Fall 2011

Listed in: First Year Seminar, as FYSE-120; Ron Bashford (Section 02)Suzanne P. Dougan (Section 01)

Questions about research in this course? Contact Michael Kasper, Missy Roser.

  • Overview
  • Databases
  • Reference
  • Full Text
  • Media


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.

KEYWORD searching might not give you a complete (or completely relevant) list of books we have on a topic, but it's a good way to start. Type in a few words or a phrase in quotation marks ("barber of seville"), look at the records 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 Rossini's opera under Rossini, Gioacchino, 1792-1868. Barbiere di Siviglia. 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.

Databases: Find articles, book chapters, e-books

Academic OneFile (1980 to present)
Full-text articles from all disciplines.

Academic Search Premier (date coverage varies)
Full-text articles from over 3,600 journals in the social sciences, arts and humanities, and sciences.

MLA International Bibliography (1926 to present)
Covers critical scholarship on literature, language, linguistics, and folklore.

Full-text backfiles of over one thousand leading academic journals across the humanities, social sciences, and sciences.

Project Muse
Online database of more than 200 journals from nonprofit publishers.

Searchable full-text archives for 17 periodicals (Harper's, Commonweal, Dissent, the New Yorker, the National Review, and more) known for commentaries and reviews on politics, culture, and the arts.

ProQuest Arts search
13 arts databases, including Arts & Humanities Full Text, International Index to Music Periodicals, International Index to Performing Arts, and British Humanities Index


Contemporary Literary Criticism
Extensive collection of critical essays and biographical information on contemporary authors.

Encyclopedia Britannica
Standard general encyclopedia.

Literature Resource Center
Full-text critical studies, biographies of authors; covers all genres, all time periods, and all regions.

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.

Oxford Reference
Digitized entries from Oxford's Dictionaries, Companions and Encyclopedias, spanning multiple subject areas.

Concise Oxford Companion to the Theatre

MetOpera Database
The Metropolitan Opera's archives, including information on works and performers along with some digitized sources

The Library's Guide to Finding Performance Reviews

Full Text Collections

America's Historical Newspapers (1690-1980)
Searchable archive of American newspapers including Early American Newspapers (1690-1922) and Hispanic American Newspapers (1808-1980).

Cambridge Companions
Surveys of authors, literary history, culture, and philosophy, all written by scholars.

Historical Newspapers (ProQuest)
Combined search of the historic Boston Globe, Chicago Defender, Chinese Newspapers Collection, Hartford Courant, Los Angeles Times, New York Amsterdam News, New York Times, South China Morning Post, Times of India, and Washington Post.

LexisNexis Academic (date coverage varies)
Full-text federal and state laws, international legal materials, and law reviews. Also newspapers and business information.

Access World News (Newsbank)
Electronic editions of over 2,600 local, regional, and national U.S. newspapers as well as 1,500 international sources. Fully searchable and browsable by map.


Image database including architecture, painting, sculpture, photography, decorative arts, and design as well as many other forms of visual culture.