Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Why should I use subject encyclopedias?
You might be wondering why a German 450 student would consult subject encyclopedias. The quick answer is that it can't hurt to make sure you have a good sense of how your research question fits in with other scholarly research that has been done--and the bibliographies at the end of encyclopedia articles are an efficient way to make sure you know who the scholars are who've been working on this topic.
Remember that tertiary sources are intended to fill in gaps in your knowledge or jumpstart your research; they should not be cited as scholarly secondary sources for your project.
Subject Encyclopedias for German History & Culture
Print reference books are located on the first floor of Collins Library.
Modern Germany by
Call Number: DD14 .M64 1998, v. 1-2 Reference
Publication Date: 1998
Covers every major aspect of German culture and society for the past century.
Contemporary Germany by
Call Number: DD290.26 .L487 2001 Print Books
Publication Date: 2001
Packed with essential information on politics, the economy and institutions, this book covers the basics that are taken for granted by most Germans. Covering German history, politics, the economy, education, the media and the state, each chapter contains a German/English glossary giving guidance on the use of specialist terms in context.
The Oxford Companion to German Literature by
Call Number: Click on the title above for online access
Designed to be a reliable source of information on the whole sweep of literature from German‐speaking countries from the eighth century onwards, the Companion now comes right up to the mid–1990s.The entries cover authors and their major works, as well as historical, intellectual, and cultural backgrounds.
Encyclopedia of European Social History by
Call Number: HN373 .E63 2001 Reference
Publication Date: 2000
Covers all aspects of European social history from the Renaissance to the present. This six-volume reference includes more than 230 articles, ranging from 5,000 to 10,000 words, on everything from serfdom and the economy, to witchcraft and public health. This reference provides a survey of hundreds of topics. Included are more than 700 photographs, drawings and maps. The sixth volume also includes biographies of prominent European figures and a comprehensive index.
Online Reference Collections
Not sure where to look? Each of these online collections will introduce you to a wealth of dictionaries and encyclopedias.
ABC CLIO eBooks
The ABC CLIO eBook Collection contains encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, and guides from ABC-CLIO, Greenwood Press, Libraries Unlimited, and Praeger.
Provides full text access to several dozen subject encyclopedias, with strengths in the arts, humanities, and medicine.
Literature Resource Center
Full-text database of bio-critical essays on authors, along with representative examples of book reviews (both popular and scholarly) and literary criticism.
Provides full text access to hundreds of Oxford reference titles, including dictionaries, encyclopedias, and handbooks.
Provides full-text access to dozens of Sage reference books, with a strong emphasis on the social sciences.
Cambridge Companions are a series of authoritative essay collections that synthesize the most important aspects of a topic. Each volume is edited by a leading scholar in the field and offers essays written by experts. Look for Companions on specific authors, genres, themes or movements, and time periods.
The Cambridge Companion to Modern German Culture by
Call Number: DD204 .C36 1998 Print Books
Written by experts in their respective fields, individual chapters trace developments in German culture - including national identity, class, Jews in German society, minorities and women, the functions of folk and mass culture, poetry, drama, theatre, dance, music, art, architecture, cinema and mass media - from the nineteenth century to the present.
The Cambridge Companion to the Literature of Berlin by
Call Number: PT149.G4 B474 2017 Print Books
Publication Date: 2017
The first eight chapters chart key chronological developments from 1750 to the present day, while subsequent chapters focus on Berlin drama and poetry in the twentieth century and explore a set of key identity questions: ethnicity/migration, gender (writing by women), and sexuality (queer writing). Each chapter provides an informative overview along with closer readings of exemplary texts.
Literary Theory & Criticism
Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism
A full-text searchable database of articles on individual critics and theorists, critical and theoretical schools and movements, and the critical and theoretical innovations of specific countries and historical periods. It also treats related persons and fields that have been shaped by or have themselves shaped literary theory and criticism. Each entry includes a selective primary and secondary bibliography.
Pro tip: don't rely on search alone! Browse the contents and topic list to get a better sense of which articles will be most helpful.
Concept Map Overview
A concept map is:
- a visual tool for generating and organizing ideas
- a way to explore different aspects of a topic
- a method for triggering word associations
Use a concept map to:
- aid thinking at the beginning of the research process
- create a visual overview of a topic
- develop questions on a topic
- reveal patterns, themes, and associations between ideas
- generate search terms to conduct research
How to Create a Concept Map
Concept mapping is a great strategy to use as you develop your research question. Concept mapping emphasizes relational thinking and can help you see the connections (or lack thereof) between the various elements of your research.
Ask yourself: what do I already know about my topic? what am I curious about? what kind of information do I need, and where am I likely to find it?
Think about what the various perspectives are on this topic, and what you do or don't know about them. Who is studying this topic? What types of research have been done? What connections could be made between these sources?
The process is simple: start with the subject of your research question in the center, then:
- In the space around the central concept, write words or phrases for any relevant subtopics.
- For each of your focus subtopics, add related terms/concepts to your map.
- Continue to fill out your branches with ideas or questions about types of resources you may wish to start with.