This is a guide to selected sources of information related to identity and transformation, with a particular focus on classic stories and traditions of metamorphosis. For further research assistance, please stop by the Reference Desk, or see our Ask a Librarian page for info on how to email, text, or call a reference librarian for help.
Visit Geisel Library's Research Help webpage for help with getting started. In particular, check out the following:
- Research Planner: Create a timetable of milestones for completing your paper, with links to useful resources at each step
- Research Strategy: Helpful suggestions for every stage of the research process, from choosing a topic to citing your sources
- Research Tutorials: Web guides and videos on how to use library resources
Before looking for books and journal articles on your topic, it is helpful to explore reference resources such as subject-specific encyclopedias. These resources can provide background information on authors and literary works, as well as the social issues, historical periods, and themes being addressed in this course. They can also help you determine keywords to search in the library catalog and journal databases. Use the bibliographies at the end of articles in reference resources to identify books and journal articles worth tracking down.
Encyclopedia of Identity
An excellent starting point. Browse the Table of Contents for topic ideas.
Search words like "identity" or "self" to find articles on national identity, self-knowledge, and self-determination.
Oxford Reference Online
This database includes numerous reference works for obtaining basic information on authors, concepts, and historical events.
Icons and Stories of Metamorphosis
Encyclopedia of Fantasy
Ref PN56 .F34 E53
Encyclopedia of Gothic Literature
Ref PN3435 .S58
Encyclopedia of Science Fiction
Ref PN3433.4 .E53
Greenwood Encyclopedia of Folktales and Fairy Tales
Ref GR74 .G73 (3 vols.)
Icons of Horror and the Supernatural
Ref PN56 .H6 I26 (2 vols.)
Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales
Ref PN3437 .O94
Oxford Encyclopedia of Children's Literature
Ref PN1008.5 .O94 (4 vols.)
The Superhero Book: The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Comic-Book Icons and Hollywood Heroes
Ref P96.H46 S87
Supernatural Literature of the World
Ref PN56 .S8 S86 (3 vols.)
The Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia of the Undead
Ref GR830.V3 M45
Theory of Identity and Transformation
Encyclopedia of Human Development
Available in Gale Virtual Reference Library
Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Available in Gale Virtual Reference Library
Encyclopedia of Psychology (8 vols.)
Ref BF31 .E52
Encyclopedia of Social Psychology
Available in Gale Virtual Reference Library
Encyclopedia of Sociology
Ref HM425 .E5 (print version, 5 vols.)
Handbook of Social Psychology
General Collection HM251 .H224
New Dictionary of the History of Ideas
Ref CB9 .N49 (print version)
Geisel Library Catalog
There are two approaches to finding books in the Geisel Library catalog:
1) Keyword Searching
If you have a specific topic in mind, try a Keyword search on terms that represent your topic of interest. Use the Boolean AND to combine together multiple concepts, and use the Boolean OR to expand your search with synonyms and related terms. Use the * (asterisk) to retrieve variant forms of a word; for example, identit* will find books with the words "identity" or "identities" in the catalog record.
Here are some examples of keyword searches related to this course's theme:
- (change OR metamorphos*) AND identit*
- self-concept OR self-awareness
- Victorian AND (sex OR sexuality)
- fairy tale* AND symbol*
- vampir* AND (literature OR fiction)
2) Subject Searching
If you have a general area of interest but haven't chosen a specific topic, try searching some of the phrases below as Subject Headings in the catalog. Subject searching is effective for finding books about broad concepts like fairy tales and self-knowledge. Skimming through these books may give you ideas about how to focus your research.
- Fairy Tales - History and Criticism
- Gothic Revival Literature
- Horror Tales - History and Criticism
- Identity (Psychology)
- Identity (Psychology) in Literature
- Metamorphosis in Literature
- Self in Literature
- Self (Philosophy)
- Self-Knowledge, Theory of
Here are some books found through keyword and subject searching:
Horror: A Thematic History in Fiction and Film
Legends of Blood: The Vampire in History and Myth
Modernity and Self-Identity: Self and Society in the Late Modern Age
The Psychology of Superheroes: An Unauthorized Exploration
Available in Ebrary
The Rise and Fall of Soul and Self: An Intellectual History of Personal Identity
Superman on the Couch: What Superheroes Really Tell Us About Ourselves and Our Society
The Use of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales
By searching WorldCat, you can identify potentially useful books owned by other college libraries and have them delivered to Geisel Library for your use. Try searching the same keywords and subject headings that proved successful in the Geisel Library catalog. To request a book, open the book's WorldCat record, click the "Request via Interlibrary Loan" link, and follow the on-screen instructions. Allow 7-10 days for delivery. You will be emailed when your book arrives.
Below are several databases that may yield useful journal articles for your research. Try searching the same keywords that you used in the library catalog, combining concepts together using the Boolean AND and OR operators. Once you find relevant articles, examine their Subject Headings and conduct Subject searches on the ones that seem potentially fruitful.
If you find a useful article for which no full-text link is available, click on the WebBridge icon to determine whether the journal is available in Geisel Library or in full-text via another database. If the article isn't available, consider clicking on the Interlibrary Loan link to request a PDF copy of the article from another library. Within a week, you should receive an email indicating that the article is available to access. To learn how to use WebBridge, please watch our video tutorial (3.5 mins.; includes audio).
Academic Search Premier
This multi-disciplinary database is an excellent starting point for finding scholarly journal articles and popular magazine articles on a wide range of topics.
A massive database covering a wide range of subjects, with full-text of scholarly journal articles and newspaper articles.
Start here for papers focusing on psychological aspects of identity formation and development. This database offers full-text of articles from scholarly psychology journals. User Guide
Search here for full-text articles from major scholarly journals in the humanities and social sciences. User Guide
Literature Resource Center
Limit the content type to "Literature Criticism" to find full-text articles about works of literature from more than 100 literary journals. User Guide
MLA International Bibliography
Start here for papers with a literary focus. This database provides citations for articles related to literature, language, and literary criticism.
An excellent source for social perspectives on identity. This sociology database provides full-text journal articles and citations to books and conference papers.
CrossSearch enables you to search across multiple databases at once to find journal articles. Try searching the General, English, Psychology, or Sociology subject categories, depending on your topic. If an article looks useful, click on the WebBridge icon to see if it is available in full-text or in Geisel Library's periodicals collection. For tips on using CrossSearch, please watch our video tutorial (3.5 mins.; includes audio).
Journal Finder will help you determine whether a particular article is available in Geisel Library's online databases or periodicals collection. Use it when you encounter citations to useful-looking articles in the bibliographies of reference books or other journal articles, and want to track down the full text. Search the journal's title in Journal Finder and use the resulting links to locate the article's full text in either a database or the library collection. If Journal Finder does not provide any links, you can request the journal article through Interlibrary Loan. To learn more about how to use the Journal Finder, please watch our video tutorial (3 mins.; includes audio).
The Sickly Taper
This guide to Gothic literature includes bibliographies of scholarly books and articles about vampires and werewolves. Search for the books in WorldCat, and use Journal Finder or Interlibrary Loan to obtain any articles of interest.
SurLaLune Fairy Tales
This website features around 50 of the most widely-known fairy tales, including annotations, historical background, and links to the texts of similar fairy tales from around the world.
For assistance with formatting your citations in MLA style, see the online resources available on the library's Citing Sources webpage. You can also ask for the MLA Handbook (Ready Ref LB2369 .G53) at the library's reference desk.