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LIT 499: John Donne: Rhetoric & Theory: Reference Shelf

research guide for TCNJ affiliates

Donne Reference (Tertiary)

The following Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) reveal literary criticism, mostly from books and book chapters. Cataloging librarians developed LCSH to describe book content. But tweaking the canned subject searches reveals even more secondary criticism published in journal articles. The key is to retain "criticism" or one of the other sub-divisions as a keyword (or search term). For example, the keywords Donne AND John AND criticism if restricted to the Subject field reveal hundreds of peer-reviewed articles published in Modern Philology, The Review of English Studies, Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900, and other journals.

Most useful LCSH:John Donne

Additional LCSH:

Employ LCSH in WorldCat, a "union catalog" of tens of millions of book records, to retrieve  additional titles held by other libraries relevant to your Donne research. Request items of interest via our interlibrary loan service.

What is a catalog?

A catalog is a "comprehensive list of the books, periodicals, maps, and other materials in a given collection, arranged in systematic order to facilitate retrieval (usually alphabetically by author, title, and/or subject). In most modern libraries, the [paper] card catalog has been converted to machine-readable bibliographic records and is available online. The purpose of a library catalog... is to offer the user a variety of approaches or access points to the information contained in the collection" (ODLIS).

Gitenstein Library's web scale discovery service—an extension of the online catalog—remains the best option for finding books and e-books held by our library. It now incorporates additional media (e.g., journal articles) from licensed databases and scholarly sources on the open web.

These reference works provide biographical essays, authors' publishing histories, and/or bibliographies—often annotated—of primary (e.g., author interviews) and secondary (i.e., criticism) sources.


Best bet:

Concise book-length biography:

Dictionary of Literary Biography:

Latest biography:




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