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American Indian History

Books and Ebooks

Library Catalog (TOPCAT)

TOPCAT  (our library catalog) is best for finding books, reference books, CDs, DVDs, journals, and some of our ebooks and ejournals. You'll also find items held by other SWITCH libraries, which you can request online.


  • Use the Advanced Search option
  • Start with broad search terms, as you become more familiar with the topic, get more specific
  • Start with broad search terms, use the limiters on the left of the results page to narrow your results
  • When searching for ebooks, make sure to limit the library to Alverno (or use Ebook Central)
  • Use the listed subject headings. Find a result that's similar to what you want, look at the subject terms it uses, try those in your search instead.
    • "Indians of North America" seems to be the most commonly used subject term, try using that in a subject search


  • Check the TOPCAT Account Help page
  • Use your Alverno network ID and password to log in and access our databases, ebooks, ejournals, and place requests through TOPCAT from off campus. Note: When entering your network ID do not include
  • Call, email, or visit the library for help. 

ProQuest Ebook Central

Ebook Central is our main ebook provider. Everything you find here is immediately accessible for your as an Alverno patron. You can access Ebook Central from off campus by logging into your TOPCAT account.


  • Create a free login on Ebook Central to download books or save them to your virtual bookshelf
  • If you download books, you'll need Adobe Digital Editions to read them on your computer
  • If you make notes/highlight as you read, we HIGHLY recommend you chose the read online option and save the book to your bookshelf
    • This saves your notes/highlighting forever. If you annotate in a downloaded ebook, everything is deleted when your checkout term is over. 
  • Use the Subjects and dropdown Focus recommendations to build your wordbank
  • Try this: "Native American" AND Wisconsin


Not an Alverno student? If you have an MPL card you can access EBSCO's eBook collection.


JSTOR contains a wide-range of information related to the humanities. It is a go-to database for many students.


  • Use Advanced Search
  • Keep your searches broad at first, use the filter options to narrow your results
  • JSTOR doesn't show you the subject terms, so you might have to build your word bank before coming here, that way you'll have plenty of terms to try if your first search doesn't work

Try This

  • Search: Music AND "Ho-Chunk"
  • Search: "American Indians" AND Wisconsin
  • Search: "American Indians" AND Wisconsin AND Oneida


  • Choose an EBSCO database from the Databases A-Z list (like Academic Search Premier)
  • Click "Choose Databases" above the search bar
  • Select additional EBSCO databases that could be useful for you
    • Think outside the box - maybe you're a history student, but could an education database be helpful? What about science? Psychology?
  • Start with Advanced Search, look at the predictive text that drops down when you start typing for ideas on building up your word bank
  • Look at the SUBJECT terms included in the results list, add relevant ones to your word bank
  • Use the limits on the left, including PEER REVIEWED, FULL TEXT, and PUBLICATION DATE
  • Some EBSCO databases have a Thesaurus Tool - check your terms there if you're not sure where to start
  • From within an article record you can open the full text, email the article to yourself, print, copy the permalink, add it to your folder (NOTE: folders require you to create a free EBSCO account), or copy the APA citation (double check this for errors!)

Not an Alverno student? MPL subscribes to many of the same EBSCO databases. If you have an MPL card, check your access through them.

TEACHING BOOKS is an excellent database for finding materials to bring into the classroom. You can search by genre, age group, keyword, and more. Many books are also accompanied by lesson plans, author interviews, reading guides, and other downloadable material. It has an excellent module on diverse books as well.


  • Go to "Browse by Subject or Genre" and select "American Indian Studies"
  • This brings you to a collection of award winning and recommended titles, filterable by grade level
  • Click into a book to see what resources accompany the title

Not an Alverno student? If you have an MPL card you can access Teaching Books through them.

Google Scholar



Use the link to GOOGLE SCHOLAR that's on the library homepage. This is synced to our databases, so if we have full text, it should give you a link. 

This is also a great way to check for full text if you find a citation elsewhere. If Google Scholar doesn't lead you to the full text, contact the library for help getting a free copy of the resource you want.


Created from the Newberry Library's collections, this site features an easy to use interface for researching the Indian tribes of Wisconsin and the surrounding states.

  • Native American Heritage Month
    This site, created by a number of national government institutions, is designed around Native American Heritage Month but is a great resource year round. Check here for highlights from the year's celebrations, exhibits & collections, images, audio/video material, and resources specifically for teachers.





  • Best Websites for Education
    Check the library's Best Websites for Education page for more help finding resources and forming lesson plans. The sites on this page won't help you find scholarly articles, but they're full of reliable, trustworthy information that can make your life easier and more productive!


updated 12/9/20

map of wisconsin with tribe names

MPM created a project designed specifically to help teachers meet the Wisconsin Educational Act 31. It has resources on culture, history, sovereignty, and modern communities.

Classroom Activities on Chippewa Treaty Rights.

This book from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction has activities for students aged K-12.

What is a reference book?

  • We have a reference collection in the library, but you’ll also find many reference books in our general collection.
  • Here’s a basic list of things that qualify as reference materials:
    • almanacs
    • atlases
    • bibliographies
    • citation manuals
    • dictionaries
    • directories
    • encyclopedias
    • guidebooks
    • handbooks
    • indexes
    • manuals
    • statistics
    • yearbooks