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Research Guide: German Language and Literature

Finding Books

Using Catalogs: Use the WSU online catalog to find location and availability of books and other media in Stewart Library. Books on German literature are generally located within the call number PT and books on German language are found beginning under the call number PF3000 in the General Collection on the middle level. 

Examples of Library of Congress Subject Headings 

German poetry--History and criticism, 
Short stories--German, 
German language--Grammar--Textbooks, 
German literature--20th century--Bibliography, 
Austrian prose literature--19th century, 
German drama--18th century, 
German language--Dialects--Switzerland, etc. 

Electronic Books and Texts:  

  • The German Literature on the Internet: Text Collections - A very good gateway to numerous German text collections  on the Web from the Western European Studies Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries
  • EuroDocs: Primary Historical Documents  From Western Europe -- 
    Selected Transcriptions, Facsimiles and Translations
  • Library of Congress/US Department of Army Country Studies:    Austria (1993), East Germany (1987), Germany (1995) These are out of date, but historical information is useful

From Bookstores: Order books online from Amazon Books, Barnes and Noble or Yahoo Books Page. Also use Books in Print sources as needed.

Interlibrary Loan: If we do not own a particular book or article you need, we will borrow it for you from another library through Interlibrary Loan.

Reference Resources

Reference resources include encyclopedias, dictionaries and other materials you use to "refer" to. Use these resources for background information on a topic. For home or off campus access please use your WSU Login.


  • ARTstor  - ARTstor is a digital library of more than one million images in the arts, architecture, humanities, and social sciences. Collections comprise contributions from outstanding museums, photographers, libraries, scholars, photo archives, and artists and artists' estates. For WSU student and faculty use only.
  • Yahoo: German Dictionaries
  • Altavista Translate Anything
  • Artcyclopedia - online directory of museum art on the Web. Search by artist name to retrieve a list of links to the artists works at museums worldwide
  • Literature Resource Center -  Available on campus and off campus via the Remote Access Service. This is an excellent resource providing long critical essays on each author as well as information on genre, personal information, career, awards/honors, full list of writings and biographical/critical sources
  • Grove Art Online- Start your research here with 41,000 articles, 720,000 index entries and 10,000 links to color images. 


  • Cassell's Deutch English - English Deutch Dictionary
    Reference PF640.c375 1977
  • English-German Dictionary of Idioms :
    Reference - PF3460.S343 1997
  • Oxford Companion to German Literature 
    (Reference PT41.G3 1997)


Finding Articles



To find articles on your topic you need to use article databases, also known as periodical indexes. Each database usually covers a group of subject related journals. Search by subject or keyword in these indexes. For home or off campus access please use your WSU Login.

  • MLA - MLA International Bibliography is usually the best index for researching literature and literary criticism topics. MLA provides article reference for articles in literature, languages, linguistics, and folklore back to 1963. Updated ten times per year.
  • Arts & Humanities Search - Citations from many of the world's
    leading arts and humanities journals. 1980 - present, updates weekly. 
  • Academic Search Premier - Provides some full text articles in over a thousand magazines and journals  
  • Lexis/Nexis Academic  - Full-text coverage of many
    newspapers from across the US and around the world.
  • ERIC (EbscoHost) - For articles and other types of information on teaching literature and literary criticism.
  • IIPA -- International Index to Performing Arts - Citations, abstracts and some full-text articles on all aspects of the performing arts including plays and playwrights.
  • JSTOR -  A group of full-text scholarly journals in many subjects, including language and literature. Dates of coverage vary. 
  • Masterplots - 12,000 entries covering world literature, ancient to
    modern day. Plot summaries, character profiles and author biographies. In Stewart Library use Ref Station #33. Ask for CD at Reference Desk. 



Current magazines and journals can be browsed in the Current Periodicals Area, in the P section on the Middle level. Bound volumes of older issues are found upstairs in the periodicals stacks. Selected titles are listed below:

  • The German Quarterly  - PF1.G373
  • The Germanic Review - PD1. G374


The library subscribes to many electronic journals in literature including MLN


Web Resources

Here are some WWW sites to get you started. Most of these will take you to many other links, so explore!

Research Tips

UMay 20, 2010!-- #EndDate --> . Please send comments to Carol Hansen or Eva Szalay
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