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HU 102 - Humanities


This is a guide to selected sources of information related to Humanities 102. Due to the depth of our collection in this area as well as the variety of topics and subject areas you are able to pursue in this course, the guide is only meant to be a starting point for your research. For further research assistance, please take advantage of the reference services available to you in Geisel Library.


Research Basics

The reference librarians have created a group of Web pages named Research Help. On the Research Help pages, you will find a guide on Research Basics and a helpful guide on Evaluating Web Resources.  Please take advantage of these resources.


Reference Sources for Background Information

Reference books are shelved by Library of Congress call number in the reference stacks near the reference desk. They may not be checked out but photocopiers are available on the lower level of the Library. Online reference sources can be found in the library catalog, or listed on E-Reference Resources.

Humanities Reference Resources

The following reference resources are only a sampling of the reference materials that we have for the humanities. For a more detailed list please consult the subject guides for the following humanities disciplines:



Fine Arts




Encyclopaedia Britannica Online
Find overviews on a wide variety of topics by searching this online encyclopedia. This is a good resource for obtaining background information on a topic and for brainstorming keywords that represent your topic.

Encyclopedia of Religion
     Ref BL31 .E46 (print version, 15 vols.)

The New Dictionary of Theology
Catholic emphasis; includes Christian themes
     Ref BR95.N3

New Catholic Encyclopedia, 2nd ed.
All subjects in Catholic tradition, including theology
     Ref Ref BX841 .N44 (print version, 15 vols.)

Oxford Art Online
     Ref N31 .D5 (print version)

Oxford Reference Online
This database enables you to search within many of Oxford's highly-regarded reference works in the fields of literature and history.

Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy
     Ref B51 .R68 (print version)


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Search Tips

To search the library catalogs and databases listed below you will need to use Boolean operators (ANDs and ORs), truncation, and quotation marks to pull up books and articles on your topic. Here is a brief overview of how to these search functions:

  • AND - use AND to link together search topics (cicero AND criticism)
  • OR - use OR to link together synonyms or like concepts (homer OR homeric)
  • * - use truncation to pull up the root of a word with variant endings (Type martyr* to pull up items with the words martyr, martyrs, martyrdom, martyrology, etc.)
  • Quotation marks - When performing keyword searches use quotation marks to search for your keywords as an exact phrase (Type "Martin Luther King" to look for the exact phrase of: Martin Luther King. If you do not enclose your phrase with quotes the database will look for the term Martin and Luther and King as separate words throughout the entire record.)

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Find Books/Secondary Sources

Search the Geisel library catalog by keyword or subject heading to locate books in Geisel Library. There are 2 main ways to search the library catalog, by subject heading or by keyword. Each method has its own benefits and drawbacks, it is important therefore to know the best time to use each method.

Subject Headings

Subject headings are keywords that are assigned to books to capture the item's key subject matter and themes. Use subject headings to look for books on broad concepts such as criticism on Greek comedies or biographies on Alexander the Great.

Examples of subject heading searches relevant to this course include:

  • Homer Criticism and Interpretation
  • Sophists Greek Philosophy
  • Greek Drama Tragedy History and Criticism
  • Rome Civilization
  • Art, Roman

Keyword Searches

Keyword Searches work best if you are researching a narrow concept or if you have an author, title, historical figure or historical event that you would like research on. Keyword searches will look for your search term(s) in the citation, subject headings, and chapter titles (if available).

Examples of possible keyword searches relevant to this course include:

  • Odyssey AND criticism
  • Roman* AND architecture
  • drama AND Greek OR Roman
  • Alexander the Great AND campaign* OR battle* OR military

If you searched the Geisel Library Catalog but could not locate a book on your topic try searching WorldCat, a database that allows you to search the collections of libraries throughout the United States. If you find a book that you want you can request it through interlibrary loan (ILL) by clicking on the ILL icon in the book's catalog record.


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Find Journal Articles

Humanities Research Databases

The following databases are only a sampling of the online journal databases that we have for the humanities. For a more detailed list please consult the subject guides for the following humanities disciplines:



Fine Arts




When examining your search results you may come across the WebBridge icon. This icon means that the full text is not available in the database you are currently searching. To locate the full text, simply click on the icon to determine whether the journal is available in Geisel Library or in another electronic database. If the article is not available, consider clicking on the Interlibrary Loan link to request a PDF copy of the article from another library. Articles requested via ILL will be delivered to your college email in approximately 3-7 business days. To learn how to use WebBridge, please watch our video tutorial (3.5 mins; includes audio).

Academic Search Premier
This is the world's largest academic multi-disciplinary database. Search here for citations and abstracts in areas including: social sciences, humanities, education, computer sciences, physics, chemistry, language and linguistics, arts and literature, medical sciences, ethnic studies and more.

APh:  L'Annee Philologique
This is the most comprehensive database of citations and abstracts in Classical studies. Over 1,800 journals from several countries are represented, as well as books, book reviews, and conference proceedings, on all aspects of Graeco-Roman antiquity. The scope of subjects includes literature, religion, archaeology, history, and philology. (1959–present) Earlier volumes are available in print form in the Reference area, with the indexes.    User Guide

Arts & Humanities Citation Index
This index provides citations to more than 1,300 arts and humanities journals, which include articles, bibliographies, editorials, letters, and reviews. Note the cited references feature, which may enhance your search. (1980–present)

Historical Abstracts
This index provides abstracts to key history journals from around the globe, covering world history from 1450 to the present (excluding North America, which is covered in America: History & Life). Historical Abstracts includes citations from books, dissertations, and a targeted selection of journals in the social sciences and humanities. (1964-present)

Search here for full-text articles from major journals in the humanities and social sciences; coverage is generally from the beginning of publication to within 5 years of the current issue. Geisel Library subscribes to four JSTOR collections:  Arts & Sciences I, II, and III, and Biological Sciences.    User Guide

MLA — Modern Language Association International Bibliography
From the Modern Language Association of America, this index, dating back to the 1920s, contains over 1.8 million citations pertaining to literature, language, linguistics, literary theory and criticism, dramatic arts, and folklore. (1920's–present)

Philosopher's Index
The premier international resource in philosophy, this database contains over 160,000 citations with abstracts to journal articles as well as books. The advanced search allows you to limit your results to English-language text or to journal articles only. (1940–present)

Project MUSE
This database offers all full-text articles from over 300 peer-reviewed journals; subjects include humanities, arts, medicine, mathematics, social sciences, and more.


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Selected Internet Resources

Searching the Internet can yield a vast amount of information, but in terms of quality and reliability, your results may be uneven at best. The ease and speed with which individuals can publish information on the web, regardless of accuracy or quality makes it imperative that when doing research on the web you know how to evaluate the information you find. To learn more, see our guide on Evaluating Websites.

If when searching the Internet, you locate references to books or articles that you would like to view please check with a reference librarian to see if the items can be located in Geisel Library's print or electronic collection or through Interlibrary Loan.

Electronic Book Collections

Project Guttenberg
Project Guttenberg allows you to read digitized copies of books on its website. Search by author, title, or genre to locate a book of your choosing. To search by genre, click the Bookshelf link on the left side of the screen. Books are limited to those works that are no longer copyright protected.

Google Book Search
Google Books also lets you read digitized books on its website. To search for full text versions of works:

  1. Click Advanced Book Search
  2. Enter in your keywords
  3. Click the "Full View" radio button

By selecting Full View you are limiting your search to only those books that are available in full text in the Google Books collection. Full View books are limited to those works that are no longer copyright protected.


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Citing Sources

See the library's Citing Sources guide for resources on how to properly cite research materials. Always confirm the style required by your instructor.


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