Handbooks & Encyclopedias
Basic biographical information can be found in the following sources. For more detailed biographies, use the MERLIN Catalog to do a subject search on your person's name, putting last name first. Scroll down the resulting list of subject headings to find biographies.
Criticism may be published in books or as articles in journals. Finding criticism on a specific poem or painting can be tricky since most catalogs and indexes are not this detailed. You may start your search by using the title of a poem or painting, but continue by searching the author's or painter's name as a subject and possibly general themes. You may not be able to tell if an article or book treats a specific poem or painting until you have the publication in hand.
The following specialized indexes identify criticism on specific poems.
The major databases to use are:
Finding criticism in journal articles is usually a two step process.
1) Use the databases and indexes to see what articles have been published and where.
2) If the full text of the article is not provided in the database, use the MERLIN Catalog to see if we have the journal or newspaper and where we keep it. You may also check http://finditatmu.library.missouri.edu/to see if the journal's available electronically. If a journal isn't available locally, use the journal request form to tell us what you need. We'll order a photocopy from another source. This is a free service with delivery usually within one to two weeks. Feel free to Ask a Librarian for help.
Use the MERLIN and MOBIUS catalogs to locate books of criticism about an author or broad topic. Do a subject search on the authorâ€™s name and scroll to an appropriate subheading. For example: Dickinson, Emily--Criticism and Interpretation . Do a table of contents search to locate relevant chapters in books with a broader focus.
The keyword search searches for words in author, title, subject headings, tables of contents and notes all at once. You can use various search options to make your search more precise and to sort the results in various ways.
You may expand your search to include all MOBIUS libraries.
Materials requested through MOBIUS are usually delivered in about 48 hours. If you haven't found enough, use WorldCat to search libraries throughout North America. You may request books from WorldCat by clicking on the button at the top left of each record.
LION: Literature Online provides online texts of many English and American literary works with a search mechanism to facilitate text analysis. From the main LION menu, choose Search Texts to search for words and phrases within a specific work or group of works. The advanced search feature allows you to define a corpus by period, literary movement, author's gender or ethnicity, and other criteria.
Indexes of Poetry and Paintings
Use the following indexes to locate poems published in anthologies, collections, and periodicals.
To locate reproductions of paintings, use:
If you use articles you obtained in full-text version directly from a library database, the citation protocol will be different than if you had found the article in paper copy in the library.