Skip to main content

Literary Research: Finding Works about Literary Topics

This guide is to help you to get started researching literature-related topics using Library resources and services.

Searching for Literary Topics in the Library Catalog

You can use the Library's catalog to search for books, e-books, and DVDs about literary topics. Finding books about other books can be a bit tricky; follow the search strategy below that fits your topic best.

1. Keyword searching: Search for analysis of a genre, subject, movement, or other broad topic.

To explore a topic, try a keyword search in the online catalog. It may be helpful to combine your topic word with a term such as criticism, literature or interpretation. For example:

  • "African American" AND literature
  • "fairy tales" AND criticism
  • Transcendentalism AND interpretation

2. Subject searching: Search for analysis of a particular author or work.

If you're looking for books about an author, type their name in as a subject, not author. The same goes if you're looking for books about another title - search by subject, not title. For example, the following search:

will give you the following results:


Search the Bentley Library Catalog

Search for Books, Videos, DVDs, and Journals from the Library's collections:

Show me only available items

WorldCat Catalog -- Search for Items from Beyond Bentley

Search for resources from around the World and use the Library'sInterlibrary Loan system to retrieve books, articles and even DVDs

Interlibrary Loan

Borrowing from Other Libraries

Books and articles that are not available at the Bentley Library can be requested via our Interlibrary Loan (ILL) department. All Interlibrary Loan requests should be made online using ILLiad, the interlibrary loan request system. Please note: the first time you access ILLiad, you will be asked to complete a one-time registration of your contact information. Once registration has been completed you may use ILLiad to submit requests, check the status of your requests, and update your contact information.

Please note: Interlibrary Loan will not be able to obtain e-books, the full issue of a journal, reference books, and may not be able to obtain DVDs/Videos, audiobooks, conference proceedings, dissertations, or case studies.  Contact Interlibrary Loan at or 781-891-2301.

Login to ILLiad/Check the status of your request