This is a legacy resource guide for a past course. Please email Sara Smith with questions about these resources or research in this subject area.

Listed in: First Year Seminar, as FYSE-118
Moodle site: Course

Click through each of the tabs below to see various types of background, database, and web resources.

Questions about this guide? Contact


See the Research Guides for more resources.

Search in the "search everything" box for a large list of resources on your topic.

Search the library catalog for biographies, books, exhibit catalogs, DVDs, and CDs.

Search the library catalog and Kanopy for videos or sound recordings found in theas well as on YouTube, Vimeo, or elsewhere online. You can also find photographs online (see the "Web" tab of this guide).


Finding Scripts in the Five College Library catalog:

  • Enter the title of a play as a Keyword search in quotes, for example “Book of Grace” or “six characters in search of an author.” This will find the play as a standalone title and also within anthologies or collections.
  • Too many results? Try leaving quotes off and searching by Title rather than Keyword.

Finding art exhibit catalogs in the Five College Library catalog:

  • Almost all Five College Library catalog records for exhibition catalogs contain the word "exhibitions," either as a subject term, or in the description.
  • To find a catalog focused on a specific artist or topic, perform a keyword search that includes the artist's name (last name is often enough) and/or the topic word or words, and the word exhibition* (using the truncation symbol * will search for both the word exhibition and the subject term exhibitions).


    Background sources

    • Reference Universe
      Searchable index of the library's entire reference collection, both print and electronic.
    • Gale Virtual Reference Library
      70 reference e-books, including multivolume works like the Encyclopedia of Religion, American Decades, and more.
    • Oxford Reference
      Digitized entries from Oxford's Dictionaries, Companions and Encyclopedias, spanning multiple subject areas.


    • Performing Arts Periodicals Database (1864 to present)
      Covers a broad spectrum of the arts and entertainment industry - including dance, drama, theater, opera, film, television and more.
    • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
      The national record of men and women who have shaped British history and culture, worldwide.
    • Biography in Context
      Nearly a million biographical entries spanning history and geography.
    • Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History
      Articles surveying all aspects of the black diaspora; strongest on U.S.
    • Encyclopedia of American Studies
      Leading reference work for American Studies, with searchable articles and accompanying bibliographies, related websites, illustrations, and supplemental material.
    • American National Biography
      Information on over 17,400 men and women.
    • JSTOR
      Full-text backfiles of over two thousand leading academic journals across the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. (Alumni access)
    • Oxford Art Online
      Oxford Art Online is the access point for Grove Art Online, and other Oxford art reference works covering all forms of the visual arts: painting, sculpture, architecture, graphic and decorative arts, and photography from prehistory to the present.
    • Black Studies Center (25,000 BC to present)
      Black Studies Center is a tool that supports research, teaching, and learning in Black Studies covering aspects of the black experience such as history, literature, political science, sociology, philosophy, and religion.

    Media/Primary sources

    See the Image research guide for more information on finding images in the catalog, in databases, and online.

    • Kanopy Streaming Video
      Kanopy offers a broad selection of thousands of streaming films, documentaries, and theatrical releases covering a wide variety of subject areas, with additional new releases launched monthly. If close-captioning is not included, it can be requested. Interactive transcripts are included. Note that US feature films are not typically part of the Kanopy offerings.
    • Amherst College Digital Collections
      Digitized art works, photographs, manuscripts, books, and other media from Amherst College Archives & Special Collections and the library’s Art & Architecture Collection.
    • Television News Archive (1968 to present)
      Searchable archive of abstracts of news broadcasts from 1968 to present (ABC, CBS, NBC), 1995 to present (CNN), selected content from PBS and FOX News.
    • Women's Magazine Archive
      A searchable archive of leading women's interest magazines, dating from the 19th century through to the 21st.
    • Smithsonian Global Sound
      In partnership with Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, a virtual encyclopedia of the world's musical and aural traditions.
    • Database of Recorded American Music (DRAM)
      Scholarly resource of recordings including New World, Composers Recordings (CRI), Albany Records, Mode, Frog Peak and BMOP.
    • ARTstor
      Image database including architecture, painting, sculpture, photography, decorative arts, and design as well as many other forms of visual culture.
    • World Heritage Sites: Africa
      Digital resource covering the archaeology, history and culture of Africa through its heritage sites and landscape
    • Europeana
      Search engine for the digitized collections of museums, libraries, archives and galleries across Europe.