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Poetry and the Visual Arts, Rhetorical Conversations in (Spring 2008)

Librarian Information:
Malgorzata Schaefer, Information Center, mschaefe AT stanford DOT edu

IMPORTANT NOTE: This is not just a Research Guide; it is a Research Strategy Guide. Your research topic may not fit the general description of your course or the examples of resources may not fit your topic, but the strategy for finding resources on your topic will be the same.

  1. Identify your topic of interest
  2. Think about the significant terms, concepts, and keywords that describe your topic. These terms will become the key for searching for information about your subject in library catalogs, online databases, and other resources.
  3. Utilize a variety of sources

    Information can come from anywhere. The type of information you need will change depending on the research question you are trying to answer but you DO want to use various sources in order to conduct a comprehensive research.

  4. Start Searching!


Note: To open any link in a new window or tab, simply right click on the link and select Open in New Window or Open in New Tab.

The Basics
To find books and films, use the online catalog, Socrates.
To find journal, newspaper and/or magazine articles, use a Database.

Gathering Background Information

Use reference books like encyclopedias, dictionaries, bibliographies, indexes etc. to get a general overview of a topic, to find major themes or differences of opinion and to spot new key words. Reference books usually include bibliographies - look up the author's sources and you've saved yourself some research time.

How To find Reference Books

Use Reference Universe, a database you can search to find sources at Stanford.

Search Socrates to find reference books or consult a librarian at the Information Center in Green Library.


Books and Films

Use the library's online catalog online catalog to locate books, films, microforms, and other materials in the library. Target your search by using Subject Headings.
NOTE: To find a Subject Heading

  1. Type in a few keywords to describe your topic. Use Simple Search and Search Everything.
  2. Find an interesting book in the list of results. Look at the Detailed Record. Note the Subject Headings (LC) and the Call Number/Location. Click on Nearby Items on Shelf to find other books on similar topics.
  3. Click on the link for Subject Heading (LC), or use part or all of the subject heading in a New Search, selecting Subject instead of Search Everything.

Use the Call Number to find the book on the shelves and browse in the area for other related books.

Examples of Subject Headings:

Books of Interest:

Find Journal, Magazine, and Newspaper Articles

Use article databases to locate journal/magazine/newspaper articles. Be sure to choose appropriate databases based on your topic because different databases cover different topics and sources. Again avoid relying on one database in order to conduct a comprehensive research.

HINT: If you don't see a Full-Text or PDF link for an article in your results, use the link to see your other options for Full-Text or print.

Examples of General/Interdisciplinary databases

Examples of Subject-specific Databases

Also, type the word poetry into the search box on the Databases page. You will get specific databases for African-American poetry, Twentieth Century American Poetry, etc.

See also Art and Architecture Library, particularly their Online Resources and Databases, which includes Image Resources.

Voice of the Shuttle

If you are still having trouble finding materials, just Ask Us!

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