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Historic Preservation: Books

A research guide to finding books, articles, and other resources in Historic Preservation

Library of Congress Classification

Books are shelved according to Library of Congress Classification. In this system, the library is divided into twenty-one broad subject areas, each of which is assigned one letter of the alphabet.

Try browsing these areas of the library to find books for Historic Preservation research:

  • AM: Museums
  • CC: Archaeology
  • CD 921 - CD 4280: Archives
  • E 159: Historic sites in the United States
  • F 234 .F8: History of Fredericksburg, Va.
  • GN 406 - GN 409: Material culture
  • KF 4305: Laws regarding museums
  • KF 4310: Laws regarding historic sites
  • NA: Architecture
    • Especially NA 105 - NA 112: Architecture conservation and restoration
  • NK: Decorative arts (furniture, wallpaper, glass, textiles, etc.)
  • TS: Manufactures (stonework, lumber, leather, fur, textiles, rubber, etc.)
  • TT: Handicrafts, arts and crafts (woodworking, metalworking, tailoring, sewing, etc.)

Locating books on the shelves

When you find a physical book in Quest, write down its call number, and then go to the shelves.

To use call numbers, read them from the top down.

A label on the spine of a book, displaying the call number PR 8875 .P46 1999

For example, here's how you'd find this book:

  • First, follow the alphabet to the PR section of the library, which is part of the larger P section.
  • Next, within the PR section, look in numerical order for 8875.
  • Next, within the books numbered 8875, look in alphabetical and numerical order for .P46.
  • (1999 is the year the book was published.)

InterLibrary Loan (ILL)

If you find an item that belongs to another library, you may request to borrow it through InterLibrary loan (ILL).

To find items owned by other libraries, visit WorldCat


To place an InterLibrary loan request, log in to your free Simpson Library ILL Account using your UMW username and password.

Google Books

Google Books is a free search tool that lets you search for books that contain a particular word or phrase. It is useful for discovering books that cover obscure topics.

For example, if you are researching Mickey Mantle baseball cards, you could search for Mickey Mantle baseball card.

For most books, Google Books can only show you a short preview of the test (because of copyright). To read an entire book, get it from Simpson Library or from interlibrary loan.

Cooperative Borrowing Program