One of the best places to start research is in the Five College Library Catalog. All books are listed by their AUTHORS, TITLES, and SUBJECTS, and you can also search by KEYWORD.
To find books by an author, do an AUTHOR search; to look for books about an author, do a SUBJECT search, inputting the last name first.
For books about some particular subject matter, try a KEYWORD search with a common-language characterization of your topic, say, "healing literature," look at the catalog records for titles that seem promising in the result list, see which official subject headings are assigned to those books, then click on those subject headings to do a more thorough SUBJECT search.
Starting with a SUBJECT search requires that you use the exact words or phrases libraries have chosen to describe your topic; for example, catalogs list books about the healing function of literature under "Healing in literature." Typing that in as a 'Subject begins with' search will yield the most relevant results.
Ask a librarian (our contact info is above) or at the Reference Desk if you're not sure what words or phrases to use.
Academic Search Premier (date coverage varies)
Full-text articles from over 3,600 journals in the social sciences, arts and humanities, and sciences.
America: History & Life (1964 to present)
Covers the world's scholarly literature on the history and culture of the United States and Canada.
Historical Abstracts (1955 to present)
Scholarly literature about world history since 1450 (excluding the United States and Canada).
MLA International Bibliography (1926 to present)
Covers critical scholarship on literature, language, linguistics, and folklore.
PsycInfo (1887 to present)
Covers the academic literature in psychology and related disciplines including psychiatry, sociology, education, and other areas.
Contemporary Literary Criticism
Extensive collection of critical essays and biographical information on contemporary authors.
Encyclopedia Britannica Online
Standard general encyclopedia.
Literature Resource Center
Full-text critical studies, biographies of authors; covers all genres, all time periods, and all regions.