Gustavus Adolphus College Library Library News
Getting Started Library Tutorial Research Guides Ask Us Library Home


This guide is NO LONGER UPDATED as of Fall 2012

Visit our new Research Guides Page at

Back to Resources for Majors and Courses
Link to print-friendly version

Information Resources and Services for:
FTS 100: Performing Culture and Cultural Performance

Fall 2009
This guide will help you identify pieces of literature, find biographical information about authors, and also contextual information about places or time periods. This guide contains many excellent resources, but it is not comprehensive. If you're not finding what you're looking for, don't hesitate to contact Michelle or stop by the reference desk.

Never underestimate the power of browsing - if you find a book on the shelf that is useful for your topic, look around at its neighbors. Books are arranged by subject, so chances are you'll find other books nearby that will also be useful!

Table of Contents:

Finding Books
  • MnPALS Plus
    The online catalog to the library at Gustavus Adolphus College. Choose "All Libraries" in the search options to search other MnPALS libraries (such as Minnesota State schools) and request books through Interlibrary Loan. View our MnPALS Plus tutorial.
  • WorldCat
    Includes over 40 million bibliographic records representing cataloged resources in 400 languages owned by libraries around the world. Materials date back to the 11th century. Owning libraries can be identified for books, journals, archival resources and electronic resources. Access to WorldCat is provided by the Electronic Library for Minnesota (ELM); the database can also be searched through its free web interface, at
    1000 CE-present; updated daily
Browsing for Books
Books are shelved in general subject categories using the Library of Congress classification system. You may want to supplement your use of the catalog with browsing shelf areas for your topic. Below is a brief listing of some of the subject locations for the literature of various regions.
  • PA Classical Languages and Literature (Greek, Latin)
  • PG 2001-3987 Russian
  • PN 80-99 Criticism
    • 441-1009 Folklore
    • 1010-1551 Poetry
    • 1600-3307 Drama
    • 3311-3503 Prose Fction
    • 4400-4599 Letters and Essays
    • 6010-6790 Collections of General Literature
  • PQ Romance Literatures (French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese)
    • 1-3999 French
    • 4000-5999 Italian
    • 6000-8999 Spanish
    • 9000-9999 Portuguese
  • PR English Language Literature
    • 1-1369 by period and genre
    • 1490-1799 Anglo-Saxon
    • 1803-2165 Ango-Norman, Early English, Middle English
    • 2199-3195 English Renaissance
    • 3291-3785 17th and 18th centuries
    • 3991-5990 19th century
    • 6000-6049 1900-1960
    • 6050-6076 1961-2000
    • 6100-6126 2001-
    • 8309-9680 Commonwealth Literatures
  • PS American Literature
    • 1-688 by period and genre
    • 700-893 Colonial (17th and 18th centuries)
    • 991-3390 19th century
    • 3500-3549 1900-2000
    • 3600-3626 2001-
    • 8000-8599 Canadian literature
  • PT Germanic Literatures
    • 1-6593 German and Dutch
    • 7001-7550 Scandinavian

Reference Books
Reference books are helpful at a number of steps during your research. They define unfamiliar terms, give an overview of a topic, and often provide recommendations for further reading. The reference books listed below are all found on the main floor of the library.
  • General Sources
    • Contemporary Authors
      Detroit: Gale 1962-
      This series gives biographical information, brief bibliographies of works by and about the author and sometimes further background information such as an interview. It is concerned solely with modern writers, and covers writers in fields outside of literature. Check the most recent cumulative index to locate biographies in any of the volumes and to locate biographies published in other Gale biographical series. Note: As of 2009, the library will no longer have an active subscription to Contemporary Authors, but the older editions will be kept in the Reference Collection.
      • Location(s): Ref PN 771 .C632
    • Encyclopedia of Folklore and Literature
      ABC-CLIO 1998
      Contains entries for authors, titles, national literatures, themes, and motifs in literature and folklore.
      • Location(s): Ref. PN 41 .E48 1998
    • Encyclopedia of World Cultures
      Boston: G.K. Hall 1991
      Covers over 1500 culture groups, alphabetically arranged within regions. The information summarizes information on the distribution, belief systems, kinship structures, and history of the groups and provides selective bibliographies for further research. Consult the index to determine the appropriate name for a particular culture group.
      • Location(s): Ref GN 550 .E53 1991
    • Encyclopedia of World Literature in the Twentieth Century
      Detroit: St. James 1999
      Covers authors and movements as well as providing lengthy surveys of the literature of different countries in this century. It does not cover literary criticism as such.
      • Location(s): PN 771 .E5 1999
    • Twayne Companion to Contemporary World Literature
      New York: Twayne 2003
      Provides extensive explorations of regional literary traditions and contemporary writers throughout the world through analystical essays and reviews compiled from the venerable publication World Literature Today.
      • Location(s): Ref PN 771 .T93 2003 (2 vols.)
  • Biographical Sources ~ Regional Literature
    • American Ethnic Literatures: Native American, African American, Chicano/Latino, and Asian American Writers and their Backgrounds: An Annotated Bibliography
      Pasdena: Salem 1992
      A useful guide to the literature, offering annotated leads to a wealth of information on writers and their works.
      • Location(s): Ref PS 153 .M56 P43 1992
    • Contemporary Southern Writers
      St. James Press 1999
      Over 200 essays providing the author's career highlights, awards, a complete bibliography (including uncollected short works), media adaptations, and critical studies. The authors covered represent nearly all categories--poetry, fiction, plays, humor, children's literature, genres, criticism, and nonfiction.
      • Location(s): Ref PS 261 .C569 1999
    • Encyclopedia of Caribbean Literature
      Westport, CT: Greenwood Press 2006
      Alphabetical entries on authors and topics related to anglophone, Dutch, francophone and Hispanic Caribbean literature. Each is followed by a brief multi-lingual bibliography.
      • Location(s): Ref PN849. C3 E53 2006 (2 vols.)
    • Irish Playwrights, 1880-1995
      Greenwood Press 1997
      Covers 32 major and minor playwrights throughout the century.
      • Location(s): Ref PR 8789 .I67 1997
    • Oxford Companion to Irish Literature
      Clarendon Press 1996
      Entries cover writers, titles of major works, literary genres and motifs, folklore, mythology, periodicals, associations, and historical figures and events. Since Ireland's literature is inextricably intertwined with its religious and political differences, articles on Catholicism, Protestantism, Northern Ireland, the IRA, and Sinn Fein appear along with entries on literary subjects such as Big House, Metrics, and Stage-Irishman.
      • Location(s): Ref PR 8706 .O88 1996
    • Companion to African Literatures
      Indiana University Press 2000
      The entries´┐Żauthors, titles, and selected thematic subjects´┐Żare in one alphabetical sequence. A list of themes and topics, subdivided by geographic regions, is provided.
      • Location(s): Ref PR 9340 .C65 2000
    • South African Writers
      Gale Group 2000
      Part of the "Dictionary of Literary Biography" series.
      • Location(s): Ref PS 221 .A5 v.225
  • Contextual Sources
    These reference books will give you a glimpse of your author's historical context.
    • Encyclopedia of Contemporary Latin American and Caribbean Cultures
      New York: Routledge 2000
      Includes entries on cultural topics such as architecture, cinema, food and drink, the media, music, politics, and religion, as well as biographical sketches of important cultural figures.
      • Location(s): Ref F1406.E515 2000 (3 vols.)
    • Atlas of Irish History
      Routledge 2005
      Over 100 maps, charts and graphs. An Atlas of Irish History covers the main political, military, economic, religious and social changes that have occurred in Ireland.
      • Location(s): Ref G 1831 .S1 E3 2005
    • Encyclopedia of Ireland: An A-Z Guide to its People, Places, History, and Culture
      Oxford University Press 2000
      Entertainment, culture, sports, geography, history, and politics.
      • Location(s): Ref DA 906 .E53 2000
    • Encyclopedia of India
      Thomson Gale 2006
      This encyclopedia includes 580 articles written by 200 scholars, selected from many countries. The subjects include art, contemporary facts, culture, history, geography, economics, defense, human rights, industrial growth, the judicial system, education, medical science, nuclear programs, politics, religion, secularism, theater, trade, and women.
      • Location(s): Ref DS 405 .E556 2006
    • Encyclopedia of African History and Culture
      New York: Facts on File 2005
      Each volume covers a different period in African history, from ancient times to independence. Within each volume brief articles cover countries, ethnic groups, important historical figures, events, and concepts. For each volume, there are maps and chronologies for the period covered. Both North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa are included in coverage.
      • Location(s): Ref DT 3 .P27 2005
Finding Articles
If you have an article citation and can't find the full text in a database, use the Journal Locator to see if Gustavus owns a print copy of the article OR if it is available through another database. Be sure to search the Journal Locator with the title of the journal, not the article title.
  • Academic Search Premier
    The world's largest academic multi-disciplinary database, Academic Search Premier indexes nearly 8,050 publications and provides full text for nearly 4,600, including more than 3,500 peer-reviewed journals. Coverage also includes many newspapers and popular magazines and spans virtually every area of academic study since 1975. Updated daily. Access is provided by the Electronic Library for Minnesota (ELM). View our Academic Search Premier tutorial.
    1975-present; updated daily
    Full-text backfiles to over 350 scholarly journals from more than 25 academic disciplines published between the 19th and 21st centuries in the JSTOR Arts & Sciences I, Arts & Sciences II, and Language & Literature collections. JSTOR provides complete journal backruns from the date of initial publication up to a "moving wall" of 3 to 5 years before the present year. To limit your search to full text articles, make sure that the option to "include links to external content" is turned off.
    1831-recent years
  • MLA International Bibliography
    The major research resource for information on English literature, foreign languages and linguistics. Includes references to scholarly articles, books, book chapters, book reviews, and dissertations; coverage dates back to the 1920's.
    1923-present; updated 9 times yearly
  • Project MUSE
    Project MUSE provides full text electronic access to over 100 scholarly journals in humanities, the social sciences, and mathematics. Topics covered include literary theory; classics; history and cultural studies; philosophy; film, theatre and the performing arts; political science and mathematics.
Literary Journals
  • Drama
    • Massachusetts Review - Academic Search Premier
    • Minnesota Review - located in the basement of the library
    • New England Review - located in the basement of the library
    • Paris Review - located in the basement of the library
Other Library Resources
  • Interlibrary Loan
    Use Interlibrary Loan to request books and articles that Gustavus doesn't own.
  • Scholarly vs. Popular vs. Trade
    Provides criteria for distinguishing between scholarly journals, popular magazine, and trade publications. From the North Carolina State University Libraries.
Contacting Michelle
I'm happy to meet with you at any time to chat about your research. I can suggest additional sources, advanced search techniques, and troubleshoot problems you may encounter. Email me at or call x7563.

Page Coordinator: Michelle Twait
This URL:
RSS feed of this page

800 West College Avenue     -     St. Peter, MN 56082     -     (507) 933-7556