Humans and Other Animals

Unknown artist, ca. 1495-1505. The Unicorn in Captivity. Wood, silk, and metallic threads. Metropolitan Museum of Art, via Wikimedia Commons.

Research Guide

Welcome! This page highlights key resources for conducting effective  research for Timea Szell's English Senior Seminar Humans and Other Animals.

If you need assistance identifying additional resources, search terms or strategies, please schedule a research consultation.

Personal Librarian:
Vani Natarajan
208C Lehman


Finding Books and Other Materials


  • Go to CLIO and use the Catalog search to find books, journals (but not articles in journals), links to online journals, and other materials in the Barnard and Columbia libraries, including the Health Sciences Library.
  • For a known item, search by Title, Author, standardized Library of Congress Subject HeadingISBN, etc.
  • For an All Fields keyword search, "use quotes" for a phrase, and * for truncation (to find variant endings of a word), e.g. animal* searches for animal, animals, animalia, etc.

Worldcat: search for items in libraries worldwide.

BorrowDirect: borrow books directly from the libraries of Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, the University of Chicago, and Yale, in addition to select libraries of Harvard and MIT. Items requested through BorrowDirect typically deliver in 3 to 4 business days, with a 6-week loan period + one 6-week renewal.

Interlibrary Loan: borrow books, articles/book chapters, music scores, and selected audiovisual items (i.e. maps or films) that are not currently available at Columbia University Libraries. ILL has a larger scope of participating institutions than Borrow Direct.


English Dictionaries

Dictionary of Old English defines the vocabulary of the first six centuries (600 - 1150 A.D.) of the English language.

Middle English Compendium covers the vocabulary of Middle English (1100-1150 A.D.). Contents include a Hyperbibliography of Middle English ("the most comprehensive single list of ME materials available in electronic form"), the Middle English Dictionary, a corpus of Middle English prose and verse, and related resources.

OED Online provides a complete historical record of the English language. It's the largest dictionary of the English language, containing 615,000 word forms with 139,900 pronunciations, 219,000 etymologies, and 2,436,600 quotations, along with timelines and historical thesauri.

Oxford Historical Thesaurus presents a "taxonomic index of language history" by tracing the changing uses of language around specific concepts and meanings across time. You can conduct searches for words or headings, or you can browse entries in a thesaurus tree.

Other Reference

Start here for biographical and bibliographical background research.

Dictionary of Literary Biography provides biographical essays on all genres and time periods of American and British literature and selected other literatures. Essays discuss the lives and careers of authors and summarize critical responses to their work. Bibliographies cover primary works (including published letters) alongside secondary works.  Advanced search features allow for full text searching as well as searching by writers’ names, titles of works, and other categories. 

Encyclopedia of Animal Rights and Animal Welfare contains a range of entries related to animal rights and animal welfare, written by over 150 contributors. Also includes a guide to related topics, which organizes the entries into broader topic areas for browsing. 

Encyclopedia of Human-Animal Relationships includes over 350 essays that discuss such topics as animals and ecology; animals and global warming; animals as food; animals as pets; animals and diseases; animals in research and in education; animals providing assistance; and the influence of animals in art, religion and philosophy, literature, music, dance, and entertainment. Also includes photographs, drawings, charts, and tables, as well as extensive bibliographies for each essay.

Gale Biography in Context consolidates biographical entries from over 100 reference sources, allowing for multiple perspectives on lives searched. You can also search for poets' biographies by selecting "Poet" under "Occupation."

Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia is a revised and updated (c2004) edition of a 1972 encyclopedia written by zoologist Bernard Grzimek. Entries on animals are organized by class, and further grouped by order and family. Entries include extensive bibliographies, and many also include photographs and illustrations.

Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism includes almost 300 entries and subentries on critics and theorists, critical schools and movements, and literary criticism and theory in specific regions of the world across history. You can browse or search articles in full text. Each article features a bibliography of works cited, organized into two sections: “Primary Sources” and “Secondary Sources.”

Motif-index of folk literatureclassifies tropes, characters, events, and narratives in folk literature (including myths, legends, fables, and ballads).

Oxford Reference Online offers full text of 100 searchable reference tools, including subject dictionaries and mythology dictionaries.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy features extensively peer reviewed entries on key figures, concepts, and terms in philosophy. Entries feature extensive bibliographies with monographs and scholarly articles cited in each entry.

Secondary Sources: Criticism, Analysis, and More

If you aren't sure where to start your search for articles, try the CLIO Articles search or Find Articles. These federated search pages search across multiple databases, included the ones listed below---Find Articles can even recommend subject specific databases that yield the most results for your search terms.

L'année philologique : AP gathers citations for publications related to Greco-Roman antiquity, based on L Annee Philologique, the key bibliographic resource for classicists.

AnthropologyPlusfeatures articles, reports, commentary, and edited works in social, cultural, physical, biological, and linguistic anthropology, ethnology, archaeology, folklore, material culture, and interdisciplinary studies from 19th century to the present.

Arts and Humanities Citation Index features citations and abstracts for articles from leading journals in the arts and humanities, with some related content from sources in the social sciences and sciences. Coverage spans the early 20th century to the present. Results feature e-links to quickly search CLIO for electronic and print copies.


  • Alternative Press Index and Alternative Press Index Archive (1969-1990) index articles from left, radical, and alternative periodicals covering "cultural, economic, political, and social change."
  • ATLA Religion Database provides citations and abstracts to journal articles, book reviews, and published essays in diverse areas of religion and theology.
  • Family & society studies worldwideprovides citations to journal articles, book chapters, monographs, reports, papers, unpublished material, and other documents in the fields of family studies and childhood studies across a range of social science, health science, and humanities disciplines. Coverage extends from 1970 to the present.
  • GreenFILEcollects scholarly, government, and general-interest titles relating to the human impact on the environment.Topics include global warming, green building, pollution, sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, recycling, and more.
  • Humanities Full Text features citations and abstracts from scholarly sources in the humanities, as well as lesser known specialized magazines. Many of the entries are available in full text. Documents covered include articles, interviews, obituaries, bibliographies, original works of fiction, drama and poetry, book reviews, and reviews of performances, recordings, and films.
  • Race relations abstracts covers articles and book chapters related to diverse aspects of race relations, including ethnic studies, discrimination, immigration studies, and other areas of key relevance to the discipline.

FRANCIS provides citations to articles from journals in a variety of subjects in the humanities and social sciences, including archaeology, ethnic studies, history of art, history of science, linguistics, literature, philosophy, prehistory, religions, sociology, and economics. Results feature e-links to quickly search CLIO for electronic and print copies.

JSTOR includes page images of key scholarly journals in the humanities and social sciences, with a particular strength in Languages and Literatures. Coverage spans the mid-19th century to the present.

LION, short for Literature Online, is a fully searchable library of English and American poetry, drama, and prose, with biographies, bibliographies, and key secondary sources.

Nestor : bibliography of Aegean prehistory and related areas  is an international bibliography of Aegean studies, Homeric society, Indo-European linguistics, and related fields.

Periodicals archive onlineoffers a searchable archive of hundreds of digitized journals published in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.

Philosopher's index indexes and abstracts journal articles, books, contributions to anthologies, and book reviews. It covers the major fields of philosophy, including aesthetics, epistemology, ethics, logic, metaphysics, and the philosophy of releted fields such as education, history, law and religion.

PEP Web functions as a digital archive of psychoanalytic literature. Contents cover 120 years of the field of psyschoanalysis, with full text of books and journals. The book archive includes Freud's complete works.

POIESIS also known as Philosophy Online, provides access to the full text of hundreds of philosophy journals, in addition to selected books and conference proceedings. You can search in full text, or browse content of individual sources by title, category, and type. Coverage spans the 1890’s to the present.

Project MUSE provides full text scholarly journal articles, with citations and abstracts, from key sources in the humanities, with a special strength in literary studies. Content is updated daily, and coverage is extremely current. You can browse journals by title and discipline, and can also search articles by their assigned Library of Congress Subject Headings.


  • Alt-PressWatch features full text articles from journals, magazines, and newspapers of the alternative and independent press. Articles feature critical coverage of local, national, and international news and emerge from non-corporate sources.
  • British Humanities Index offers access to citations from 320 internationally respected humanities journals and weekly magazines published in the UK and other English speaking countries, as well as UK newspapers. Topics covered  include architecture, archaeology, art, antiques, education, economics, foreign affairs, environment, cinema, current affairs, gender studies, history, language, law, linguistics, literature, music, painting, philosophy, poetry, political science, religion, and theatre.
  • International bibliography of the social sciencescontains core social sciences and related materials from over 100 countries in more than 90 languages(including over 2600 journals and books, book reviews, and book chapters).
  • MLA International Bibliography features citations and abstracts to scholarly articles on literature, language, linguistics, and folklore from around the world, with e-links to possible full text provided. Sources include periodicals, books, essay collections, working papers, proceedings, dissertations and bibliographies. Coverage spans 1923 to the present.

Literary and Theoretical Texts

Alexander Street literature   provides a cross-searchable platform of literary works available in full text. It covers the literatures of place, race, and gender. Databases included:

Black Thought and Culture features searchable full text non-fiction works  by African American writers. Content includes books, essays, articles, speeches, letters, interviews, and other materials, some of which have not previously been published.

Past Masters provides full text access to the works of European, British, and American writers, including diaries and correspondence collections. Entries are grouped into the subjects Philosophy, Women Writers,  English Letters, Social Science, History of Science, and Religious Studies. Most content spans the 18th to early 20th centuries. Includes the complete works of Mary Wollstonecraft.

PsycBOOKS  is a full-text collection of books and book chapters from the American Psychological Association. This includes approximately 600 APA titles from 1953-2003, including 100 out-of-print books and 50 archival resources in psychology. Also includes more than 1,500 authored entries from the Encyclopedia of Psychology (APA/Oxford University Press).

Social Theory features searchable full text works written by philosophers, sociologists, activists, and social reformers, among others. Some examples of featured writers: Mary Wollstonecraft, Karl Marx, Antonio Gramsci, and Emma Goldman. You can search the database in free text, or browse works by theoretical perspective, topic, author, title, and date of publication.

Historical Periodicals

Search these sources for historical newspapers and magazines (including literary journals).

American Periodicals from the Center for Research Libraries features full-color scans of serials archived at the Center for Research Libraries. Sources span the 19th and early 20th centuries, and are fully searchable. Tip: To look for poems published in literary journals, select "poem" under the menu for "Document Type" under "Search Options."

British Periodicals provides scanned facsimile page images from British periodicals from the late 17th to the early 20th century. Fully searchable. Tip: To look for poems published in literary journals, select "poem" under the menu for "Document Type" under "Search Options."

Gale Newsvault combines several historical newspaper collections into one searchable platform. These include

  • 17th and 18th Century Burney Collection Newspapers
  • 19th Century British Library Newspapers, Parts I and II
  • 19th Century UK Periodicals, Series I: New Readerships
  • 19th Century UK Periodicals, Series II: Empire
  • 19th Century U.S. Newspapers
  • Financial Times Historical Archive 1888-2006
  • Illustrated London News Historical Archive 1842-2003
  • Times Digital Archive 1785-1985
  • Times Literary Supplement Historical Archive 1902-2005.
  • Historical Guardian and Observer
  • Periodicals Archive Online
  • Proquest Historical Newspapers
  • Times Digital Archive

Periodicals Archive Online archives full text facsimile pages of articles from hundreds of journals in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Includes over 300 literary journals. Tip: Select "find journals by subject" to narrow down your search to a specific type of source.

Proquest features full text and full-image articles (all searchable) from the following (tip: Select "change" from the top bar of the screen to select specific databases within which you'd like to search, or a combination of them:

  • The Atlanta Constitution (1868-1945)
  • Atlanta Daily World (1931-2003)
  • The Baltimore African-American (1893-1988)
  • Baltimore Sun (1837-1986)
  • The Boston Globe (1872-1927)
  • Chicago Defender (1910-1975)
  • Chicago Tribune (1849-1987)
  • Christian Science Monitor (1908-1997)
  • Cleveland Call and Post (1934-1991)
  • The Guardian (1821-2003) and The Observer (1791-2003)
  • The Irish Times (1859-2007) and The Weekly Irish Times (1876-1958)
  • Los Angeles Sentinel (1934-2005)
  • New York Amsterdam News (1922-1993)
  • The New York Times (1851-2007) with Index (1851-1993)
  • New York Tribune (1841-1922)
  • Norfolk Journal and Guide (1921-2003)
  • Philadelphia Tribune (1912-2001)
  • Pittsburgh Courier (1911-2002)
  • San Francisco Chronicle (1865-1922)
  • The Scotsman (1817-1950)
  • The Times of India (1838-2002)

Primary Sources: Correspondence, Manuscripts, and Other Documents

Slavery, Abolition, and Social Justice includes key documents from the histories of slavery and histories of resistance to slavery worldwide, over six centuries. This includes documents viewable in full text (among them journals, newspapers, broadsides), along with maps and essays. Further resources include a bibliography of related works.

Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000 includes numerous sources on women's history and women's social movements as published by individual authors as well as groups and institutions. Movements represented encompass suffrage, reproductive rights, and nuclear disarmament, among others. Contents also include a digital archive consisting of 90,000 pages of publications of federal, state, and local Commissions on the Status of Women between 1961 and 2005.

Primary Sources: Image Collections

Animal Studies: Additional Resources

Writing and Citing

Cite Source from Trinity College Libraries shows you how to cite books, articles, tweets, podcasts, art works, blog posts, and more in th efollowing styles: ACS, APA, APSA, ASA, Chicago, and MLA.

The Craft of Research (ebook, University of Chicago Press, 2008) offers guidelines and tips on all stages of the research process, from turning topics and questions into research problems, choosing and engaging sources, assembling evidence, drafting, revising, and more.

OWL: Purdue University Online Writing Lab provides general and subject specific writing tips and techniques, along with research advice and detailed citation and formatting standards for the APA, MLA, and Chicago styles.

Zotero is a free, open source program that allows you to quickly save, organize, format, and share your bibliographic citations.