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Resources for German 5010
Bibliography and Methods of Research


I. Getting to Know the Libraries


II. Starting Your Research

III. Developing a Search Strategy

IV. Finding Texts

V. Interlibrary Loan

VI. Further Assistance

Getting to Know the Libraries


If you are new to CU, take some time to explore the Libraries. Walk around or take a virtual tour of Norlin Library to familiarize yourself with the collections and services in the building. Browse through the web site to get an overview of the resources the Libraries have to offer you. Having the lay of the land will be of immense value as you start your research.


+ Libraries Web Site


One of the best ways to orient yourself is to tour the Libraries web site. Highlighted below is a selection of resources and services you can find there. There is of course much more than this for you to explore at your leisure.


Research Resources

Chinook Library Catalog
Search here for items held by the Libraries. Chinook contains other useful features like Log in to your library account. You can see what you have checked out, renew online, save preferred searches, set up a reading history, etc.

Find Articles & Databases
List of databases to which you have access through the Libraries. They are broken down alphabetically and by subject to help you find sources like reviews, articles, book chapters, dissertations, and books. Databases offer information ranging from bibliographic citations to full-text documents.

Research & Subject Guides
Search or browse research and subject guides in a variety of subject areas. Also contains library tutorials, database guides, course guides, and citation guides. You are currently in the GLL subject guide, which has links to new resources, information for citing your sources, research guides, getting help with research, etc.

Interlibrary Loan
How to borrow from other libraries. You can also search and order directly from Prospector and WorldCat.

About the Libraries

How Do I...?
Helpful web guides on a variety of research-related topics.

Libraries & Departments
Links to web sites of the different libraries and departments in the Libraries, which include hours, contact information, etc.

A-Z List
Find information on a wide range of topics, like carrels, printing and group study rooms.


Off-Campus Access
If you have trouble connecting to Libraries databases from home, check out this page.

Subject Specialists
List of librarians responsible for collections, reference and instruction in different subject areas. You can also access the subject guides for various disciplines here.


Starting Your Research


Reference resources can be a great place to start when you are developing a new topic. They can provide you with an overview and background information, summarize established knowledge and important facts, discuss key figures, and offer a list of recommended sources or readings.


+ Reference Resources and Research Guides


This selection of electronic reference resources and research guides is intended to give you an idea how useful they can be. Many more, ranging from the general to the specific, are available to you in print and electronic form and may be found in Chinook or on Research Resources for Germanic Languages & Literatures at CU.

Deutsches Wörterbuch von Jacob und Wilhelm Grimm
Searchable version of the standard work.

Oxford Language Dictionaries Online

Bilingual dictionaries and study materials in French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian and Chinese. Also includes illustrative examples to help you choose the correct translation and native speaker audio pronunciation of words. CU


Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory & Criticism

Presents a comprehensive historical survey of the field's most important figures, schools, and movements. It includes more than 240 alphabetically arranged entries on critics and theorists, critical schools and movements, and the critical and theoretical innovations of specific countries and historical periods. CU


Dictionary of Literary Biography
A contemporary 300+ volume literary encyclopedia with substantive 2-5 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


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.


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

Contemporary Literary Criticism
Collections of excerpted critical essays and reviews selected from Contemporary Literary Criticism. These represent only a portion of the criticism available on authors or their work. CU


Developing a Search Strategy

Before starting your search, break down your topic into discrete concepts that represent its major aspects. These concepts will be used to develop search terms, that is, significant words or phrases (nouns or noun phrases work best) that can be used when searching in online catalogs or research databases. Your search terms will determine the quantity and relevance of results you retrieve.


+ Tips for Choosing Search Terms
  1. For more flexible searching, think of various ways to express these search terms:

    • synonyms (related terms)
    • broader terms
    • narrower terms
    The Search Strategy Process Worksheet can be quite helpful in helping you develop search terms for your own topic.

  2. You need to tailor the search terms to the type of material you are searching. When searching for:

    • Books and other larger units, broader terms tend to work better because the topics covered by books tend to be more general.
    • Journal articles and other smaller units, narrower terms tend to work better because the topics covered by articles tend to be more specific.
    • Full text of books or articles, narrower terms or even unique terms like names or places tend to work better because you are searching on the full text.
  3. Adding terms that represent geographical or chronological facets or significant figures may be useful.

  4. If you get too many results, try using narrower search terms or add another facet to your search. If you get too few results, try using broader terms, synonyms or subtract a facet from your search.

  5. Avoid using redundant or overlapping search terms, e.g. using "19th century" and "Biedermeier" or using "German literature" in the BDSL. This is a common reason for getting too few results.

  6. Thinking of terms couched in the language of the time period you are studying is particularly important for searching in full-text databases of primary texts, like Goethes Werke.


+ Combining Search Terms




  • AND: Bildungsromans AND Goethe (must find all terms)
  • OR: Bildungsroman OR Entwicklungsroman (must find one of the terms)
  • NOT: Frankfurt NOT Oder (must find first term NOT second term)



  • Phrases: "Wilhelm Meister" (must find words in that order)
  • Synonyms: (Bildungsroman OR Entwicklungsroman) AND "Wilhelm Meister"
  • Truncation and wildcards:
    Bildungsroman* will find Bildungsroman, Bildungsromans and Bildungsromane
    wom?n will find woman and women


+ Choosing Databases

Once you have selected your search terms, think critically about what kind of information resources you need and select appropriate databases in which to search for material. This step is crucial to efficient identification of quality texts for your research.



Finding Texts in the CU Libraries


You can locate primary and secondary texts for your research in the CU Libraries by searching in the Chinook Classic catalog. Chinook Classic contains books, journals, microforms and other materials but not articles. The Advanced Keyword search in Chinook Classic is the most flexible way to search for titles on your topic. Notice that you can specify available items, electronic version, language, location, and material type, among other limits.


+ Searching for Texts in Chinook Classic


There are several ways to search effectively for literature on a given topic or author. When you do a keyword search will get a mixed bag of results including both literary criticism and primary texts.


  • Try this example:

Concept 1:



Concept 2:


"Wilhelm Meister*"




literary criticism and primary texts


  • Then add a concept designating a literary genre:

Concept 1:



Concept 2:


"Wilhelm Meister*"

Concept 3:





literary criticism


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 an Advanced Keyword search search incorporating the author's name, works or Werke, and genre (if desired).


+ Primary Texts on Microforms


The Libraries owns tons of primary sources on microforms. There are different ways you can find out what kinds of sources a microform collection contains, including online guides linked in the Chinook record and printed guides. Once you have located on what reels/fiche items of interest are located, you can order them for viewing. An important example for GLL is:

Bibliothek der deutschen Literatur
This set contains facsimiles of 15,000 German imprints published from 1650 to 1890. Records for individual titles are in Chinook. You can order the fiche for individual titles online from these records.

Microform scanners are available in the Research Area on the second floor of Norlin Library. You can make electronic copies of items on microforms and email or save them to a flash drive. Microform readers and printers are also available here and in Government Information.


Finding Texts in Library Databases


Below is a selection of databases that the Libraries makes available for your research. If you are not finding relevant literature in these databases or need more material, be sure to look for additional databases in Find Articles & Databases: GSLL and other subject pages, particularly if your topic is interdisciplinary.


Though on the face of it a full-text database might always seem like the best source of information, don't be fooled! Sometimes the best source to identify literature on your topic may be an electronic or print index. Choose your databases based on the utility of the content/content indexed for your research, not the form in which the content is delivered.


+ Literary Criticism and Other Secondary Literature


Databases of secondary literature allow you to identify the existence of materials whether or not the CU Libraries owns them. In addition to larger units like books, you can use them to find smaller units like articles and book chapters that you might not be able to find otherwise.


Bibliographie der deutschen Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft (BDSL)
BDSL covers all aspects of secondary literature in the areas of German language, linguistics, and literary studies. It is the continuation of the Eppelsheimer/Köttelwesch bibliography. Coverage: 1985-present. Consult print volumes in the Reference Collection for 1945-1969 and 1969-1983. CU


Internationale Bibliographie zur Deutschen Klassik 1750-1850

The bibliography is the most comprehensive and reliable specialist bibliography on German literature from the German Enlightenment to the Romantic period. It records about 5,000 publications annually, in German and foreign languages: monographs, contributions in collections and journals, university publications, commemorative volumes and sound recordings. For the authors of the German Classical Age included here, both primary and secondary literature has been recorded.

MLA International Bibliography
The major index published by the Modern Language Association. Index to articles in literature, languages, linguistics, drama/theatre, 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: 1926-present. CU


Humanities Full Text
Full text or abstracts of articles, interviews, obituaries, bibliographies and reviews in Archaeology, Art, Classical Studies, Dance, Film, Folklore, Gender Studies, History, Literary and Social Criticism, Literature, Music, Performing Arts, Philosophy, Religion, and Theology. May be searched concurrently with Social Sciences Full Text. CU


Philosopher's Index

Provides indexing and abstracts covering scholarly research in all areas of philosophy. Includes journal articles, books, book chapters such as contributions to an anthology, and book reviews. Monitors over 550 journals from more than 40 countries. Extensive indexing includes personal and proper names along with subject terms; there is also the capability to search for the authors of book reviews. Coverage: 1940-present. CU



Index with citations and summaries of journal articles, book chapters, books, dissertations, and technical reports, covering psychology and the psychological aspects of related disciplines, such as medicine, psychiatry, anthropology, business, and law. Coverage: 1806-present. CU


+ Periodical Literature


IBZ: Internationale Bibliographie der Zeitschriftenliteratur
An international, multilingual, and interdisciplinary bibliography indexing over 8,700 periodicals primarily in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Coverage: 1983-present. For 1963-1982, consult the print volumes. CU

Periodicals Index Online
Index to the contents of thousands of periodicals in the humanities and social sciences since 1770. Some of the journals are full-text in Periodicals Archive Online. CU


Provides worldwide full text coverage of local, regional, national, and international newspapers, trade publications, business newswires, press release wires, media transcripts, news photos, business-rich Web sites, investment analyst reports, market research reports, country and regional profiles, company profiles, historical market data. 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.


+ Primary Texts

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


VD17: Verzeichnis der im deutschen Sprachraum erschienen Drucke des 17. Jahrhunderts

Verzeichnis der Drucke des 17. Jahrhunderts (VD 17), or Bibliography of German imprints in the 17th century, is a German National Bibliography of all 17th century printed sources, excluding music and maps, which were published in German-speaking lands. Scholars in History and German Studies and a variety of other academic fields (for example, Science, Religion, Philosophy, Law and Art) will find this resource most valuable for the period. After clicking on the "Zur Recherche" button to get into the database, the search function is available in German or English. It offers archival location and bibliographic data for each imprint and has digitized images of the key opening pages of each source.


VD18: Verzeichnis der im deutschen Sprachraum erschienenen Drucke des 18. Jahrhunderts

The VD18 project aims to digitize all works published from 1701 to 1800 in German or German-speaking areas. The intention is to create a complete virtual national library of the 18th century. The titles are not only in German but a variety of languages. In the two-year pilot phase of the project (2010-2012), 75,000 titles comprising 18 million pages will be digitized before the main project phase to digitize 600,000 titles begins.


Past Masters
Past Masters is an online collection of full texts of philosophical figures, including published and unpublished works, articles and essays, and correspondence. The database includes cohesive collections of excellent editions, both in the original language and the English translation. Collections include, among others, Anselm, Aquinas, Aristotle, Austin, Ayer, Berkeley, Boyle, Darwin, Davidson, Descartes, Hobbes, Hume, Kant, Locke, Marx & Engels, Sidgwick, Plato, Smith, and Wittgenstein. CU



Europeana is a single access point to millions of books, paintings, films, museum objects and archival records that have been digitized throughout Europe. It currently offers over 20 million objects from more than 1500 institutions in 32 countries, particularly from France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Norway and Sweden.


+ No Full Text? - Where to Look Next

Some results will have a link to full text and others will have the "Find It at CU" icon. When no full text is available, use this icon to search for full text in our collections, in either electronic or print, by searching Chinook.




For articles, be sure to note the citation information so you know what volume and year of the journal you are seeking. Your next steps in "Find It at CU" are:


  • Search for an electronic or print copy of the journal by searching Chinook by ISSN or Title (under "Library Catalog").
  • If the article you need is in a print journal, look at the holdings information to make sure we have access to the volume and issue you need.
  • You can order an electronic copy of a print article in our collections by clicking on the "Request a PDF (UCB only)" button in the record for the journal (sample record).
  • If the article is not available in our collections, you can order it by clicking Document Delivery/ILL (under "Articles"). Please be sure to indicate a realistic date by which you can last use the material.

Books and Book Chapters


Your next steps in "Find It at CU" are:

  • Search for an electronic or print copy of the book by searching Chinook by ISBN or Title (under "Library Catalog").
  • Re-run your search in Prospector.
  • If the item is not available in our collections, you can order it by clicking Document Delivery/ILL. Please be sure to indicate a realistic date by which you can last use the material.



Unless you are doing comprehensive research on a topic, it will probably not be worth your while to pursue the loan of a dissertation. If you're interested in looking at an abstract or potentially a preview of the first pages of an dissertations and some master's theses from the United States, Canada, Great Britain and, to a lesser and more selective extent, other countries, you can search ProQuest Dissertations & Theses. Also see Finding German Dissertations.


Interlibrary Loan


If an item is not held by the Libraries, you can obtain it through Interlibrary Loan. Please note, however, the decision to loan items is up to the holding library. How much time it takes to fill the request can range from 24 hours to 3 weeks, depending. Articles and book chapters are generally faster than books.


+ Initiating Requests in ILLiad


You can make requests for any item we do not hold in the ILLiad interlibrary loan system.


  • Log in using your Identikey. The first time you log in, you will need to supply your contact information.

  • Choose the type of material you want to order under "New Request."

  • Fill out the required information. The more of the non-required information you can provide the easier it will be to expedite your request.

  • Specify a realistic "Not Wanted After Date". If you order an item and do not use it, the Libraries will have to pay for the loan anyway.

  • Some databases and Find It at CU will take you into ILLiad, and will sometimes furnish the needed information automatically.


Further Assistance

Still need help after trying the strategies listed on this guide? Can't figure out how to use a particular resource? Here are some options for further assistance:


+ From the Libraries


  • How Do I...? helpful web guides on a variety of research-related topics

  • Ask Us! email, chat, text, and phone reference services are available extended hours

  • Walk-up reference services at the Research Desk on the 2nd floor of Norlin Library as well as at some branch libraries (see "Hours Staffed")


+ From Me

  • Stop by my office hours Wednesdays 4-5pm in Hellems 224. Please note any exceptions to these hours listed.

  • Drop by when I am staffing the Research Desk on the 2nd floor of Norlin Library. During the spring 2012 term I am there most (but not all) Thursdays 1-2pm.