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USSY 285b (spring 2008): Home

Research guide for SAGES USSY 285b

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This guide was constructed to help you with your research for SAGES USSY 285b.

Feel free to contact the librarian if you have any questions.

Note that most of the images are also links that will take you directly into the sources mentioned.

Print Resources

Since your course is on the history of the book, it should not be surprising that an excellent source of information on this topic would be... books!

There are many Library of Congress Subject Headings related to books and book history. Using the library catalog, I would recommend doing a subject heading search for “books” to get an idea of this heading and its subheadings. Also note that the subject heading “books - history” is particularly useful: 






Keep in mind that the keyword search can also be useful- for example, I found this excellent reference work on comic books and graphic novels: 

Online Resources

Online Print Collections

The library has subscriptions to two of the greatest collections of digitized copies of early printed works in the English language, Early English Books Online (EEBO) covering the dates 1473-1700 and Eighteenth Century Collections Online covering the years 1700-1800. Both of these collections contain full text PDF images of nearly every book published in English during those time periods and hence can be fantastic resources for any history of books and publishing during those time periods.






Online Reference Works

One excellent source of information is the collection of reference books published by Oxford University Press called Oxford Reference Online. There are many titles in this set that could be very useful to you. For example, perhaps you are interested in the history of children’s books. You could search Oxford Reference Online for “pop up books” and you would find the following long entry from the Oxford Encyclopedia of Children’s Literature:









Note that these entries are considered scholarly resources, are written by experts on the topic, and in many cases, include bibliographies that will lead you to other useful resources. Here is the bibliography from the above entry:


Note the author’s name and the “how to cite this entry”. Also the Find button links to the OhioLink central catalog, which will tell you if the book is available on campus or elsewhere via OhioLink direct borrowing.

Online Research Databases

Research databases allow you to search for journal and magazine articles by keyword or topics. There are two I will recommend for this class on book history.

The research database Academic Search Complete will be helpful for many of your topics. It is an excellent database for this class because it covers sources in all areas of study- literary, historical, sociological, even popular- potentially leading you to interesting articles from wide ranging sources. It also includes full text of many of these sources. Note that a more focused method for searching this database is by using subject headings- just as we do in the catalog- rather than simply searching by keyword. Note that “books - history” is a subject heading in Academic Search Complete. You can then combine this subject heading search with another term or terms to focus your results. Here, for example, I’ve combined it with the truncated “child*” which will combine our subject term with the keywords child, children, children’s, etc.





The second research database worth investigating is the Modern Language Association’s International Bibliography. This database seeks to be comprehensive in the fields of modern languages, literature, and related fields. Sources indexed can be from far afield and in languages other than English and all are academic. Books, book chapters and dissertations are included as well as journal articles. Here, I’ve done a search using the subject heading “history of the book” and combined it with the truncated “child*” as I did above in Academic Search Complete. You’ll see that there are differing results:

General Library Resources

Links to the library’s catalog, course reserves, and research databases can all be found on the library’s home page


William Claspy
Kelvin Smith Library, 201-E
11055 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44106