Reinventing Literary History: The Americas (seminar)

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Welcome! This page highlights key resources for conducting effective research in First Year English: the Americas.

If you need assistance identifying additional resources, search terms or strategies, please use the link above to schedule a research consultation or email your personal librarian directly.



Miranda, Juan de (ca. 1680). Retrato de Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. Via Wikimedia Commons.

Getting Started * Finding Books and Other Materials * Articles * Citing Your Sources * Additional Resources
English Department Guide: Reinventing Literary History

Getting Started

For background information on your topic, start with reference works, like encyclopedias, handbooks, companions, and dictionaries. These can help you explore concepts and terms; they can also lead you to other relevant sources.

Finding Books and Other Materials at the Columbia Libraries

CLIO provides access to the vast resources of the Columbia University Libraries, including Barnard Library, but excluding Teachers College and the Law Library. Search the Catalog for book and media materials.

Worldcat searches libraries worldwide. If a title isn't available via Columbia University Libraries, you may request it via Borrow Direct or Interlibrary Loan.

Finding Scholarly Articles

America, History and Life with full text covers scholarly literature on the histories of the United States and Canada. Its companion database, Historical Abstracts, covers world history (including Central and South American history) from 1450 to the present. They can be searched at once on the EBSCO platform.

Black Studies Center describes itself as a “fully cross-searchable gateway to Black Studies.” The database combines Schomburg Studies on the Black Experience, The HistoryMakers Videos and full transcripts for interviews with 100 contemporary African Americans, International Index to Black Periodicals (IIBP), historical black newspapers, Black Abolitionist Papers, and the Black Literature Index.

Handbook of Latin American Studies presents carefully annotated citations to scholarly articles, books, and other resources in Latin American Studies.

Humanities Full Text brings full text (starting 1995) plus abstracts and bibliographic indexes (starting 1984) of noted scholarly sources in the humanities, as well as lesser known specialized magazines.

JSTOR provides access to core journals in many scholarly fields, including History, Literature, Sociology, and Women's Studies, from the earliest issues to within a few years of current publication.

MLA Bibliography indexes critical materials on literature, languages, linguistics, and folklore. Proved access to citations from worldwide publications, but not the full text article. If an e-link does not work, consider ordering the article via ILL or contact your personal librarian.

Proquest Direct is a multidisciplinary database of magazines, newspapers, scholarly journals and dissertations, including the full text of the New York Times from 1851 to the present.

Databases with Articles in Spanish

If you are looking for critical and analytical scholarly articles and books in Spanish, check out these databases.

Bibliografía de la literatura Española desde 1980 provides citations for journal articles and books in the history and criticism of literature in Spanish, published between 1980 and the present, but covering time periods back to the Middle Ages. Search interface and descriptive terms are in Spanish.

DialNet  features scholarly journal articles from Spain and Latin America, in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences.

HAPI Online features citations to articles and book reviews in scholarly journals published in Latin America and the Caribbean, or those dealing with topics relating to Latin America, the Caribbean and Latino/a Americans.

Internet Resources 

LANIC (Latin American Network Information Center) is a comprehensive directory of information available online about Latin America, including literature, social science research, business information, media, educational resources, and more. It is hosted by the libraries at University of Texas at Austin.

Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes, in Spanish, features mini sites dedicated to noted authors historical personalities from the Americas. It includes an extensive site on Sor Juana, including digitized versions of original texts. 

Biblioteca Digital del Penasmiento Novohispano in Spanish, allows readers to view works by foundational voices from "New Spain," with links to references, quotes, names, and other phrases that connect the texts. 

NINES - 19th Century Scholarship Online provides access to hundreds of thousands of artifacts and full-text articles available online and in various library collections, relevant to 19th Century American and British history. 


Explore and uncover podcasts using the sites below:

BBC podcasts

Internet Archive: Podcast Search

NPR Podcast Directory

Public Radio International Podcasts

Rabble Podcast Network (Canada)


A Few Examples of Podcasts

Dare to Use the F-Word, co-produced by the Barnard Center for Research on Women and Barnard College Communications, features stories on contemporary feminists around the world.

We Want the Airwaves is Nia King's podcast, which features her interviews with queer artists, trans artists, and artists of color. Transcripts are available for free, and past episodes are available for $2 download.

Citing Your Sources

Citation management software allows you to store your references conveniently, and cite them in papers and bibliographies using any citation style you choose. For help, see the Barnard Library  Zotero Guide.

Research and Documentation in the Electronic Age, by Diana Hacker (Bedford Handbook), covers citation formats in the APA, Chicago, MLA, and Turabian styles.

Purdue University Online Writing Lab offers formatting and style guides for APA and MLA.

Additional Resources

The Craft of Research is an online book with advice on all stages of the research process.

Evaluating Web Resources guide from Columbia University

Barnard Library Research Skills Worksheet, to help you practice your skills.


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