To find information about your author and or work of literature, begin with a reference work. Reference books and databases are great starting points for research because they give basic facts (date and place of birth, a bibliography of the author's works, etc.), overviews of topics and themes, and important contextual details. The following should give you an introduction to your subject's life and suggest avenues for further research.
Contemporary Authors (Bound Periodicals, on first floor of library))
- To use Contemporary Authors, consult the most recent Cumulative Index from the New Revision (located on the Bound Periodicals shelves). For each author, there is a list of references: CANR refers to Contemporary Authors New Revision, CA is Contemporary Authors, and DLB is Dictionary of Literary Biography, another useful series. The number after each abbreviation is the volume number; entries within each volume are alphabetical by the author's last name.
- The Contemporary Authors series is a set of bio-bibliographical guides to writers of fiction, poetry, journalism, drama, film, and more. Each entry includes a biographical sketch, a bibliography of the author's works, and an essay that includes information about critical assessments of and engagements with these works. You'll also find a selection of biographical and critical sources listed for further reading.
Dictionary of Literary Biography (available in print and online) series provides biographical and critical essays on the lives, works, and careers of the world's most influential literary figures from all eras and genres. Print volumes in the DLB series are shelved in the reference collection. If your author appears in one of these volumes, search by title in CONSORT for "dictionary of literary biography v" followed by the volume number given in the citation. Click here to see the list of volumes available.
Literary Reference Center (online) is a comprehensive database that provides information on thousands of authors and their works. LRC includes plot summaries, articles of literary criticism, full text of literary journals, author biographies, book reviews, author interviews, and images of key literary figures.
Literary Encyclopedia (online) is a global literary reference work written by over 1500 specialists from universities around the world that provides over 6000 authoritative profiles of authors, works and literary and historical topics.
Encyclopedia of Post-Colonial Literatures in English (2 volumes, REF PR9080 .A52 E53 1994)
Fifty Caribbean Writers: A Bio-bibliographical Critical Sourcebook (REF PR9205 .A52 F54 1986)
Encyclopedia of Latin American and Caribbean Literature 1900-2003 (REF PQ7081 .A1 E558 2004)
Twentieth-Century Caribbean and Black African Writers (from the Dictionary of Literary Biography series, 3 volumes, REF PR9205 .A52 T893)
South Asian Writers in English (from the Dictionary of Literary Biography series, REF PR9570 .S642 S68 2006)
Interlibrary Loan (or ILL) is a cooperative process by which library materials are made available by one institution to another institution and its patrons. Upon request, Kenyon’s ILL staff makes every attempt to locate and obtain resources not owned by Kenyon, another CONSORT library, or OhioLINK library. Items may include books, journal and newspaper articles, dissertations, microfilmed materials, and other circulating documents.
Before submitting a request to ILL, it is important to search CONSORT and OhioLINK to make sure that books are not owned by Kenyon or another CONSORT library, or by OhioLINK, and that Journals are not owned by Kenyon. To make an Interlibrary Loan request, simply register to use ILLiad (you need register only once), and then access the ILLiad Login Page to access the ILLiad request forms. One request form must be completed for each item requested, providing as much information as possible. (It may not be possible to process incomplete requests.) Citations provided should be complete and accurate in order to avoid delays in processing.
Use the library catalogs to find books, journal titles, videos and more.
You cannot use the catalogs to find journal articles.
- Author search: Locate books, poems, plays, etc. by a particular author.
- Title search: Locate a specific work by an author.
- Keyword search:
- Find works (such as poems or stories) that appear in collections or anthologies.
- Find literary criticism about a particular work or author.
- Find criticism related to themes, ideas, and topics in an author's works.
Use databases to find journal articles, book recommendations, and other materials related to your research topic. Many of our databases will provide a link (either directly within the database or the "Find It" button) to a full-text copy of a journal article.
- Come up with good keywords. Consider synonyms, alternate spellings, and other ways to approach your topic.
- Look for subject headings. Most databases will include their own subject headings. When you find a relevant article, click on a subject heading, or refine your search to include both a subject heading and keywords, to find similar articles.
- Set reasonable limits. Some databases will let you limit your search--examples of limits include choosing to search just peer-reviewed (scholarly) journals, or just book reviews, or just articles published in English. Sometimes limits are helpful; if you don't want book reviews or articles written in a language you don't read, it doesn't hurt to limit your search accordingly. But be careful not to impose too many limits, especially if you're just beginning your research--extremely narrow searches will rarely lead you to "the perfect article."
- Use bibliographies. If you do happen to find the perfect article (or a great essay in a reference work, or a relevant book on your topic), check out the bibliography, and then search for some of these sources.
Social Sciences Librarian
Spring Semester Reference Desk Hours:
Weekends: Vary throughout the semester
Reference Desk Hours
Spring Semester Schedule
Mondays - Thursday: 10:00am-12:00pm, 1:00pm-5:00pm, and 6:00pm-12:00am
Fridays: 10:00am-12:00pm and 1:00pm-3:00pm
Sundays: 1:00pm-5:00pm and 6:00pm-12:00am
The Reference Desk will be closed during Spring Break.
Contacting the Reference Desk
You can contact the librarians who staff the Reference Desk in several ways.
- Walk-up assistance - Olin Library, 2nd Level
- Telephone - 5691; off-campus and long distance: (740) 427-5691
- Chat - Available via lbis.kenyon.edu.
- E-mail - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Text - 740-444-4031
- Appointments - For individual or advanced library research consultations, use this form make an appointment.