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Hunter Library
Research Guides
Western Carolina University


Country Profiles

How to Find Books about Countries

Books about countries including information regarding the historical and cultural aspects of countries and cultures, are scattered throughout the collection.  Here are three of the main types of quick overviews:

Historical dictionaries: Definitions of places, people, and events surrounding a country/region.

  • Library catalog search words = historical dictionary and country name.
  • Example:  historical dictionary and Costa Rica

Cultural reference books:  Places and historical relevance put into context with the culture of the population. 

  • Library catalog search words = encyclopedia and country name and culture   
    Example: encyclopedia and Thailand and culture
  • Library catalog search words = place/people and social life and customs.  
    Example:  Maya and social life and customs

Travel guides: Fodor'sRough Guides, etc. Useful for both countries and regions. 

  • Library catalog search words = guidebook and country name
  • Example:  guidebook and Venezuela

Try it below:

Cultural Information

More about Finding Books

Here are some more great ways to search for books on countries:

For each place (region/country/city/etc.) combine the place with one of the following using AND

  • ethnology  [e.g. study of the culture]
  • emigration and immigration
  • social conditions
  • boundaries
  • geography
  • maps
  • statistics
  • historical geography
  • politics and government

Example:  China AND social conditions

News and Current Events

  1. Click on the "Search by Subject or Topic" drop-down menu
  2. Select "All News"
  3. A search screen with a search box will appear; click on the "Advanced Options" arrow
  4. Change "Geographic Location" to "Country
  5. Select the country of interest.
  6. To limit to a specific newspaper from a specific country, use the "Publication Name" option in the left-hand column.