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ENGL 432: Shakespeare Redux

Finding Secondary Sources

For your research assignment in this class, you'll need to identify, read, analyze, and respond to several scholarly (peer-reviewed) articles or book chapters that demonstrate a critical approach to your primary text(s) or topic.

Not sure where to start? Here are three broad strategies that you can try:

  • Browse or search key journals for scholarship related to your primary text or Shakespearean adaptation
  • Search a subject database, such as the MLA International Bibliography or Gale Literature Criticism
  • Search Primo for print and ebooks related to your text and topic

Recommended Subject Databases

There are several databases from which to choose when you are seeking scholarly work. For this course, most of you will want to start your search with MLAIB (literature and linguistics).  

E-Journal Collections

These e-journal collections provide access to many journals in the humanities, but they are more limited in coverage compared to subject databases.  In most cases, it's better to search subject databases to identify articles, and then search the journal title in Primo to link to the materials in these e-journal collections.

Featured Journals

These journals contain scholarly articles related to diverse aspects of Shakespeare's work.

Database Search Tips

Always use the advanced search interface and some combination of the following techniques to increase the effectiveness of your searches:

Quotation marks = Searches exact phrase, e.g., "My Own Private Idaho"

Truncation (usually an asterisk*) = Searches for all forms of a word, e.g., theat* retrieves theatre, theater, theatrical, etc.

AND = searches all words, e.g., "Henry IV" AND adaptation

OR = searches for one of the words, e.g., film OR movie OR "motion picture"

Tipasa: Interlibrary Loan

If your article is not available at Collins Library, you've got another option for getting it. Use Tipasa, our interlibrary loan service.

Tipasa is linked to your library account so you'll need to log in to use it.

Once you are logged in, either go directly to Tipasa and manually enter the information, or, if you're using a database, look for a shortcut link to automatically fill out the form:

Interlibrary Loan Link

Allow at least a week for the article to come. If your article is delivered in electronic format, you'll receive an email with a link to follow as soon as it's arrived.

Search Primo

Search Collins+Summit+Articles

Using Library of Congress Subject Headings

Collins Library uses Library of Congress Subject Headings to describe the content of books. You only need to be an observant user of Primo -- not an expert in the use of subject headings -- to make them work for you. Availing yourself of frequently used subject headings will help you locate secondary sources easily. Use subject headings to search for resources related to a specific author or work, in addition to literary themes or movements, genres, and/or critical approaches.

Here are several examples, centered on William Shakespeare and his works, of the various ways you can use LCSH to help pinpoint what you need:

Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616

Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616 -- Criticism and interpretation

Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616 -- Criticism and interpretation -- History

Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616 -- Adaptations -- History and criticism​

Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616 -- Film adaptations

Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616 -- Television adaptations

Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616 -- Influence

Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. King Henry IV​

Featured Books

Book Reviews

By consulting book reviews of the scholarly works you are reading, you can gain a better understanding of the place of a particular work within the field. Here are a few tips for locating book reviews:

  • Check to see when your book was published. If it was published more than twenty years ago, and you aren't finding reviews online, you may need to look beyond online sources and check print indexes.
  • If you're having trouble finding a review, check with a librarian for help and to cover all your bases, but remember that some books are never reviewed. If that's the case, think about what that might mean about the book's scholarly importance.
  • In many databases, you can specifically limit your search results to just reviews.

Start with the resources below and branch out as needed. Search by the title of the book, or by the author of the review and a keyword from the title.