Reference sources can help you find information about writers as well as provide historical and cultural context for the works you are reading.
Scholarly (Academic) Journals
Multi-Search is a combined search of around 130 GALILEO databases including literature, history, film, arts, philosophy, sociology, and more. Use the filters for peer-reviewed, academic journals, or books since results include non-scholarly magazines, newspapers, and encyclopedias. If you are getting too many irrelevant results from Multi-Search, try searching a more focused database like:
JSTOR and Project Muse are collections of full-text scholarly journals that let you search through the articles themselves. Coverage usually begins with the journal's first issue. JSTOR's "rolling wall" means that some journals don't include the past 3-5 years -- important to know when researching recently-published books.
MLA International Bibliography indexes scholarly journals and book chapters on literature and related fields like language studies, film, and theater.
Most of the newspapers in these database are not included in Multi-Search:
Ethnic Newswatch contains articles from the ethnic, minority, and native press in North America; it's especially useful for interviews and provides a less mainstream view on your authors and their writings.
Global Newsstream is useful for finding reviews and interviews without hitting paywalls on mainstream news websites. Despite the name, it covers primarily U.S. papers but does have some international papers. Coverage for some papers begins in 1980.
Access World News also provides full-text of newspapers with more international coverage. Use the 'World' filter to bring up a list of continents and countries. Coverage for foreign papers goes back anywhere from a few years to the early 2000s.
Database search tips:
Use quotation marks around phrases: "days without end"
Use an asterisk to truncate: religio* will pick up religion, religious, etc.
In Multi-Search, go to Advanced Search and choose "Also search within full text of article" if you're not finding enough about a literary text.
Undergraduates can check most books out for a month, and books will be renewed automatically twice if nobody else has placed a hold on them.
GIL-Find: GIL-Find is the UGA Libraries' catalog for locating books, ebooks, and media in the Main Library, Science Library, and Special Collections. GIL-Find also lets you borrow from other libraries in the University System of Georgia (see GIL Express instructions).
For literary criticism,use the 'Advanced Search.' Change 'Any' to "in subject' and type in the author's name, If you don't get any results, try the search as 'Any,' which will bring up books by the person as well as anything about them. Due to the slower timeframe of book publishing, keep in mind that you won't find much (if anything) on recent authors.
For other topics, use the standardized Library of Congress Subject Headings to locate the most relevant books. Below are some sample subject headings:
Google Books and HathiTrust are part of a project to digitize the printed collections in major libraries. Although some of the books are still under copyright and can't be read online, you can still search through them to see which books have your search terms. They are especially good when researching poems, stories, or essays that have not been widely studied.
Films: GIL-Find will list DVDs you can check out from the basement Media Department as well as streaming documentaries and films from the Films on Demand database. Kanopy is another database with streaming documentaries.