- 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.
- Browsing for Books
Be sure, when you've located a book of interest, to browse the shelves. Often something that doesn't look interesting on the computer is very helpful - and vice versa. The library uses the Library of Congress system - you can get a detailed list of how books are shelved in the music section here.
- Grove Music Online
The online counterpart to the New Grove Dictionary of Music, this reference source contains articles on composers, performers, styles, genres, world music, instruments, and much more. The print version is also available in the reference collection.
- RILM Abstracts of Music Literature
The most important database for music research. RILM Abstracts of Music Literature indexes over 500 scholarly sources on music and related disciplines, including historical musicology, ethnomusicology, instruments and voice, dance, music therapy, music librarianship, the physics of music, and other fields as they relate to music. The majority of citations include abstracts.
- Academic Search Premier
A large multi-disciplinary database that includes scholarly journals, magazines, and newspapers. You can limit a search to scholarly journals.
- ATLA Religion Database & ATLA Serials
A comprehensive research database in the fields of religion and theology produced by the American Theological Library Association. Includes bibliographic citations and abstracts to journal articles from over 1,500 titles, citations to essays and book chapters, book reviews, and Doctor of Ministry projects. Many journal articles and book reviews are also available in full text.
Finding Reference Books
- Arts & Humanities Citation Index (Web of Knowledge)
Part of the "Web of Science." A multidisciplinary index covering the journal literature of the arts and humanities. Some of the disciplines covered include archaeology, linguistics, art, literature, music, philosophy, dance, history, religion and theater.
Note: The default setting is to search science, social sciences, and arts & humanites all together; you may want to toggle off the science part of the database. This database only indexes articles published since 1997. Records back to 1980 may still be searched in AHSearch through OCLC.
If you want quick, authoritative background on a topic, try a specialized encyclopedia. They not only offer good overviews, they generally will point you to additional high-quality sources.
Why not use Wikipedia? Though popular and convenient, Wikipedia articles are written by whoever cares to contribute and articles change as others weigh in. It's not a source you'd want to cite in serious research - check out Using Wikipedia from the Carleton College library.
- New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians
The most definitive source on music and music history. The articles in these volumes are carefully researched and documented and provide information on national music traditions, musical forms, composers and musicians, instruments, and more. There are several more specialized Grove encyclopedias--the New Grove Dictionary of American Music (Ref ML 101 .U6 N48 1986), the New Grove Dictionary of Jazz (Ref ML 102 .J3 N48 2002), the New Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments (Ref ML 102 .I5 N48 1984), and the New Grove Dictionary of Opera (Ref ML 102 .O6 .N58 1997). This encyclopedia is also available through the Web as Grove Music Online.
Location(s): Ref ML 100 .N48 2001
- New Oxford History of Music
An excellent chronological exploration of all aspects of music. Each volume covers a different musical period. Some have been published in newer editions. The final volume includes chronologies, bibliographies, and an index to the set.
Location(s): Ref ML 160 .N44
- Oxford History of Western Music
Attempts to cover not only the history of music as a survey of repertoires and changing tastes, but to explore "why and how things happened as they did." Volume 6 offers a chronology, a bibliography of books in English, and a list of musical examples cited in the set.
Location(s): Ref ML 160 .T18 2005 (6 vols)
- Dictionary of Art
An exhaustive encyclopedia of world art, containing articles written by scholars on artists, movements, works, and subjects, each followed by a selective bibliography.
Location(s): Ref N 31 .D5 1996
- Dictionary of the Middle Ages
13 vols. A scholarly, readable, and beautifully laid-out encyclopedia covering people, events, ideas, movements, texts, and cultural features of the medieval world. Articles are often illustrated with period art work and are followed by bibliographies of primary and secondary sources.
Location(s): Ref D 114 .D5 1982
- Encyclopedia of European Social History from 1350 to 2000
6 vols. Offers substantial, well-documented survey essays on topics such as social change, urban and rural life, gender, popular culture, religion, and everyday life.
Location(s): Ref HN373 .E63 2001
- Medieval Italy: An Encyclopedia
Offers brief definitions and longer essays about cities, institutions, families, people, and concepts important to Italian medieval history. Other similar volumes cover medieval France, Ireland, Iberia, and Scandinavia.
Location(s): Ref DG 443 .M43 2004
- Encyclopedia of Protestantism
Covers creeds, cultural and social issues, important people and institutions, theology, and the diverse traditions and faith groups that make up protestantism, both historically and in contemporary times.
Location(s): Ref BX 4811.3 .E53 2004
- Encyclopedia of Religion
Covers religions from around the world and through history as well as people and ideas related to religion. The articles are written by experts in their fields and include excellent bibliographies. This new edition includes hundreds of new articles, thoroughly revised coverage of all topics in religion, and a handful of "visual essays" that illustrate visual culture as a significant aspect of religion.
Location(s): Ref BL 31 .E46 2005
- Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment
Offers a broad range of entries about individuals and concepts related to the Enlightenment in Europe and America.
Location(s): Ref B 802 .E53 2002 (4 vols.)
- Encyclopedia of the Renaissance
Covers nearly 1,200 cultural and historical topics relating to Europe from 1350 to the early seventeenth century.
Location(s): Ref CB 361 .E52 1999 (6 vols.)
- International Encyclopedia of Dance
Covers dance of all kinds, including folk, modern, and ballet. More than twenty years in the making, this reference work is the most complete in the field. Includes biographical information on dancers and choreographers, articles covering styles of dance, country studies, information on companies, organizations, works, and definitions of dance terms.
Location(s): Ref GV 1585 .I586 1998 (6 vols.)
- New Catholic Encyclopedia
This recently-revised encyclopedia covers many general topics, but is particularly thorough in its coverage of Catholic doctrine, history, and traditional practice. Includes many illustrations.
Location(s): Ref BX 841 .N44 2002
- New Dictionary of the History of Ideas
Covers a wide range of ideas historically and internationally. Particularly strong for overviews of current ideas taken in historical context, listing essential and significant texts that contributed to the development of concepts.
Location(s): Ref CB 9 .N49 2005
Using Interlibrary Loan
- Oxford Encyclopedia of the Reformation
Covers people, places, events, documents, and ideas relevant to the Reformation in lengthy, scholarly articles. Each reflects current research and interpretation and is followed by a selective bibliography.
Location(s): Ref BR 302.8 .O93 1996 (4 vols.)
If you are searching a database or a union library catalog (such as all MnPals libraries or Worldcat) you can place an interlibrary loan request by making a request through the system. In most cases, the "find it" button takes you to a screen that will ask for your username/barcode and password (your last name, not your e-mail password). Then be sure to agree to the copyright statement and click on "go."
Sometimes you may want to request something you found cited in a publication. In that case, you can type the information - author title, publication information - as well as your barcode directly into either a form for books or one for articles.
It takes time for books and articles to arrive, particularly if they are not owned by libraries in the state; plan ahead!
Keeping Track of your Sources
Be sure to keep track of all the sources you might use so that you can cite them accurately. One way to do this is to create your own database using RefWorks. There is a bit of a learning curve involved, but it gives you place to store citations and your notes that is accessible from any computer connected to the Internet. You may export records from RILM and other databases into a personal RefWorks account or you can fill in blank forms for sources you want to add by hand.
Page Coordinator: Barbara Fister email@example.com
This URL: http://gustavus.edu/academics/library/libdata_pos/page.phtml?page_id=133