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Subject Guide for Germanic Studies

Finding Sources in Germanic Languages & Literatures

Finding Primary and Secondary Literature in the CU Libraries Catalog

There are many literary sources available in the CU Libraries, including original literary works, edited editions of an author's work, literary criticism, and bibliographies. You can locate relevant items by searching the Chinook library catalog. There are several ways to search CHINOOK effectively for literary sources on a given topic or author:

To find material on a certain topic, start with a Keyword search on the topic, thinking of synonyms for your search terms (cf. search strategy process worksheet).


  • CHINOOK assumes "and"s between the search terms. If you would like to search one or more words as a phrase, put them in quotes ("Berlin Wall").
  • Note that the Keyword search is very flexible, allowing you to search words almost anywhere in a record and to limit your search by language, library location, material type, and year or range of years.
  • Once you have found a useful item on your topic, look closely at its full record and take note of the terms listed under "Subject." Click on relevant subject links to find related materials.

Use subject headings to your advantage. Do a Subject heading search mixing and matching the headings below as well as those you have discovered browsing records:


  • German poetry
  • German literature
  • Swedish drama
  • Norwegian literature
  • Sagas
  • 18th century
  • 19th century
  • 20th century
  • history and criticism
  • bibliography
  • biobibliography
  • biography
  • Mann, Thomas
  • Ibsen, Henrik
  • criticism and interpretation
  • characters
  • correspondence
To find a listing of works written by a certain author, do an Author search (last name, first name). To find editions of a specific work by an author, use the Author & Title search. To find an author's collected works, do a Keyword search incorporating the author's name, works or Werke, and genre (if desired).

You my also want to check out our web page on Research Resources in Norlin Library.

Finding Primary and Secondary Literature in Library Databases

Goethes Werke im WWW
An electronic version of the Weimar Edition of the works of German poet and philosopher Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832), supplemented by Goethe's Gespräche and all letters discovered since the completion of the Weimar Edition. Coverage: Contains editions originally published between 1887-1919. CU


Bibliographie der deutschen Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft
BDSL covers all aspects of secondary literature in the areas of German language, linguistics, and literary studies. BDSL is the continuation of the Eppelsheimer/Köttelwesch bibliography. Coverage: 1985-present. CU

MLA International Bibliography

Database version of the bibliography published by the Modern Language Association, which indexes articles in literature, languages, linguistics, and folklore from several thousand journals and series published worldwide. It also covers relevant monographs, working papers, proceedings, and bibliographies and includes the MLA Directory of Periodicals. Coverage: 1963-present. CU

Dictionary of Literary Biography
A contemporary 300+ volume literary encyclopedia with substantive 2 to 5 page biographical introductions, critical evaluations, and bibliographic essays on authors, critics, journalists, screenwriters, publishers and scholars, a majority of whom have published in the 20th century. The database, which will continue to grow, includes a large number of international literary figures. This is one of the better beginning overview resources for research on individuals within literary movements, diverse cultures, and literary formats. CU


Columbia Granger's World of Poetry

Includes 13,000 poems in full text, and 25,000 poetry citations for poems in anthologies. It also includes selective commentaries, biographies, bibliographies, notes on form, and a glossary of terms. It is possible to search by: Author, Author Category, Subject, Title, First Line, Last Line, Words in Poem, or a combination of searches. It provides simple and advanced searching. CU

Humanities Full Text
Abstracts and some full text covering diverse subject areas of the humanities. Coverage: Abstracts from 1985 to the present; full text from 1995 to the present. CU


IBZ: Internationale Bibliographie der Zeitschriftenliteratur
An international, multilingual, and interdisciplinary bibliography indexing over 11,000 periodicals primarily in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Coverage: 1983-present. CU


Indexes and Guides to Western European Periodicals

Lists indexes and guides to 17th- to 20th-century Western European periodicals in the humanities and social sciences. Broken down into comprehensive resource and language-specific resources, including German.

Periodicals Index Online
Index to the contents of thousands of periodicals in the humanities and social sciences since 1770. CU

A Dow Jones & Reuters Company, Factiva provides global content, including Dow Jones and Reuters newswires.  Factiva offers a single content solution with multiple language interfaces and multilingual content covering nearly 9,000 sources from 152 countries in 22 languages, including more than 120 continuously updated newswires.  More than 900 of these sources are available on or before the date of publication. CU

Web of Science
Provides access to current and retrospective bibliographic information, author abstracts, and cited references found in the world's leading scholarly arts and humanities (1975-present), social science (1965-present), and science (1965-present) journals. CU

Once you have located materials of interest in these databases, if they are not full-text use "Find It at CU" to help you search our collections.

Finding and Obtaining Materials from Other Libraries

If an item is not held by the CU Libraries, there are various ways you can obtain it through Interlibrary Loan.

Books and Microforms

If you have searched CHINOOK and a book or microform is not located in the Libraries, click on the Prospector button in the upper right-hand corner of the CHINOOK search screen. This action will rerun your search in the catalogs of 20+ academic, public, and special libraries in Colorado and Wyoming. If the item is found, you can order it online through Prospector. You should allow a few days to receive the material.

If you cannot find an item in Prospector, search WorldCat. It is the closest thing we have to a national union catalog, and it contains records for diverse materials, including books, microforms, archival material, maps, and visual material. It is a wonderful resource for discovering new and obscure material. Please note, however, that the decision to loan is up to the holding library or archive, and many will not loan unique and fragile materials. You should allow three weeks to receive the material.



You can initiate requests for articles as well as other materials by submitting them through ILLiad. You should allow three weeks to receive the material.
Selected Quality Web Resources



Germanistische Fachinformationen im WWW
Links collected by the University Library of the FU Berlin.


Germanistik im Internet

Links collected by Ernst Rohmer of the University of Erlangen.


Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Council)
Contains links to digital projects in the social sciences and humanities supported by the organization. A more user-friendly list is available via the Niedersächsische Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Göttingen.


WESSWeb: German Studies
Comprehensive, searchable web site covering all aspects of German studies, including pages on literature, politics and government, and theater, film and performing arts.

germanistik.net: Internet resources for Germanists

Online information for Germanists started at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, includes a section on authors.



Useful resource to discover what the current "Feuilleton" covers: book reviews, movies, media in general.


Online-Informationsressourcen der Film- und Fernsehwissenschaft

This web site offers an overview of a variety of current online resources for film and television studies.


wwiTV - Live Internet Fernsehen

Web site listing media available online.


Spiegel Online
Current political and economic information from a leading German news magazine.



WESSWeb: Scandinavian Studies
Web site covering all aspects of Scandinavian studies, with pages on news sources, the book trade, library databases, organizations, and reference works.


The Nordic Pages
Selected sources about the different Nordic countries, with information about news and media, education, culture, economy, etc.

CU = Resources marked with this symbol are available in campus libraries and to students, staff, and faculty via the campus network. Use of these resources is subject to copyright laws and license limitations. Remote access information.