Skip to main content
HOMEGUIDESDATABASESHELP

How Do I Find ~ Literary Criticism

Books and Book Chapters

  • When to Use Them
    Use books for an overview or extended analysis of an author's works. Even if you don't have time to read an entire book, you can often find a single chapter that's relevant to your topic. Or, use the book's index to locate those pages that talk about the points you're most interested in. The library also has a significant number of books that discuss national literatures, literary movements, or recurring literary themes. Many of these devote chapters or large sections to individual authors or particular literary works. In most cases, you will be consulting these sources after finding a citation to them in another book or essay.
     
  • How to Find Them
    Use the Hamilton Library Catalog to find books. If cannot find what you need in our collection, use WorldCat to locate books you can borrow from other libraries.

Find books devoted to discussions of an AUTHOR.

 

  1. Select "BROWSE" from the catalog's banner to "Browse by Name."
  2. Enter the author's last name and first name (e.g., morrison toni).
  3. Pay particular attention to the following subheadings:
    • Criticism and interpretation
    • Bibliography

NOTE: The "BROWSE" search technique recommended above is not currently functioning properly. If you get an unusually large number of results, try this instead:

  • Perform an "ADVANCED SEARCH."
  • In the top search box, enter the author's last name and first name (e.g., thoreau henry) and select both "Any field" and "(is) exact."
  • In the search box immediately below that, select "Subject" and "(is) exact" and enter the phrase: criticism and interpretation.
  • Select "Book" under "Material Type."

 

Find books devoted to discussions of a LITERARY WORK.

  1. Select "BROWSE" from the catalog's banner to "Browse by Name."
  2. Enter the author's last name and first name (e.g., morrison toni).
  3. Find subheadings with the name of the work.

NOTE: The "BROWSE" search technique recommended above is not currently functioning properly. If you get an unusually large number of results, try this instead:

  • Perform an "ADVANCED SEARCH."
  • In the top search box, enter a portion of the work's title (e.g., huckleberry finn) and select both "Any field" and "(is) exact."
  • In the search box immediately below that, select "Subject" and "(is) exact" and enter the phrase: criticism and interpretation.
  • Select "Book" under "Material Type."

Find anthologies that include discussions of a LITERARY WORK.

  1. Use the catalog's default search box to perform a keyword search.
  2. Enter a part of the work's title followed by the word "criticism" (e.g., huckleberry finn criticism).
  3. Limit your search to books using the drop-down menu under "Resource Type."

Find books about literature from a particular GEOGRAPHIC REGION and TIME PERIOD.

  1. Search by "Subject" using the catalog's advanced search.
  2. Enter the name of a nationality or region followed by the word "literature" (e.g., american literature).
  3. Enter a time period (e.g., 19th century).
  4. Enter the phrase "history and criticism."
  5. Enter a topic (optional).
  6. Limit your search to books using the drop-down menu under "Material Type."

Books focusing on literary works written after 1800 are subdivided by century (e.g., Russian literature -- 20th century). Period subdivisions for American, English, French, German and Spanish literature before 1800 are as follows:

American literature -- Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775
American literature -- Revolutionary period, 1775-1783
American literature -- 1783-1850
English literature -- Middle English, 1100-1500
English literature -- Early modern, 1500-1700
French literature -- To 1500
French literature -- 16th century
French literature -- 17th century
German literature -- Old High German, 750-1050
German literature -- Middle High German, 1050-1500
German literature -- Early modern, 1500-1700
Spanish literature -- To 1500
Spanish literature -- Classical period, 1500-1700

Other helpful period subdivisions include:

Classical literature
Literature, Medieval
European literature -- Renaissance, 1450-1600

Find books about a particular LITERARY MOVEMENT or THEME.

  1. Use the catalog's default search box to perform a keyword search.
  2. Enter a topic followed by the phrase "in literature" (e.g., "women in literature").
  3. Limit your search to books using the drop-down menu under "Resource Type."

Hamilton College, 198 College Hill Road, Clinton, NY 13323 • 315-859-4735 • Copyright © 2017 The Trustees of Hamilton College. All rights reserved.