Explorations in Literature and Writing

Explorations in Literature and Writing

Welcome! This page gathers resources for research in your class, Explorations in Literature and Writing.

If you need assistance identifying additional resources, search terms or strategies, please feel free to schedule a research consultation with a librarian.


Vani Natarajan
106 LeFrak Center

Charlotte Price
108 LeFrak Center



Access the collaborative document for today's library session herebit.ly/2usYwDc

Searching for books and media in Barnard & the Columbia Libraries

What is CLIO? from IMATS @ Barnard on Vimeo.

  • CLIO (our online library catalog) searches all the resources in the Columbia Libraries, including Barnard Library and Union Theological Seminary, but excluding Teachers College and the Law Library. The catalog portion of CLIO searches for books and media.
  • Know what you're looking for? Use the dropdown menu to search by Title, Author, ISBN, etc.
  • Not sure what you need? Use a general keyword search with "quotes for a phrase," and * for truncation (this lets you find all varieties of a word, so feminis* would pull up feminism, feminist, feminists, etc.
  • Book you need checked out? Request it from another library via Borrow Direct or Interlibrary Loan (ILL)
  • Search WorldCat to find books in libraries worldwide. Use Borrow Direct or ILL again!

Butler Stacks: Where are the books? from IMATS @ Barnard on Vimeo.

How to find a Barnard book @ Butler Library from IMATS @ Barnard on Vimeo.

Searching for scholarly articles in databases

Search multiple academic areas at the same time:

  • Articles in CLIO searches through hundreds of databases at once, a massive collection of journal and newspaper articles, e-books, and conference proceedings.

  • Google Scholar searches the full text of articles and books, and retrieves only scholarly material. The advanced search function allows to limit your search to words the titles only.  To enable "eLink @ Columbia" go to Settings - Library links.  You also can use Google Scholar to find out whether texts were cited by other scholars after it was published.

  • 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. Note that JSTOR usually does not contain the most recent issues of a journal, but it's possible that Columbia University Libraries have access via another subscription. Search for the journal title in the catalog for complete access dates.

  • Project Muse contains full-text articles from scholarly journals in history and the humanities, the social sciences, and the sciences.

  • ProQuest lets you search its many databases at once for magazines, newspapers (including alternative and ethnic presses), dissertations, and scholarly articles in a variety of academic areas.

Search more specialized databases:

  • ABELL (Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature) lists articles, books, reviews, etc., about British, American, and Commonwealth literature.

  • America: History and Life in an index to scholarly journal articles and  book reviews on the history and culture of the United States and Canada, from prehistory to the present. Full text is available for many sources. 

  • Anthropology Plus is a comprehensive index to articles and books in the fields of anthropology and archaeology. You'll find references to scholarly articles, reports, commentary, and edited collections of essays from the 19th century to the present.

  • Arts & Humanities Citation Index is a multidisciplinary database covering the journal literature of the arts and humanities. It indexes leading arts and humanities journals with selected, relevant items from major science and social science journals.  This database links publications based on citations allowing one to search the "web" of communication surrounding a topic. 
  • ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials is an index to journal articles, book reviews, and collections of essays in all fields of religion, starting in 1949. It also features an online collection of major religion and theology journals. Full text is available for many sources.
  • Ethnic NewsWatch containsull text articles from newspapers and periodicals published by the ethnic, minority and native press in the U.S. Coverage is from 1960 to date.
  • Film & Television Literature Index with Full Text covers journal and magazine titles for film and television reviews, scholarly and critical analysis of cinema and television, and articles of popular interest about film and television.
  • Gender Studies Database features scholarly sources in the studies of women, gender, and sexuality. Source documents include professional journals, conference papers, books, book chapters, government reports, discussion and working papers, theses & dissertations and other sources.
  • Historical Abstracts covers the history of the world (excluding the United States and Canada) from 1450 to the present, including world history, military history, women's history, and history of education.
  • Humanities Full Text is an extensive database of articles and citations from scholarly journals in the humanities. It has full-text for articles from 1995 onward, and abstracts and indexes from 1984.
  • MLA Bibliography indexes critical materials on literature, languages, linguistics, and folklore. For full-text, follow the "e-link" to see if Columbia University Libraries subscribes to that journal. If the full-text is not available, you can order the article via interlibrary loan.
  • If we don't have access to an article you want, you can request it via Interlibrary Loan.

Searching for Sources on the Open Web

You can use search engines like Google to find a range of sources, from articles to tweets to blogposts to images, on the open web. Here are some tips for strategically searching in Google:

  • Try using the Google Advanced Search feature. In the box for "site or domain," you can limit your search to a particular web site or platform. For instance, if you're just looking for tweets, you could type in twitter.com. If you're interested in blog posts, you might try tumblr.com or wordpress.com
  • Try  Google Image Search if you're looking for images. Using the "tools" button, you can limit your search by file type (jpeg or gif, for instance), usage rights, size, and more. 

Documenting your sources: Cite it!

  • Citation management software does just that - manages your citations for you. Most let you import citations directly from databases, CLIO, and Google Scholar. All can generate bibliographies for you in a variety of styles, though you should still double-check to make sure it's all right!
  • Cite Source from Trinity College Libraries shows you how to cite all kinds of things, from books to tweets, Google Maps to live performances, websites to government documents, and more. Featuring styles of ACS, APA, APSA, ASA, Chicago, and MLA.
  • Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) has a ton of details on citation styles, research, and even example formatted papers.

Even more