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Information Resources and Services for: On the Road: Mobility in American Literature & Culture
FTS 100: On the Road: Mobility in American Literature & Culture

Fall 2011

Jeff Jenson
Donald Scheese

Table of Contents:

Reference Desk

Need additional assistance? Stop by the reference desk. Librarians can point you to the best resources for your research project.

During the academic year, the reference desk is staffed six days a week except during holidays and breaks. When classes are in session, reference librarians are available at the following times:
Monday - Thursday 10:00 - 5:00 & 6:00 - 10:00, Friday 10:00 - 5:00, and Sunday 2:00 - 10:00.

You can also e-mail a librarian ( or IM/Chat with a librarian.

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
  • Interlibrary Loan

    Materials not available at Gustavus may be borrowed from other libraries and sent here for you to use.
    • Location(s): Library - Main Floor
Reference Collection
  • Encyclopedia of American Immigration

    Covers historical and contemporary issues in immigration policy, provides coverage of social and cultural issues and background on specific immigrant groups. The final section reproduces key legal documents from the US Constitution to late twentieth-century immigration legislation and executive orders. (Note: Gustavus is missing volume 2 of this set.)
    • Location(s): Ref JV 6465 .E53 2010
  • Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America
    Offers over 150 substantial essays on ethnic groups in the U. S., covering origins, circumstances of arrival, family, community, culture, economy, politics, and significant contributions. Each essay ends with a bibliography and contacts for further research.
    • Location(s): Ref E 184 .A1 G14 2000
  • American Immigrant Cultures: Builders of a Nation
    Covers culture groups from Acadians to Zoroastrians, covering each group's defining features, patterns of cultural variation, immigration history, demographics, cultural characteristics, and relevant published literature.
    • Location(s): Ref E184.A1 A63448 1997
  • CQ Researcher
    In-depth, analytical reporting on the most current and controversial issues of the day. Published by Congressional Quarterly, with its tradition of nonpartisan reporting and analysis, each CQ Researcher presents a balanced account of an issue on the public agenda. The objective, forward-looking reporting that characterizes these articles is designed to encourage discussion, to help readers think critically and to facilitate further research.
    • Location(s): Ref H 35 .E352 [year]
Finding Articles
Databases for articles and other materials offer references to publications that may or may not be in this library; some databases offer full text of articles and others simply citations. You can access databases from a drop-down list on the library's main page under the Articles tab.
  • Academic Search Premier,uid&profile=ehost&defaultdb=aph

    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.

    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.
  • SAGE Premier

    Search the full text to over 500 scholarly journals published by SAGE in a range of disciplines, including many social sciences titles. Many journals include full backfiles - back to 1960s or earlier. To search articles by discipline, click on the "Browse" tab, then click on the "Articles by Discipline" tab.
  • ProQuest Newsstand

    Indexing and selected full text access to over 350 newspapers from around the world. Archival coverage begins in 1985 for some titles. Access is provided by the Electronic Library for Minnesota (ELM).
Finding Specific Journals
  • Example: I found the following citation in an article I just read. Now, I want to get the cited article. How's that done?
    • Stodolska, M., & Santos, C. A. (2006). ‘You must think of Familia ’: the everyday lives of Mexican migrants in destination communities. Social & Cultural Geography, 7(4), 627-647.
  • Journal Locator (Journal List)

    Find out if we subscribe to a particular journal, either online or in print. If the journal is not available in print or full text at Gustavus, you may request copies of articles through Interlibrary Loan. This is fantastic!
Understanding the Meaning of Peer-Reviewed
  • Publishing Articles
    How articles are published

    There are very different processes involved in publishing different kinds of articles. Newspapers rely on a team of staff reporters as well as free-lance writers to create what is famously called "the first draft of history." They also draw on a shared pool of "wire services" so that you often will find in a local newspaper an article written for the Associated Press or for a different newspaper published elsewhere.

    Magazines are similar, though they are typically less immediate than newspapers and cover local news in less depth. There are hosts of general magazines such as The New Yorker and Harper's. Some magazines consciously reflect a political perspective. The National Review represents a conservative perspective, while The Nation is left-wing. Others, such as New Scientist, focus on a particular subject but are written for a general audience. And then there are "trade publications," magazines written to cover a particular business or industry. Articles in those magazines are written by journalists who specialize in those fields.

    Scholarly journals contain articles that are more analytical and are written by scholars, for scholars. They raise questions and apply research methods that are specific to a discipline such as history or chemistry. These generally go through a process of "peer review" in which other scholars weigh in on the value and validity of each article before it is published. Scholarly journals also publish other kinds of articles, such as reviews of scholarly books. Because scholarly articles take time to research and to be reviewed by peers, scholarly journals will not be as current as newspapers or magazines; however they can provide perspectives that make sense of current events. They also can become news. A scholarly article that reports on how charter schools are doing or on a new medical study may become the subject of a story in The New York Times.
  • National Immigration Law Center

    This center has as its mission "to defend and advance the rights and opportunities of low-income immigrants and their family members." It includes news and fact sheets supporting its positions.
  • The Immigration Debate

    This NPR website offers news and features from 2006-2007 on immigration.
Evaluating Web Sites (and other resources)

Tips on how to recognize reliable sources by evaluating them based on authority, scope, currency, accuracy, and commercialism.

Citing Your Sources

Learn how to cite your resources in MLA, APA, and Chicago Style. In addition to these online style guides, print style guides (and The Everyday Writer) are available both at the library reference desk and at the Writing Center (Confer 232). This page also includes links to RefWorks and EndNote Web.

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