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Resources for German 4550
Senior Seminar: Academics and Intellectuals in German Culture


Tips for Conducting Effective Library Research

1. Before you start your search, break your topic down into several discrete concepts/search terms. Databases, including the library catalog, will be able to retrieve more relevant materials this way. For more flexible searching, think of various ways to express these search terms -- synonyms, broader terms, and narrower terms. This is particularly important for searching in full-text primary source databases. The Search Strategy Process Worksheet can be quite helpful in this process.

2. Then, think about what kind of information resources you need and select appropriate indexes and databases in which to search for material. This step is crucial to efficient identification of quality sources -- both primary and secondary -- for your research.

Finding Primary and Secondary Literature in the CU Libraries Catalog

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

To find material on a certain topic, start with a KEYWORD search

  • In KEYWORD searches, CHINOOK searches word strings as phrases, so you need to put search terms in separate boxes with "and" between them (e.g., "Berlin Wall" and metaphor).
  • Note that KEYWORD searches are very flexible, allowing you to search for words or phrases anywhere in a record and to limit by language, library location, material type, and year or range of years. You can also select one or more fields to search for a given term instead of the entire record (e.g., author, title).
Once you have found a useful item on your topic, look at the full record and take note of the terms listed under "Subject." Click on subject links to find related materials and browse related categories.

Use subject headings to your advantage. Do a search mixing and matching the headings below and those you have discovered browsing records:
    • Romanticism -- German
    • German literature -- 20th century
    • History and criticism
    • Criticism and interpretation
    • Bibliography
    • Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von
    • Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm
    • Wagner, Richard
    • World War, 1939-1945
    • National socialism
    • Bavaria (Germany)

    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).

Finding Secondary Literature in Library Databases

This is only a selection of databases that are available for your research. If you are not finding relevant sources in these or need more material, be sure to check out databases on other subject pages like Foreign Literature, History, Biography, Philosophy, Political Science & Government, Sociology, etc.

Published by the Modern Language Association. Index to articles in literature, languages, linguistics, and folklore from several thousand journals and series published worldwide. Also covers relevant monographs, working papers, proceedings, and bibliographies. Includes the MLA Directory of Periodicals. Coverage: 1963 - present. CU

ABELL (Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature)
Contains over 783,000 records covering monographs, periodical articles, critical editions of literary works, book reviews, collections of essays and doctoral dissertations published anywhere in the world from 1920 onwards. All aspects and periods of English literature are covered, from Anglo-Saxon times to the present day. British, American and Commonwealth writing are all represented. Coverage: 1920 - present. 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


Contemporary Authors
Biographical details on approximately 112,000 modern novelists, poets, playwrights, nonfiction writers, journalists, and scriptwriters. CU

Contemporary Literary Criticism Select
Collections of excerpted critical essays and reviews selected from the hardbound reference set Contemporary Literary Criticism (PN86 .C6 Reference Stacks). These are only excerpts and represent only a portion of the criticism available on authors or their work. CU

Historical Abstracts
Indexing with abstracts for literature relating to world history -- excluding the US and Canada -- from 1450 to the present. Covers political, diplomatic, economic, social, cultural, and intellectual history. Coverage: 1954-present. CU


Chronicon: Fachportal fur Geschichtswissenschaften

History portal hosted by the Bavarian State Library that allows searching across several free resources, including article databases. Note some of the resources are restricted. If you are interested in Bavaria, also check out the Bayerische Landesbibliothek Online.


Philosopher's Index
Provides indexing and abstracts from books and journals of philosophy and related fields. It covers the areas of ethics, aesthetics, social philosophy, political philosophy, epistemology, and metaphysic logic as well as material on the philosophy of law, religion, science, history, education, and language. CU


PAIS International
Indexes books, periodicals, and publications of international bodies, US and other governments on global policy and social issues. Coverage: 1960 - present. CU


International Political Science Abstracts
Produced by the International Political Science Association. A bibliographic database that indexes and abstracts articles from periodicals published throughout the world. The abstracts summarize the source articles. Coverage: 1989 - present. CU


WESSWeb German Studies Web

Information sources originating in or relating to German-speaking countries. Check out the headings for History, Literature, Politics and Government, etc.

Humanities Abstracts/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


Social Sciences Abstracts/Full Text
Abstracts and some full text of articles in the social sciences. Coverage is from 1994 to the present. CU


IBZ: Internationale Bibliographie der Zeitschriftenliteratur/International Bibliography of Periodical Literature
An international, multilingual, and interdisciplinary bibliography indexing over 10,700 periodicals primarily in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Coverage:1983 - present. CU

Academic Search Premier
Provides full text journal coverage for nearly all academic areas of study - including social sciences, humanities, education, computer sciences, engineering, language and linguistics, arts & literature, medical sciences, and ethnic studies. 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

Once you have located materials of interest, if they are not full-text make sure to take down all the citation information. You can print and/or email the citations and abstracts to yourself from most of the databases. Using this information, you will need to search for the source -- periodical title (for articles) or book title (for books and book chapters) -- in CHINOOK to see if the CU Libraries hold it. If so, pay close attention to where the item is located -- in the Norlin stacks, PASCAL, Periodicals Room, etc. -- and in the case of periodicals, whether we have the issue you need.

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 on your topic. 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.

Bibliographic Management Software


Once you have found relevant material, you may wish to manage your bibliographic information using specialized software. A product available to CU patrons is:

RefWorks is a web-based bibliography and database manager that allows you to create your own personal database by importing references from online databases. You can use these references in writing papers and format the paper and bibliography automatically. New users should create a personal login by clicking on "Sign Up for an Individual Account," entering the appropriate information, and clicking on "Register." CU


A tutorial, quick start guide, fact sheet, and other helpful information is available on the RefWorks web site.

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.