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Yonkers High School IB: Finding Materials: Databases & Reference

Use this to start your Extended Essay Work

Yonkers Public Schools Library

To access all online resources go to: - Click LDAP log in

User Name: email address


Password: Computer password

Westchester Library System

If after searching the WLS catalog you find that they don't own an item, contact Mary Robison ( or Eileen Fusco ( or call 914-375-7966.

Historic Newspaper Databases

Keep in mind that newspapers from the time period you are researching are often considered primary sources.

Google Books

Google Books contains vast amounts of primary and secondary source materials and is particularly useful in searching for print materials that are out of copyright (printed before 1922).

Each book includes an 'About this book' page with basic bibliographic data like title, author, publication date, length and subject. For some books you may also see additional information like key terms and phrases, references to the book from scholarly publications or other books, chapter titles and a list of related books. For every book, you'll see links directing you to bookstores where you can buy the book and libraries where you can borrow it.

Viewing materials: If the book is out of copyright, or the publisher has given permission, you'll be able to see a preview of the book, and in some cases the entire text. If it's in the public domain, you can download a PDF copy.

  • Limited Preview: If the publisher or author has given permission, you can see a limited number of pages from the book as a preview.
  • Snippet View: Like a card catalog, the snippet view shows information about the book plus a few snippets – a few sentences to display your search term in context.
  • No preview: Google also displays search results for books that have not been digitized. As these books have not been scanned, their text is not searchable and only information such as the title, author, publisher, number of pages, ISBN, subject and copyright information, and in some cases, a table of contents and book summary is available.

Yonkers Public Library


Research Databases & Homework Help: 

Use your YPL card to log in to the following electronic resources: 

Reference Sources

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is a reference book? You can use reference books to find basic facts and general overviews of topics. They are usually located in the Reference Department of the library and can’t be checked out.

Why use reference books?  To get a better sense of the topic area before beginning research; to check quick facts, such as names, dates, and locations. Unlike the Internet, books don’t suffer technical difficulties!


Types of Reference Materials:

Dictionaries: Brief definitions of words and concepts, either general or within the context of a subject area; arranged alphabetically.

Relevant Dictionaries

  • Dictionary of Afro-American slavery (at the Will Library)
  • Historical dictionary of the old South [975.03 R]
  • Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary [423 M 2003]

Encyclopedias: Brief discussions of specific topics; generally more detailed than dictionaries. Arranged alphabetically, often with bibliographies at the end of each entry (leading to additional articles/sources).

Relevant Encyclopedias

  • African American history [305.896 A]
  • Abolition and anti-slavery: historical encyclopedia of the American mosaic [326.8 A]
  • Encyclopedia Americana; (online resources available with library card through the Yonkers Public Library)
  • Encyclopedia Britannica (at the Will Library)
  • Encyclopedia of African American history [305.896 E]
  • Encyclopedia of American History [973.03 E 2010]
  • Encyclopedia of antislavery and abolition [326.8 E]
  • Encyclopedia of the great black migration [307.2 E]
  • Encyclopedia of slave resistance and rebellion [306.36 E]
  • Enslaved women in America [306.362 E]
  • Latin America, history and culture: an encyclopedia for students [980 L]
  • MacMillan encyclopedia of world slavery [306.36 M]
  • Slavery in the United States: a social, political, and historical encyclopedia [306.36 S 2007]
  • World of a slave: encyclopedia of the material life of slaves in the United States [306.36 W 2011]

Atlases: Collections of maps that organize all kinds of information (not just directions) geographically; organized by the principle of the atlas: geographically, chronologically, alphabetically.

Relevant Atlases

  • African American atlas: black history and culture—an illustrated reference [305.896 A (11 98)]
  • Atlas of African American history [305.896 C 2007]
  • Atlas of American history [911.73 N]
  • Atlas of Slavery [306.36 W]
  • Atlas of the transatlantic slave trade [306 E]
  • Chronology of world slavery [306.36 R]
  • Rand-McNally Road Atlas [912.7 R 2016]

Directories: Organized lists of people, businesses, organizations or associations, including addresses, telephone numbers, and other contact information. Arranged alphabetically, geographically, or by subject.

Relevant Directories

  • Europa world year book [REF 909.82 E 2014] (shelved at reference desk)
  • Yellow Pages, White Pages

Almanacs: Often published annually, almanacs contain calendars, facts, statistics, and other miscellaneous information; organized by subject, usually with an extensive index.

Relevant Almanacs

  • African American almanac [305.896 B]
  • African-American almanac [305.896 R 12 97]
  • Almanac of African-American history [305.896 S]
  • Historical statistics of black America [305.896 H]
  • Statistical record of black America [305.896 S] 
  • World Almanac and Book of Facts [317 W]

Biographical Resources: Written accounts of people’s lives, often collected by subject area; usually arranged alphabetically by last name.

Relevant Biographical Resources

  • African American biographies [920 A]
  • African American national biography [920 A]
  • African American lives [920 A]
  • African biographical dictionary [920 B]
  • Dictionary of American biography [920 D]

Handbooks: Concise guides to specific topics; arranged variously, usually with extensive indexes.

Relevant Handbooks

  • The Black New Yorkers: the Schomburg illustrated chronology [305.896 D]
  • Brazil: a country study [981 B 1997 (10 98)]
  • Cotton and race in the making of America: the human costs of economic power [306.362 D]
  • From slavery to freedom: a history of African Americans [306.36 F 2000]
  • Guide to New York City landmarks [917.471 G]
  • Historical guide to world slavery [306.36 H]
  • MLA handbook for writers of research papers [808.02 M 2009]
  • Remembering slavery: African Americans talk about their personal experiences of slavery and emancipation [306.36 R]
  • Slavery in the United States [306.36 S 2007]

Indexes: Guides to periodical literature like magazines and newspapers; published periodically and arranged alphabetically by subject.

Relevant Indexes

  • New York Times Index [070 N, also online through YPL]
  • Reader’s guide to periodical literature [050 R]
  • Ulrich’s periodicals directory [011.34 U 2015]


Note: At Yonkers Riverfront Library most Print references can be found in the Reference area on the third floor.

Sarah Lawrence College Library

To access JSTOR use the username: ibstudent and password: yonkers

Access to the databases listed below is available only while at the SLC library.

Primary Sources

Primary Source Resources at Yonkers Riverfront Library

  • Annals of America [973 A]
  • Black abolitionist papers [973.09 B]
  • Black women in American history [305.348 B]
  • Documentary history of the negro people in the United States v.1: from the colonial times through the Civil War [305.896 D]
  • Public papers of the President of the United States [973.916 U (9 95)]
  • Slavery in America: from colonial times to the Civil War [326.09 S (11 00)]
  • Slavery in the courtroom: an annotated bibliography of American cases [342.087 F (9 94)]

Find out more about what primary sources are on our Evaluating Resources page.