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Literary Research

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:


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

You may use our free Interlibrary Loan service to request books and articles that are not available at the Bentley Library.  Interlibrary Loan will not order e-books, full journal issues, or reference books.

If you have questions, please contact Interlibrary Loan at or 781-891-2301.