsstand is an innovative Web-based full-text newspaper database which allows users to search articles instantly by title, headline, date, newspaper section or other assigned fields. It includes the Commercial Appeal from 1996 to 2002 and a separate entry for the Commercial Appeal from 2000 to 2012.

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OverDrive Memphis and Shelby County Room eBook Collection:  Visit this special collection of Memphis and Shelby County eBooks from our OverDrive eBook service.
Library Card Required | Getting Started Instructions | Mobile App Available

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Pop Culture Collection: It’s all around us and influences our lives every day. This collection provides useful information for any researcher in a social science, history, art or liberal arts course. This collection is made up of more than 100 subject-appropriate full-text periodicals.

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U.S. History Collection: As any historian will state, the study of history is as much about the present as the past: to that end, this collection provides well-rounded coverage of both the current thinking and events in US History, as well as scholarly work being established in the field. This compilation of journals provides robust and balanced coverage of this field, useful both to the novice historian as well as to the advanced academic researcher.

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War and Terrorism Collection: A definitive periodical collection of hand selected titles for analysts, risk management professionals and students of military science, history, social science.

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World History Collection: As any historian will state, the study of history is as much about the present as the past: to that end, this collection provides well-rounded coverage of both the current thinking and events in World History, as well as scholarly work being established in the field. This compilation of journals provides robust and balanced coverage of this field, useful both to the novice historian as well as to the advanced academic researcher.