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ENGL 234: American Literature & Culture: Hamilton

This guide supports further research into Lin-Manuel Miranda's musical masterpiece, 'Hamilton'.

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) or America: History & Life (U.S. and Canadian history).  Always make sure that you've selected the most appropriate database to search!

Additional Subject Databases

General Database Search Tips

Try these strategies to become a better, more efficient searcher -- and help you find articles that you can actually use:

  • Build your search vocabulary -- keep a running list of key words, phrases, concepts, synonyms, and any related terms or ideas that you find.
  • Use advanced search features -- narrow your search with "AND," expand your search with "OR," or search in specified fields (i.e., author, title, publication, abstract).
  • Use search limits -- control the types of results you get (academic journals? language?) and how they are displayed (date? relevance?) so that you're only looking at results you can use.
  • Try multiple searches and evaluate your results -- try to figure out why you got the results you did, and adjust your search until you get closer to results you can use.
  • Use database descriptors -- once you find an article that looks good, see what descriptors or "subject headings" were assigned to it in the database. You can use these to search only for articles that have the same descriptors attached.

Reading a Citation

When reading a citation, break it down into parts. Check out the color-coded example below:

Hamilton, Caroline V. "The Erotic Charisma Of Alexander Hamilton." Journal Of American Studies, vol. 45, no.1, 2011, pp. 1-19. 

Author. Article TitleJournal TitleVolume, Issue, Year of Publication, page numbers

Tip: The most common pitfall of reading citations is mixing up the article and journal titles. Remember when searching Primo to find out if we have access to an article: it will be most efficient to search for the journal title.

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.