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ENGL 377: The Book and the Marketplace: Secondary Sources

Choosing the Best Finding Aids

Selecting the best or most appropriate finding aid for identifying sources depends almost entirely on the context of your research project. There is no single database or web search interface that will work for every research context; instead, you'll need to match your specific research needs to a variety of options. 

Search Primo

Search Collins+Summit+Articles

Using Library of Congress Subject Headings

Collins Library, like most academic libraries in the United States, 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.

Here are several examples of heading of potential interest for your research:

Books and reading

Booksellers and bookselling

Book industries and trade

Publishers and publishing

Electronic publishing

Books -- social aspects

Printing -- social aspects

Literary prizes

Featured Books

A sampling of potentially relevant books is listed below. Search Primo for additional titles.

Databases for Finding Scholarly Journal Articles

Selected articles subscribed to by Collins Library are available in Primo, but you'll want to search individual databases for more comprehensive results. Like most other disciplines, English has several subject-specific databases. 


Scholars write about publishing and other aspects of literary culture from many perspectives e.g. business and marketing, literary studies, media studies, book arts, library collections. Depending on your topic and your angle, you may wish to search additional subject databases. 

E-Journal Collections

These e-journal collections provide access to many journals for literary studies, 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.