Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Literature in Historical Context

Periodical articles in the library’s academic databases

Open the library’s homepage at If off campus, use your MyCommNet page for access.
Under Research Tools, select Electronic Databases
Use Masterfile Premier and MagillOnLiterature to find resources
Create a MyEBSCOhost account to save information (optional but helpful)

Some of the full-text periodical titles you can find in EBSCO’s Masterfile Premier that include literary criticism:

African American Review
Antioch Review
College Literature
Comparative Literature
Early American Literature
History Today
Journal of American History
Kenyon Review
Kirkus Reviews
Literary Review
Magill Book Reviews
Nineteenth Century Literature
Novel: A Forum on Fiction
Southwest Review
Studies in Short Fiction
Studies in the Literary Imagination
Studies in the Novel
Twentieth Century Literature
World Literature Today

Some of the full-text periodical titles you can find in EBSCO’s MagillOnLiterature that include literary criticism:

Cyclopedia of Literary Characters
Cyclopedia of Literary Places
Cyclopedia of World Authors
Magill Book Reviews

Magill’s Choice: American Ethnic Writers; Identities & Issues in Literature
Masterplots, Revised Second Edition
Masterplots II: Juvenile and Young Adult Literature Series
Masterplots II: Short Story Series

Hints & highlights:
If you are on campus you can search Masterfile and Magill simultaneously.
Search for content from a specific periodical title, such as those listed above, by entering the title in the Publication box after you type your search terms in the Find box.
In Magill, do a limiters-only search with publication date and the literary locale to see what other works are located in that setting & time period.
Use a subject heading to search similar works.
Explore EBSCO’s History Reference Center: use the Timeline feature or try with dates as keywords.

Tip: Many older materials (especially from before 1990) may not be available online. Use the printed periodical indexes in Reference Stacks to locate articles from older publications.

Books at NVCC

Short Stories for Students (REF PN 3373 .S3844); Drama for Students (PN 1601 .D595)

Also search our Online Catalog and catalogs of other libraries with author’s name. Use Author search to find books by that author. Use Subject search to find books about that author. For primary documents look for their diaries and letters, or diaries and letters of the time period. Some books about an author contain segments of diaries and letters.

Other Reference books that might be helpful:

Day By Day series (1940’s - 1980’s) (REF D 427 L.4)
Album of American History (REF E 178.5 A48)
Dictionary of American History (REF E 174 .D52)
Encyclopedia of Rural America (REF E 169.12 E5)

Books at other libraries

American History Through Literature 1820-1870 and 1870-1920 Available at SCSU and CCCU libraries and in the Derby Public Library. Use AHTL to look up areas of interest within this time frame, such as historical events, and politics of the time. What were people eating & drinking, what were they wearing? An excellent place to start with this valuable resource is the “thematic outline”.
From the NVCC Library homepage, click Other Library Catalogs to search other libraries one at a time, such as your hometown public library.
From the NVCC Library homepage, click reQuest - CT State Catalog to search all libraries throughout Connecticut. Make use of the free interlibrary loan Request This Item service for delivery of materials.

Academic Web resources Perspectives in American Literature (PAL). Paul Reuben teaches English at Cal State. This is his guide, which includes references to helpful sources, & suggested questions to write about. A website for humanities research. A helpful collection of author-based web sites. > Arts & Humanities > Literature
Internet Public Library's literary criticism page. Contains 4548 critical & biographical websites about authors & their works that can be browsed by author, title, nationality, or literary period.
For more information on finding primary documents on the Web. Federal historic documents online. The History Channel site.

The Connecticut Historical Society & the Connecticut State Library, both in Hartford, have many historical resources, especially concerning Connecticut history, and archives of newspapers. To get the most out of the treasures to be found at these worthy state institutions you would certainly benefit from a visit. Use info on the web to call ahead for hours or an appointment if needed.

EJF 04/08

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Finding Literary Criticism

Learning Resources Center
on the web at

Finding Literary Criticism

Searching the NVCC Circulating Collection

Search for library materials by accessing the NVCC online catalog from our website. We have books, and sometimes videos and DVDs, of original works as well as criticism of authors and their works. Use authors, titles, or keywords to start. For example, start with:
short stories poetry epic poetry fiction folk tales literature (or literary) drama plays (put author’s names & phrases in quotes; put a plus sign in front of required words)

Then add one or more specific words, depending on what you want to retrieve. For example: criticism history and criticism essays women writers United States

Your search should end up looking like this: +poetry +criticism +"United States"
or this: +Poe +fiction +criticism

The NVCC Reference Collection

The library at NVCC has several titles that provide compilations of both condensed and full reviews as well as background information on writers. Look in a recent volume for a cumulated author and/or title index. Reference books can’t be checked out so photocopy the section you need. The most frequently used Reference books for criticism are listed here for your convenience:

Contemporary Literary Criticism REF PN 771 .C59
Critical Survey of Drama REF PR 623 .C75
Critical Survey of Long Fiction REF PR 821 .C7
Critical Survey of Poetry REF PN 1111 .C7
Critical Survey of Short Fiction REF PN 3321 .C7
Drama Criticism REF PN 1601 .D59
Drama for Students REF PN 1601 .D595
Encyclopedia of the Essay REF PN 6141 .E53
Masterplots II various
Poetry Criticism REF PN 1010 .P499
Poetry for Students REF PN 1101 .P756
Short Story Criticism REF PN 3373 .S386
Short Stories for Students REF PN 3373 .S3844
Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism REF PN 771 .G27
Twentieth-Century Short Story Explication REF PN 3373 .W35

For short stories…if you know the year your story was first published and the title of the book it was published in (these are often two different titles), you can look in older print indexes for contemporaneous reviews (i.e., if book published in 1940, use 1940 index):

New York Times Index - check “Book Reviews” for the title of the book that the story was published in
Readers’ Guide - look under author’s name or title of book that the story was published in
Book Review Digest - look under author’s name or title of book that the story was published in

Places to Go On the Internet
American Literature on the Web

Perspectives in American Literature

Internet Public Library

Yahoo’s Book Reviews

OR, you can...
...use a search engine such as Yahoo, or Google, to search the Internet on your own. In the search engine’s text box, type in the author’s name (enclosed in quote marks) and the title you’re looking for (again, enclosed in quotes).

For example: “Stephen Crane” and “Blue Hotel”

Keep in mind that anyone and everyone can and does publish on the Internet. Review whatever material you find for accuracy, authority, objectivity, currency and coverage, to determine if it is academically appropriate. For help on this, see the handout entitled “Evaluating Web Sites.”

Periodical databases available from our website

EBSCOhost’s MagillOnLiterature is our online source for editorially reviewed critical analyses. This outstanding database also includes brief plot summaries of the most studied works in the history of literature, and includes and cross-indexes Masterplots, Masterplots II, Cyclopedia of World Authors, Cyclopedia of Literary Characters, Magill's Literary Annual, Magill's Guide to Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature and Magill Book Reviews.

General interest databases, such iCONN’s Expanded Academic ASAP and EBSCOhost’s MasterFILE Premier, also contain excellent critical articles from literary journals.
If you're off campus, you'll need to access the databases through your myCommNet page.

Ask the Reference Librarian for any help you might need locating and using these resources.
Reference Desk phone: 575-8244.
EJF 08/06

Monday, February 4, 2008

Human Services pathfinder

Learning Resources Center

Human Services Pathfinder

Suggested keywords to use alone or in combination, to begin searching

abuse...advocacy...aged/ studies...
child, children... community...counseling...disability(ies)...disaster... domestic...
early intervention...elderly...evaluation... families/family...geriatric(s)...
health...holistic... intervention...mental health...nutrition... outreach... parenting...planning...poverty...prevention... programs...public...psychosocial
...relief... socialization...spousal...substance... support...


Choose a periodical database from the Electronic Databases page and start your search. Results will include citations (referrals) to articles from a variety of publications. Sometimes you’ll be able to read the article itself online. If the article you want is not available online, print the citation. If our library subscribes to the publication, you will need to photocopy the article. If our library does not subscribe, you can request an InterLibrary Loan, or locate the publication in a nearby library.

These HS periodical titles are located in these databases:

Child Study Journal full text in Expanded Academic ASAP
Child Welfare full text in EBSCOhost MasterFILE Premier
Children and Youth Services Review abstracts in Expanded Academic ASAP
Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Human Services full text in Expanded Academic ASAP; NVCC subscribes
Journal of Community Health abstracts in PsychInfo; NVCC subscribes
Journal of Family History full text in EBSCOhost MasterFILE Premier
Journal of Family Issues full text in EBSCOhost MasterFILE Premier
Journal of Interpersonal Violence full text in EBSCOhost MasterFILE Premier
Journal of Marriage & Family full text in EBSCOhost MasterFILE Premier; NVCC subscribes
Journal of Mental Health full text in EBSCOhost MasterFile Premier
Journal of Mental Health Counseling full text in EBSCOhost MasterFile Premier & Expanded Academic ASAP
Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare abstracts in Expanded Academic ASAP
Research on Aging full text in EBSCOhost MasterFILE Premier
Social Policy full text in EBSCOhost MasterFile Premier & Expanded Academic ASAP
Social Service Review full text in Expanded Academic ASAP
Social Work full text in EBSCOhost MasterFILE Premier


  • use any keywords to search in the Library Online Catalog, for our material.
  • Use reQuest - CT State Catalog or Other Library Catalogs, to find out what is available locally in other libraries. InterLibrary loan is available for borrowing materials from elsewhere; ask for help.


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services websites

Administration for Children & Families
Administration on Aging
Health Resources & Services Administration
Indian Health Service
National Institute of Mental Health
U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services

Connecticut Organizations

Connecticut Association for Human Services
Connecticut Clearinghouse
Connecticut Voices for Children
Connecticut Dept of Children & Families
Connecticut Dept of Social Services
-- Programs & Services
-- Publications & Brochures
Connecticut General Assembly Committee on Human Services
Town of Cheshire Human Services page
United Way's Infoline (Connecticut)
United Way of Lower Naugatuck Valley

Other Professional Organizations & Publications

Actors' Fund of America, Human Services
American Public Human Services Association
APA Addictions Newsletter
Center for Adolescent Studies
Center for AIDS Prevention Studies
Center for Independent Living
Child Welfare League of America
Child Welfare Review, an online journal
Cross Cultural Health Care Program
Families USA
Mental Health Net
Web of Addictions

Ask your friendly Reference Librarians for help as needed.

Developed by EJF Rev. 02/08