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Historical Fiction

Resources that provide background information about people, places, settings, events and daily life.

Place Names

Do you want to look through a list of names by geographic region?  These types of resources are called gazetteers and may include the names of cities, rivers, mountains and other geographic landmarks, as well as location.


While researching your topic, you may have questions about the geographic location of a town, region, or country, or the boundaries of an area at a particular time in history.  Maps or atlases (a collection of maps bound in book form) may help you answer your question. 

To find an atlas in the Library’s collection, use the sub-heading atlases with a subject heading in an Advanced Search in the Library Catalog.  A sub-heading of maps is also used.  These resources are given a call number and shelved as other materials are.  There is a special Atlas Case on the first floor for the oversized reference atlases.

To find a map in the Library’s Map Collection, use the Map Card Catalog, located in the Map Collection (First Floor, Northeast corner).  The Map Collection also includes topographic maps for each of the 50 United States.  Each state has an index map to help you locate the name of the quadrangle(s) for the area you are searching.  Some maps are also listed in WorldCat Local, but not all of them.  If you have questions, please ask for assistance at the reference desk.

Subject Headings examples:

Paris (France)—Maps
Atlases, British—Early works to 1800

Settings: Architecture

Settings: Clothing

Included in this box and the boxes below are works that help you describe settings in your story, such as the clothing, architecture, or furniture common during the time period of your story.  The Image Collections box gives sources to search for online images.

Settings: Furniture, etc.

For online images, use the resources in the Image Collections box below.

Image Collections

With physcial settings, sometimes it is really helpful to see an image of a building, piece of furniture or clothing before trying to describe it.  Besides the books that are available in the Albertsons Library collection, there is a database that contains images from museums, galleries and collections around the world.  And Google has a Google Image search as well.