Introduction to Graduate Studies

Introduction to Graduate Studies


I. Guide to the literature: Literary Research Guide by James L. Harner.


II. Notre Dame Libraries’ home page:


III. Important tabs on the Libraries’ home page:

“E-Journals” : specific titles OR e-journal collections such as Project Muse and JSTOR

“Databases” : for specific titles, e.g. MLA [International Bibliography...]


IV. Notre Dame Libraries’ catalog and WorldCat tips:

Advanced Search:  Note limits by format, location, date range
Remember to look at the LC subject headings
Rare Books Collection is in Department of Special Collections

WorldCat contains the holdings of over 15,000 libraries in North America, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and elsewhere. Remember to double check our catalog even if it says not at Notre Dame.


V. At homepage select “Subjects A-Z”, then “English Language and Literature”

Remember related disciplines, e.g. Gender Studies, History, Medieval Studies, etc.


VI. Two basic sources:

Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism.

Literature Resource Center.  Authoritative biographies of writers (any language, any period), 30-40 page articles, lists of works, summary of major works; also criticism, but often dated. This is the web version of the Gale series, “Dictionary of Literary Biography” (DLB) and “Contemporary Authors,” among others.


VII. Major indexes to scholarly studies of literatures in English:

Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature, known as ABELL for short. Unlike MLAIB, indexes book reviews. Can be searched simultaneously with MLAIB through Literature Online (LION), but DE-select full-text search unless you want it on.

MLA International Bibliography of Books and Articles on the Modern Languages and Literatures. (MLAIB)

Besides ABELL and MLAIB, see also Essay and General Literature Index; Humanities International Index; Periodicals Index Online


VIII. Examples of full-text databases of primary sources.

Tip: consider using proximity searching by which keywords are connected with “near” or “n” to bring them close together.

Early English Books Online (EEBO). Books published before 1701.

Eighteenth-Century Collections Online (ECCO). Books published from 1701 to 1800.

Early American Imprints, Series I and Series II.

British Periodicals Online.

American Periodicals Series.

Last Update: 18 Nov 09:44