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Researching LGBTQ Literature: Home

A guide to resources for researching LGBTQ+ and GSD topics in literature.


Search the Library Catalog. The link can be found on the library’s home page.  In some cases, you may not find entire books written about your selected topic. Instead, you may find books with a broader focus that include information on your topic. So it's useful to keep refining and reworking your search terms. You will probably need to do many searches to find content, so don't give up too easily!

Then click Find to see the list of results.


Electronic article databases are available through library home page by clicking on Databases under the "Articles" tab. Literature databases can also be found by selecting “Literature/Drama” under the "Explore by Subject" tab.
Academic Search Complete (general academic articles)
Humanities International Complete (humanities, including literature, art, music)
MLA International Bibliography (literature and language)
Project MUSE (humanities, mostly)
JSTOR (humanities, social sciences, sciences)

Several of these databases (Academic Search Complete, Humanities International Complete, and MLA International Bibliography) use the same EBSCOhost platform. These can be searched separately or simultaneously, by selecting which database(s) to search on the initial landing page.

Searching MLA International Bibliography, Humanities International Complete, and Academic Search Complete:
These three databases use the same (EBSCO) search interface.

Construct a search using keywords, then refine it using subject terms you find. The following sample search uses the subject term (SU) "old Norse literature," modified by the keyword "sex" as an example. This search strategy is the result of some trial and error in constructing a search for articles on LGBTQ+ themes in Norse mythology.

Click on the full-text links or on Get Full Textto see where you can obtain a copy.

Searching Project Muse:
 Searches in Project Muse, a collection of electronic journals that covers many topics in the humanities, can be conducted similarly to how you search in MLA. Everything in Project Muse is available in full-text.


Gale Artemis Literary Sources contains the online versions of several large collections of literary criticism, including Short Story Criticism, Poetry Criticism, and the Dictionary of Literary Biography.  From the library’s home page, you can find it by choosing Reference Resources, then select Literature/Drama from the drop-down subject menu, then Gale Artemis Literary Sources.

First, try an Advanced Search for keywords related to your topic to see if there’s a full entry about it. If working on an author, you can also use the "Person-By or About" field.

If researching a specific work, search the title using the "Name of Work"  field. Note that the title is given in quotation marks to be searched as a phrase. To get useful results, phrase searching here is critical, as is making sure that the title is precisely correct.

Print versions of these and other collections can be found on the 3rd (main) floor of the library in the reference section.  For all of these collections, look up the title of your story/poem/play in the index volume.
REF PN771 .C59                    Contemporary Literary Criticism (through 2013)
REF PN451 .D53x                   Dictionary of Literary Biography (through 2013)
REF PN 1625 .D72X                Drama Criticism
REF PN761 .N56                    Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism
REF PN1010 .P499                 Poetry Criticism (through 2013)
REF PN3373 .S386                 Short Story Criticism (through 2013)
REF PN771 .G27                   Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism


Reference the Booth Library MLA Style handout for sample citation examples. The Purdue OWL website for MLA style provides more detail on this citation format.


If you need more help, please stop by the Reference Desk in person, call 217-581-6072, or ask us through Ask a Librarian, and a librarian will be happy to assist you.  
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