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Holocaust and Genocide Studies
Getting Started with Reference Books
Searching the catalog with keywords or subject headings:

When beginning a search on a topic with which you are unfamiliar it is helpful to start out with a good reference book that can give you an overview, introduce you to some of the important dates and events, people involved, scholars in the field, and useful secondary sources. A reference librarian can assist you with finding good reference material and you can also find reference books through a search in the library catalog. For instance, do a word search and limit it to location=reference.
Here are the search results for "holocaust or concentration camps" when limited to reference titles.

Annotated References on the Holocaust
The following reference books provide background and additional sources for studying the Holocaust:

Bibliography On Holocaust Literature (1986), Supplement (1990)
Ref Z6374. H6 E33 1986

First edition has 9,014 bibliographic entries organized by topics of interest (i.e., Jewish Life in Prewar Europe and The Free World Reaction), which are divided into further subcategories. Works listed are available in English and some citations are annotated.The Supplement is arranged in a similar fashion and includes new and newly catalogued items and Holocaust fiction. It has 5,637 citations.

Dictionary of the Holocaust (1997)
Ref D804.25 .E67 1997

".... In 2,000 entries, it profiles major personalities, covers concentration and death camps, cities and countries, and significant events. Also included are important terms translated from German, French, Polish, Yiddish, and twelve other languages. Biographical entries give a brief history, the person's significance, and their historical context. Geographical entries pinpoint exact locations using other cities or countries as landmarks, and give the number of Jewish inhabitants before Nazi occupation, and the percentage of Jews killed. Historical background is provided for such events as Kristallnacht and the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, and entries on concentration and death camps give details on the nationalities interned, each camp's specific location, and its history."--BOOK JACKET

Dictionary of Antisemitism from the Earliest Times to the Present
2nd Floor DS145 .M465 2007

This dictionary covers three thousand years of antisemitism. "A comprehensive introduction discusses the definitions, causes, and varieties of antisemitism, and the dictionary contains 2,500 entries ranging from Aaron of Lincoln to Zyklon. Entries can found on all forms of antisemitism, such as ancient, medieval, and modern; pagan, Christian, and Muslim; and religious, economic, psychosocial, racial, cultural, and political."--BOOK JACKET

The Encyclopedia of the Holocaust (1990)
Ref D804.3 .E53 1990 v.1-4

Contains nearly 1000 entries about various aspects of the Holocaust, including its beginnings and aftermath. Entries vary in length from one paragraph to several pages and cover categories such as biography, geography, political organizations and more. Includes photographs.

The Encyclopedia of Jewish Life Before and During the Holocaust (2001)
Ref DS 135 .E8 E45 2001 v.1-3

Gives a historical explanation of a few lines or pages in length about 6,500 different Jewish communities throughout history and the world. More detail given to articles that relate to the period between the two world wars and the Holocaust itself. Includes photographs.

Encyclopedia of War Crimes & Genocide (2006)
Ref HV 6322.7 H67 2006

This reference work is international in scope and covers crimes against humanity, crimes against peace, and human rights violations. In the introduction it states, "...a great many entries are concerned with what is known as international humanitarian law, or IHL, dealing with the rules and conduct of war and civilians under occupation." The encyclopedia covers present day situations in Iraq, Palestine, Somalia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, and Haiti.

History of the Holocaust: A Handbook and Dictionary (1994)
Ref D804.3 .E33 1994

"This two-part volume combines an accessible overview of contemporary Jewish history with a unique dictionary of Holocaust terms. In addition to assessing the Holocaust specifically, Part 1 of the book discusses the history of European Jewry, antisemitism, the rise and fall of Nazism and fascism, World War II, and the postwar implications of the Holocaust. The authors also consider key historiographical and methodological issues related to the Holocaust."--BOOK JACKET. "Part 2 provides a complete dictionary of terms relating to the Holocaust culled from dozens of primary and secondary sources in a range of languages. Included here is a comprehensive set of tables on Aktionen, Aliya Bet, anti-Jewish legislation, antisemitic organizations, collaboration, concentration camps, fascism, the Third Reich, the Nazi Party, Jewish and nonsectarian organizations, publications, Judenrate, and resistance movements. Each table is prefaced by a descriptive overview of pertinent issues."--BOOK JACKET

The Holocaust Encyclopedia (2001)
Ref D804.25 .H66x 2001

A collection of explanatory articles, each varying in length from one paragraph to several pages, covering various terms related to the Holocaust, its origins and after affects. Has many archival photographs.

Holocaust Literature: An Encyclopedia of Writers and Their Work (2003)
Ref PN56 .H55 H66 2003 v.1-2

Two volumes of bio-critical essays on over 300 writers of fiction and non-fiction (including dramatists, memoirists, philosophers, etc.) from many countries. Includes eight appendices on such topics as Ghettos Noted in Literature, Language of Composition, and Historic Events.

Holocaust Novelists (2004)
Ref PS21 .D5x v.299

Contains biographies and bibliographies of 51 Holocaust novelists. It also includes three appendices: The Holocaust “ Historical Novel,� The “Second Generation,� and Postmodern Holocaust Fiction.

The Holocaust and World War II Almanac (2001)
Ref D804.17 .H65 2001 v.1-3

A three volume set of critical essays, primary documents, photographs, and biographical sketches chronicling the beginnings of WWII and the Holocaust. Volume Two is specifically concerned with the Holocaust.

Kalendarium wydarzen w Obozie Koncentracyjnym Auschwitz-Birkenau, 1939-1945. English (Auschwitz Chronicle 1939-1945) (1989)
Ref D805 .P7 C8713 1989

Gives a day-by-day chronological account of events at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camps. Appendices include a bibliography, glossary of terms and brief biographies of soldiers and commanders. Includes diagrams and photographs.

Nazi-Deutch/Nazi-German: An English Lexicon of the Language of the Third Reich (2002)
Ref PF3680 .M48 2002

"Clear, concise, expert definitions are supported with background information. Using up-to-date research, the book provides single-volume access to a specialized, charged vocabulary, including the terminology of Nazi ideology, propaganda slogans, military terms, ranks and offices, abbreviations and acronyms, euphemisms and code names, Germanized words, slang, chauvinistic and anti-Semitic vocabulary, and racist and sexist slurs. It is an important reference work for English- and German-speaking scholars, students, and teachers of the interwar years, the Nazi era, World War II, and the Holocaust."--BOOK JACKET

The Oryx Holocaust Sourcebook (2002)
Ref D304.3 .F474x 2002

An extensive bibliography of currently available resources directly concerning the Holocaust, including, but not limited to, primary sources, audiovisual resources and organizations.

Reference Guide to Holocaust Literature (2002)
Ref PN56 .H55 R43 2002

Contains biographical data, bibliographies, and critical essays for 223 writers and 307 works written during or after the Holocaust. Many nationalities and genres represented.

Annotated References on Genocide

Encyclopedia of Genocide (1999)
Ref HV6322.7 .E53 1999

More than 200 entries in a two volume set covering many different genocides including those of aboriginal and native peoples. Includes two major sections on both the Holocaust and the Armenian Genocide. Also covers major aspects of genocide, such as, though not limited to the psychology behind genocide, humanitarian inverventions and genocide denial. Includes photographs, charts, graphs, and personal accounts from survivors.

This three volume set features individaul articles on different aspects of genocide and on different genocides followed by extensive bibliographies. Includes such article titles as The History and Sociology of Genocidal Killings; The Cambodian Genocide; Educating about Genocide: Curricula and Inservice Training; and The Literature, Art, and Film of the Holocaust.

Encyclopedia of Rape (2004)
Ref HV6558 .E53 2004

"Rape is a topic of perpetual relevance and remains deeply controversial, as it involves the sexual act. Although women are the primary targets of rape and thus the focus of discussion of it, the rape of men, children, and animals is also considered in the encyclopedia. Up to date, it contains insight on the manifestations of rape today, including as a tool of ethnic cleansing in Bosnia and genocide in Rwanda, the Catholic Church priest scandals, and drug-facilitated date rape. Added value comes from an abundance of statistics, suggested reading for further research per entry, chronology, resource guide, and appendix listing entries by topic."--BOOK JACKET

"This book focuses on 38 ethnic conflicts. Each surveyed conflict is presented with a timeline and an extensive essay that covers the conflict's details, historical background, management, and significance. Sources for further reading are also provided. This book is the perfect starting point for students and general readers seeking information about the complex and often violent forces that have changed - and continue to change - the world's political landscape."--BOOK JACKET

Using the Library Catalog
When you are looking for books, web sites, audio/visuals or other material, it is best to start out with a combination of Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) and Key Words (or Words). For a brief introduction to using subject headings and key words please see our instruction guide on this topic.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Subject headings are the controlled vocabulary, or the terms assigned by librarians, to each book. You can count on particular words or phrases to be used in the catalog because of this assigned terminology. Please ask a reference librarian for further assistance in choosing these terms. Although what we've listed below are the Library of Congress "controlled vocabulary" you may type in any phrase or combination of words in a Word search. For example, "ethnic cleansing" is not used as an official subject heading, "Forced migration," "Population transfer," and "Genocide" are used instead. But many books have "ethnic cleansing" in the title of the book or in chapter headings so a word search will still bring you results.

Try narrowing the subject heading "Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)" with specific topical or geographical terms as in these examples:

Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945), in art
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945), in literature
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945), Influence
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) -- Press coverage
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) -- Psychological aspects
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) -- Fiction
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) -- Poland

Here are examples of narrower searches:

Holocaust memorials
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) -- Poland -- Biography

Common Subject examples:

Holocaust and Jewish law
National Socialism
National Socialism and youth
National Socialism and motion pictures
Nazis -- Germany -- Biography
Antisemitism--Soviet Union--History--20th Century

World War, 1939-1945
World War, 1939 1945--Atrocities
World War, 1939 1945--Biography
World War, 1939 1945--Jews
World War, 1939 1945--Children
World War, 1939 1945--Religious aspects
World War, 1939-1945 -- Deportations from Italy
World War, 1939-1945 -- Jewish resistance -- Hungary

Nazi persecution
Romanies--Nazi persecution
Jehovah's Witnesses--Nazi persecution

Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) -- Personal narratives
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) -- Germany -- Personal narratives
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) -- Germany -- Berlin -- Personal narratives

Holocaust survivors
Holocaust survivors -- Poland
Holocaust survivors--Poland--Biography

Jews -- Poland -- History -- 20th century
Jews -- Romania -- History -- 20th century
Jews -- Hungary -- History

Sometimes, searching for a topic using subject headings yields few or no results. When this occurs, try a word search, truncate your terms, and think of synonyms. For instance: Nazi or National Socialism; Germany, World War, holocaust; gyps*, Romany, Romanies, Roman* or travelers; lesbian*, homosexual* or gay and so on.

Subject terms go together to make a more specific search. For instance the subject heading "concentration camps" can be subdivided by topic or location.

You can also search by the names of the individual concentration camps, for example:

Pustkow (Poland : Concentration camp)
Szebnia (Poland : Concentration camp)
Auschwitz (Concentration camp)
Jawischowitz (Concentration camp)
Buchenwald (Concentration camp)
Dora (Concentration camp)
Krawinkel (Germany : Concentration camp)
Bergen-Belsen (Concentration camp)
Majdanek (Concentration camp)

These are examples of subject headings that may not be entirely intuitive because they are so specific.:

Refugees, Jewish
Anti-Nazi movement
Righteous Gentiles in the Holocaust
Jewish children in the Holocaust
Hidden children (Holocaust)
Kindertransports (Rescue operations)
Human experimentation in medicine
Europe History 20th Century
Children of Holocaust survivors--Germany
Jewish women in the Holocaust
Nuremberg War Crime Trials, Nuremberg, Germany, 1946-1949

More Examples of Subject Headings for both the Holocaust and Genocide:

forced migration
History -- Jews--Germany--1933-1945
Ethnic conflict
Ethnic relations
Crimes against humanity
Population transfers
War crimes
Holocaust Websites
This is a listing of websites related to the Holocaust.  They include sites run by organizations, museums and other reseach or education centers and differ widely in content and focus.

Visit Prevent Genocide International for information on the United Nations' Convention on the Prevention of the Crime of Genocide.  Article II contians the U.N.'s definition of genocide. 

"Article II: In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ehtnical, racial or religious group, as such:
  1. Killing members of the group;
  2. Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
  3. Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction inwhole or in part;
  4. Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
  5. Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group."

General Sites on the Holocaust and Genocide:

Holocaust Cybrary
The History Place -- Explore the pages on World War II and Nazi Germany
The Holocaust: A Tragic Legacy
Judaism and Jewish Resources -- Links to sites on the Holocaust as well as other topics related to the study of Judaism.
Museum of Tolerance Online -- Part of the Simon Wiesental Center
A Teacher's Guide to the Holocaust
The Legacy Project -- The Legacy Project's goal is to build a global exchange on teh enduring consequences o fthe many historical tragedies of the 20th century.  Go to the Legacy Project Events Index for a compendium on all the materials at the Legacy Project Web Site. 

Websites Devoted to Specific Topics:

German Propaganda Archive -- Calvin College
Hate Watch Blog -- Southern Poverty Law Center
Holocaust: Non-Jesish Holocaust Victims
The International Military Tribunal for Germany -- Contents of the Nurembourg Trials from The Avalon Project at Yale Law School
To Save a Life: Stories of Jewish Rescue
Women and the Holocaust: A Cyberspace of Their Own

Organizations, Museums and Memorials

United States and Canada:

CANDLES Holocaust Museum -- CANDLES Holocaust Humseum is dedicated to the Mengele Twins who survived the horrible experiements of Dr. Mengele.
Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies -- University of Minnesota
The Florida Holocaust Museum
Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies
Ghetto Fighter's House Museum
Holocaust Site at the Anti-Defamation League
The Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre
Museum of Jewish Heritage: A Living Memorial to the Holocaust
Simon Wiesenthal Center -- The Simon Wiesenthal Center is an international Jewish human rights organization dedicated to preserving the memory of the Holocaust by fostering tolerance and understanding through community involvement, educational outreach and social action.
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
USC Shoah Foundation Institute -- Visual History
YIVO Institute for Jewish Research -- dedicated tot eh history and culture of Ashkenazi Jewry and to its influence in the Americas


Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora Memorials Foundation
Center for Documentation and Culture of German Sinti and Roma
Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site
Flossenbuerg Memorial Site
German Resistance Memorial Center
House of the Wannsee Conference: Memorial and Educational Site
Jewish Museum of Frankfurt
Jewish Museum of Westphalia
Jews in Berlin
Mittelbau-Dora Memorial
Plotzensee Memorial Center
Topography of Terror Foundation -- The mission of the Topography of Terror Foundation is to provide historical information about National Socialsim and its crimes a s well as stimulate active confromtation with this history and uts impact since 1945.


State Museum at Majdanek
Stutthof Museum
Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum

Other European Countries:

Mauthausen Memorial
Jewish Museum in Prague and the Department of the Holocaust
Jewish Museum of Hohenems
The Jewish Museum of Deportation and Resistance
Terezin Memorial
The Wiener Library -- The world's oldest Holocaust memorial institution, tracing its history back to 1933.


Beit Theresienstadt
Yad Vashem -- Since its inception, Yad Vashem has been entrusted with documenting the history of the Jewish people during the Holocaust period, preserving the memory and story of each of the six million victims, and imparting the legacy of the Holocaust for generations to come through its archives, library, school, museums and recognition of the Righteous Amongst the Nations.

All Resources

Access, use, and reproduction of the electronic resources made available through the Grinnell College Libraries are governed by license agreements with publishers which may impose greater restrictions on use than does copyright law. The user is responsible for observing these agreements as well as the copyright laws of the United States (Title 17, United States Code), including the fair use guidelines that protect scholarship and research.

When accessing subscription databases from off-campus, you will be asked to sign in using your campus username and password. If you have any problems accessing library resources from off campus, please contact Rebecca Ciota or Sheryl Bissen.


Access World News Research Collection Restricted Resource Resource is highly recommended Resource contains newspapers
1978-present. Online resource that provides full-text information from nearly 4,000 United States and international newspapers, news services, magazines, blogs, transcripts, and more.
American Bibliography of Slavic and East European Studies Restricted Resource
1939-present. Provides information on East-Central Europe and the former Soviet Union, produced by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. ABSEES is also available in print (Z2483.A65).
ATLA Religion Database Restricted Resource
1949-present. Covers religious and theological scholarship in over a thousand international journals and 14,000 multi-author works.
European Bibliography of Slavic and East European Studies
1991-present. Provides citations for Slavic and East European studies published in Europe, with geographic coverage of East-Central and Eastern Europe as well as Russia and the former Soviet Union/Commonwealth of Independent States. 1975-1995 also available in print (Z2483.E94).
New York Times Historical (1851-2013) Restricted Resource Resource contains images Resource contains newspapers
Complete online access (including advertisements) to the full text of the New York Times from 1851 to 2013. For current access, see U.S. Newsstream, LexisNexis Academic, and other sources.
Philosopher's Index Restricted Resource
1940-present. Indexes books and journals in all areas of philosophy, including aesthetics, bioethics, epistemology, ethics, logic, metaphysics, social & political philosophy, and the philosophy of education, history, language, law, religion, and science.
PsycARTICLES Restricted Resource
PsycARTICLES provides full text articles from numerous journals (principally published by the APA) covering general and specialized topics in Psychology and related disciplines.
Social Science Research Network (SSRN)
Database of abstracts for social science research, organized into a number of specialized research networks in each of the social sciences. Access to some of the content requires a subscription.
Transitions Online (TOL)
Independent online news source from the Czech Republic, covers news, analysis, politics, and culture from central and eastern Europe and the Balkans. In English.
Worldwide Political Science Abstracts Restricted Resource
Index of the international serials literature in political science and its complementary fields, including international relations, law, public policy, and public administration.
Access World News Research Collection Restricted Resource Resource is highly recommended Resource contains newspapers
1978-present. Online resource that provides full-text information from nearly 4,000 United States and international newspapers, news services, magazines, blogs, transcripts, and more.
JSTOR Restricted Resource Resource is highly recommended
Digital repository of complete full-text backfiles of several hundred scholarly journals in the Arts & Sciences, Health & General Sciences, and Ecology & Botany, except for the most recent two to five years.
LexisNexis Academic Restricted Resource Resource contains newspapers
Provides access to a wide range of full-text content for news, business, legal, and reference information. Particularly strong in legislative, government, corporate, financial, and demographic information, as well as market research and industry reports.
Ethnic NewsWatch Restricted Resource Resource contains newspapers
Full text of newspapers published by U.S. ethnic communities including African American, Arabic, Asian, Filipino, Finnish, Greek, Hispanic, Italian, Jewish, Native American, Pacific Islander, Russian, and more.
GenderWatch Restricted Resource
1970-present. A collection of hundreds of international journals, magazines, newsletters, regional publications, special reports, and conference proceedings devoted to the impact of gender across a broad range of subject areas.
America: History and Life with Full Text Restricted Resource
Indexes 2,000 journals published worldwide covering the history of the United States and Canada. Includes some full text. Coverage includes articles, book and media reviews, and abstracts of dissertations.
Historical Abstracts with Full Text Restricted Resource
Covers world history after 1450, excluding the U.S. and Canada. Includes articles from over 2,000 journals, books, collections, and dissertations and offers full-text access to many resources.
WorldCat Restricted Resource
Before 1000 BCE to the present. Catalog of millions of books, web resources, and other materials held in libraries worldwide, maintained by the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC). The best way to identify resources beyond Grinnell College's collections.
JSTOR Restricted Resource Resource is highly recommended
Digital repository of complete full-text backfiles of several hundred scholarly journals in the Arts & Sciences, Health & General Sciences, and Ecology & Botany, except for the most recent two to five years.


AP Images (Associated Press) Restricted Resource Resource contains images Resource contains video Resource contains audio
Constantly updated, AP Images provides access to millions of primary source photos from 1825 to the present. Also provides audio, video, graphics, and interactives. This database may be used for educational purposes only.
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Subject Specialist
Picture: Phil Jones

Phil Jones
Humanities Librarian & Coordinator of Research Services
Tel: (641) 269- 3355

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