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American Studies Research Guide

American Arts

For further information, please see our guides to literature , drama & theatre, art, and music.

Books

The CUNY Catalog

There are many ways to search the CUNY Catalog, but I recommend subject searching. Use “Subject begins with…” or “Keyword in subject” for these searches:

  • An author's or an artist's last name
  • National Literatures, including American literature. These may be broken down by group, (American literature -- African American authors), region (American literature -- New York (State)) or time period (American literature -- 20th century).
  • American art can be found under the heading Art, American. It is broken down in a way similar to literature.
  • Aesthetic movements such as Modernism

Browsing

Since the books are arranged by subject, there are likely to be more near any good book you find.

  • Call Ranges
    • N 6502-6725 Art in the Americas
    • PN 841-849 Black and Caribbean Literature
    • PS 1-8599 American Literature by period and author
    • PQ 7000-8929 Spanish American Literature
  • Library Locations
    • For most subjects, browse the 3rd floor for reference materials and the 5th floor for circulating books.
    • For Art, use the Art Library on the 6th floor.

Titles

  • American History Through Literature, 1820–1870 and 1870–1920
  • Dictionary of Native American Literature 3rd Floor, Reference PM 155 .D53 1994
  • The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Multiethnic American Literature 3rd Floor, Reference PS153 .M56 G74 2005
  • Literary Cultures of Latin America: A Comparative History 3rd Floor, Reference PQ 7081.A1 L525 2004
  • The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Literature 3rd Floor, Reference PS 21 .O94 2004
  • Writing African American Women: An Encyclopedia of Literature by and about Women of Color 3rd Floor, Reference PS 153. N5 W756 2006

Databases

General Databases

JSTOR
Provides the full text of core journals across all disciplines. JSTOR is particularly strong in the humanities and in history.
Humanities Full Text
Indexes articles in all humanities fields. It also contains many book reviews, making it a useful way to find books.

Literature Databases

MLA International Bibliography
When you are looking for critical articles on literature, start here. This is the premier literature database, and allows searching by author or title of the works in which you are interested. You may also find information on drama here.
Project MUSE
While Project MUSE covers the humanities generally, it is particularly strong in literature. Includes full text.

Art Databases

ARTstor
A digital library of nearly one million images in the areas of art, architecture, the humanities, and social sciences.
Art Full Text
A good source for information on works of art, including criticism, reproductions and book reviews.
Dictionary of Art Online
An online art encyclopedia, including articles, biographies and bibliographies.

Web Resources

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American History

For further information, please see our guide to history.

Books

The CUNY Catalog

The CUNY Catalog is an excellent way to find books. Each book is identified with several subject headings, but it may be difficult to guess what they are. Therefore, you may wish to start with a quick All Fields search and then check relevant results for useful subject headings.

  • Example:
  • All Fields Search: American presidency
  • Results include The American Presidency
  • Subject headings listed include Presidents -- United States which covers over 80 books.

Another approach is to use the Advanced Search, which allows you to do a subject and keyword search on two terms at the same time.

  • Example:
  • Subject: United States History
  • All Fields: Women
  • All Fields: Suffrage

Note: United States History is a subject heading, but a very broad one that covers a large number of books. I recommend using it in the Advanced Search, as shown above.

Other countries may be substituted for “United States.”

Browsing

Since the books are arranged by subject, there are likely to be more near any good book you find.

  • Call Ranges
    • E 11-131 General and Pre-Columbian American History
    • E 151-909 United States History by period
    • F 121-3799 Spanish American History by country
  • Library Locations
    • For most subjects, browse the 3rd floor for reference materials and the 4th floor for circulating books.

Titles

Databases

  • America: History and Life
    An excellent source for information on the history of Canada and the United States.
  • Black Thought and Culture
    Includes primary sources from major American black leaders. Covers a wide range of material, including speeches, essays, leaflets, interviews and more.
  • Historical Abstracts
    A major historical bibliography. Although North America is not its focus, it includes a wealth of information on Central and South America.
  • JSTOR
    Provides the full text of core journals across all disciplines. JSTOR is particularly strong in the history and in the humanities.

Web Resources

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American Society

For more information, please see our guides to sociology, political science, or Urban Studies.

Books

The CUNY Catalog

If none of the terms below describes the information you want, try an All Fields search, and check your results for an appropriate subject heading. Here are some subject headings you may find useful:

  • Feminism -- United States
  • Legislation -- United States
  • Political Parties -- United States
  • Racism -- United States
  • Social Structure -- United States
  • United States -- Politics and Government
  • United States -- Race Relations
  • Urban Economics
  • Women's Rights -- United States
  • Working Class -- United States

Tips:

  • You may wish to search these terms using Subject begins with.
  • Please note that other countries may be substituted for United States.
  • You could also use the Advanced Search page. Put United States or another country name in one box and search by Subject. In the second box, try an All Fields search for another, more specific term.

Browsing

Since the books are arranged by subject, there are likely to be more near any good book you find.

  • Call Ranges
    • GN 492-498 Political Anthropology & Social Groups
    • GN 537-674 Anthropology of Ethnicity and Race
    • HC 94-110 Economics of the United States
    • HC 121-165 Economics of Latin America
    • HN 50-370 Sociology of the Americas by Region and Country
    • HT 101-395 Urban Sociology
    • JK 1-9993 United States Government, Federal and State
    • JL 1-3899 Government of Canada, Central and South America
  • Library Locations
    • For most subjects, browse the 3rd floor for reference materials and the 4th floor for circulating books.

Titles

  • The Oxford Encyclopedia of Economic History 3rd Floor Reference HC15 .O94 2003, 5 vols.
  • Birth of the Bill of Rights 3rd Floor Reference E302.5 .W35 2004)
  • Immigration in U.S. History 3rd Floor Reference JV6450 .I5565 2006

Databases

Ethnic Newswatch
English and Spanish newspapers and magazines of the ethnic minority and native press.
Social Sciences Full Text
Indexes English-language articles across the social sciences.
Women and Social Movements in the United States
Primary and secondary sources organized around the history of women in social movements. You can search or browse by year, person, movement and more.

Web Resources

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Professional Associations & Other Links

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