Comparative Literature Senior Seminar



Research Guide

Welcome! This page highlights key resources for conducting effective  research for the Comparative Literature Senior Seminar.

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

Personal Librarian:
Vani Natarajan
Lefrak 106

You may also wish to consult a subject guide for further research. Here are some examples:


Finding Books and Media

CLIO provides access to the holdings of the Columbia University Libraries, including Barnard Library, but excluding Teachers College and the Law Library. Search the Catalog for book and media materials. Use the Refine box at the left to limit by language, to materials in specific languages, if you wish.

  • If you have a specific source in mind, use the dropdown menu to search by Title, Author, ISBN, etc. 
  • If you're searching around a topic, select Keyword from the drop-down menu and enter some search terms. tips: Use quotes to search words together "as a phrase." Use the * to truncate or stem search related words. For example, feminis* searches feminist, feminism, feminismo, feministe, etc.

The NYPL catalog searches the circulating and non-circulating research collections at the New York Public Library.

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


Dictionaries, encyclopedias, and other sources for background research.

Dictionary of  Literary Biography Complete Online provides biographical and critical essays on the lives and works of literary figures, across historical eras and genres. Essays are generously supplemented with bibliographies of literary and literary critical work.

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.”

Oxford Language Dictionaries Online provides fully searchable bilingual dictionaries online, with supplementary resources in language history, culture, and colloquialisms for the following languages: English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Russian, Chinese, Arabic, and Portuguese. 

Oxford Reference Online offers full text of 100 searchable reference tools, including subject specific dictionaries and encyclopedias across disciplines.


Journal Articles

Search these databases for citations, abstracts, and selected full text of journal and magazine articles. (Tip: sometimes, the "scholarly articles" or "peer-reviewed" limit excludes non-Anglophone scholarly journals . To verify a journal's editorial process, try looking it up in Ulrich's Periodicals Directory).

EBSCOHost serves as a platform to several databases in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. Examples:

International bibliography of book reviews: IBR provides searchable access to citations for book reviews published in social sciences and humanities journals. These include significant content from European journals.

Proquest combines many unique databases in one platform. You can search all at once, or select the databases you'd like to search. Some examples:

  • Arts and 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.
  • Bibliografía de la literatura Española desde 1980 provides citations for journal articles and books published between 1980 and the present, but covering time periods back to the Middle Ages. Search interface and descriptive terms are in Spanish.
  • 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
  • Periodicals Archive Online archives journals in the humanities and social sciences from around the world, in full text.


Local Collections

ArchiveGrid lets you keyword search collection descriptions from archives around the world. Entries provide contact information and links to relevant web sites. You can narrow your search to archives in the New York City area.

CLIO Archives allows you to search catalog collections for six Columbia University archives. The search combs through finding aids, collection descriptions, and available digital content. Collections comprise such sources as personal papers, ephemera, drawings, institutional records, and more.

NYPL: Find Archival Materials provides a comprehensive search of manuscript and archival collections across 10 divisions of the New York Public Library.

Writing and Citing

  • Alt Codes for Windows and MAC accent codes (via Penn State's Symbol Codes, a site on "computing with accents, symbols, and foreign scripts.")
  • Citation management software allows you to manage your citations and save a lot of time! Most tools allow you to grab citations directly from CLIO, databases, and Google Scholar. Tip: While these tools can quickly generate bibliographies for you, double-check to make sure they're formatted the right way.
  • 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 offers advice on all stages of the research process.
  • Purdue University Online Writing Lab offers formatting and style guides for APA and MLA.