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ENGL 432: Eco-Modernism

Start Your Research at the Library!

Your research assignment for ENGL 432 asks you to identify and engage with one or more ecologically resonant sources (not literary criticism) that are related to an environmental topic of your choosing and roughly contemporaneous (think 30 years or less) to your chosen literary text.

This page highlights several broad strategies you can try for identifying both important topics from other disciplines of interest to modernists and the source(s) you will use in your analysis.  

  • Browse key journals of the time for works/scholarship related to environmental topics
  • Search a database that indexes back issues of journals, such as JSTOR or Humanities & Social Sciences Index Retrospective
  • Search the Times Digital Archive for hot topics of a particular moment and/or book reviews
  • Browse the ISIS Cumulative Bibliography for work related to your environmental topic
  • Search a digital collection, such as HathiTrust, for work related to your environmental topic
  • Search Primo for print and ebooks related to your topic

Featured Journals

The New Age (journal)

If you're not sure yet what you're interested in or you can't decide where to focus, you might want to just browse through journals of the time to see what catches your eye. 

Collins Library provides access to many journals from the modernist era and the Modernist Journals Project (linked below) can connect you to the full text of many others. Consider using a resource such as Literary Research and British Modernism to help you identify influential titles and then search for them using Primo's journal search.

Digital Times

The Times Digital Archive logo

Collins Library provides access to the full archives of the Times of London, going back to 1785. Historical newspapers can be useful for identify important topics and events, locating book reviews, and more. 

Key Databases

JSTOR logo​JSTOR contains thousands of full-text articles from journals across the sciences, humanities, and social sciences, and in particular is known for providing online access to extensive archives of back issues of journals. For most journals, the runs go back to the late nineteenth century. As such, it is particularly helpful for historical research.

Tips for using JSTOR: 

Use Advanced Search and limit features whenever possible. Subset limits, date limits*, subject searches, etc. are all useful time savers. Search tips for other databases also apply in JSTOR.

  • Start with a general search.
  • Avoid long phrases.
  • Use AND to find all the words (distinct concepts) on your topic.
  • Use OR to find any of the words (synonyms or related concepts) on your topic.
  • The symbol * is used as a right hand truncation character in most databases; it will find all forms of a word.
  • Use quotation marks '' '' to search for an entire phrase
  • Be flexible in your searching.


Additional Database:

Using the ISIS Cumulative Bibliography

The Isis Cumulative Bibliography is a predecessor to the History of Science, Technology & Medicine database. The volumes available for browsing here are categorized bibliographical entries that appeared in annual or semi-annual bibliographies that were published as part of the journal Isis between volume 1 (1913) and volume 66 (1975). Print editions of the ISIS Cumulative Bibliography are also available at Collins Library.

IsisCB is divided into several sections. People and institutions as subjects of study are simply arranged alphabetically by name, with citations listed beneath each entry. Subjects, periods, and civilizations are arranged in a subject classification. You'll need to think more broadly than when you search other databases.

Quick Tips:

  • Search for keywords using your browser’s find function (e.g., Ctrl + F)
  • The paragraph mark (¶) that begins each entry is an anchor for that entry. Pressing that link will move the entry to the top of the page and place a URL in the browser navigation bar corresponding to that specific location.
  • IsisCB is not linked to other Collins Library databases; once you find the citation to a potentially useful source, you'll need to search for it via Primo.

HathiTrust Digital Library

HathiTrust logo

HathiTrust contains millions of digital books, journals, government documents, and other volumes, all digitized from research libraries. The collection includes both public domain and in-copyright works across a full range of subjects. Over half of the content is in English, but hundreds of languages are represented, including large amounts of material in German, French, Chinese, Russian and Spanish. Although all items are discoverable, viewability depends on the rights status of the individual item.

Ways to search HathiTrust:

For more information on the different search types, visit HathiTrust's Search Tips page.

Search Primo

Search Collins+Summit+Articles

Searching for Books

Use Primo to find resources on your topic at Collins Library and beyond. You will have plenty of time to request materials via Summit or ILL for your project, so start early!

  • When you find an item that seems relevant, look at its subject terms to find similar items. To do this, check the "Item Details" and simply click on one of the subject headings listed in the record for the book; the next screen will list all the books that share this subject term.
  • To find the library location of a book's call number, check the library map.