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Brief Guide to Literary Resources & Criticism

Finding Books

Finding Books: Catalogs & E-books


The primary resource for finding books is the Libraries' catalog and WorldCat, an online union catalog. : first the University at Albany Libraries' catalog that provides access to titles in the Libraries and is accessible through the Primo Discovery Service; and, second, WorldCat, which is an extensive catalog-of-catalogs and provides access to important titles not owned by the University Libraries, but easily obtained via Interlibrary Loan(ILL).

  • Primo The Library’s catalog is an excellent resource for finding literary criticism. Following are some suggestions for using the catalog:
    • keyword search both subject and title.
    • keyword search "Title and Subject keywords" in the "advanced search" option.  For example, if your topic is Emily Dickinson search on:
      • Dickinson and criticism
      • Dickinson and feminism
    • search related works. When you display a record, open the full record and examine the links listed under “Subjects- Lib. Cong.;” these will take you to related works.
    • Browse search with “Subject heading begins with...” This allows you to search broader topics. For example, if your topic is focused on James Joyce’s Ulysses or Thomas Hardy's Jude the Obscure, search on:
      • Joyce, James
      • Hardy, Thomas
      • You can then find headings including terms like: criticism and interpretation, bibliographies, specific characters, and much more.