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Revolutionary War and the War of 1812

Library Search Strategies

The Library Catalog (formerly MadCat) provides the most comprehensive method for accessing information about Library collections. Consult the Libray Catalog to identify collections relevant to your research. If you are not familiar with this catalog, take a moment to review instructions included on the Library Catalog home page.

Your search strategy should start with a "guided search" in the Library Catalog. First use general terms Revolution 1775-1783 or War of 1812 to describe the time period. Combine the general term with more specific terms to describe the type of information or source you are trying to find, personal narratives, regimental histories, campaigns, prisoners, prisons, naval operations, biography or rolls of honor. You can also combine the general term for the war with names of specific individuals, battles, places, or events. For instructions on combining research terms in a "guided search," take a moment to review instructions available on the Library Catalog home page.

The Library's holdings are so extensive that some searches may produce a pool of results too large to review. When this happens, add a second or third term or phrase to your initial search as a way to produce more limited results. For similar reasons, no one search will be comprehensive. Try variations on your initial search to see additional results.

For genealogical research, there are many historical resources available to guide your research, including pension, bounty-land warrant applications, and military service records. Although the Library does not own the collections themselves, there are guides and indexes available. For information about the actual records, contact the National Archives.

Search the Library Catalog for records maintained by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and Sons of the American Revolution (SAR). These two organizations specialize in preparing information about Revolutionary War ancestry.

How to Access Library Resources

If you plan to visit the Library, search the Library Catalog for the call numbers and locations of collections that interest you.

If you cannot visit the Library, the material you wish to use may be available through Interlibrary Loan .

If the material is not available for loan or you would like our Reference Staff to locate and photocopy pages from any resource in our collection, please visit Requesting Research Assistance for an explanation of charges before you place any order.


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