Hopeful Romantics: Accessing the Romantic Poets

By - Research & Instruction Librarian February 18th, 2010

Humanities V students are hopeful about finding sources for their Romantic poets assignment.  Here are helpful tips and research strategies for accessing just the right information at Ohrstrom Library, outlined in the following five easy steps:

1. Search the Library’s catalog to locate books:
To find books that can be borrowed visit the Library’s homepage and click on the catalog link – or click HERE:

Next, type in the name of your assigned poet.  Be sure to search by subject:

Take down the call numbers and location of any items that are of interest to you.

  • Tip:  Any call number beginning with “Biog” is a biography.  All the biographies are located on the lower level of the library in the final stacks.
  • Tip: If your call number begins with 821, this is a volume of literary criticism.  Literary criticism is located on the main level of the library, half-way through the stacks.

2. Use the database Biography Resource for biographical info:
The Biography Resource database is powerful tool containing hundreds of reference texts. To access this database visit the library’s homepage and click on the databases A-J link, and then select Biography Resource – or click HERE.

Next, type in the name of your assigned poet.

Select, read, save, and/or print any reference article(s) of interest.

3. Use selected sets from the printed reference collection for biographies and analysis:
There are four main selections in the reference room that are very helpful for this assignment.  The sets are listed below in recommended order:

  • Ref. 920 Sco3 The Scribner’s British Writers series contains excellent articles on a variety of poets.  These articles focus on biography and analysis. While the articles range in length, they are often about 20 pages long.  The final volume of the set contains the cumulative index, which, as the articles are not arranged in alphabetical order, is really quite essential.
  • Ref. 821.9 M27 Magill’s Critical Survey of Poetry also contains biography and analysis. The last volume of this set does not contain the index, which is instead, trickily housed in volume 8.
  • Ref. 809.1 P13 World Poets is the library’s most current poet-related set.  Articles are usually not much longer than five pages.
  • Ref. 920 J16 v. 5 Volume 5 of the European Writers set focuses specifically on the Romantic Century.  Poets are listed in chronological order, not alphabetically, so the index in the final volume is once again essential.

4. Use ARTstor to locate an illustration:
Some assignments require an illustration representing the explicated poem.  Try ARTstor as a means of locating this illustration.

To access ARTstor visit the library’s homepage and click on the databases A-J link, and then select ARTstor – or click HERE.

Next, search for images.

  • Tip: Try searching by title or subject/theme of poem.  Searching by poet’s name will often return portraits.
  • Tip: To locate images created during the Romantic Era, use ARTstor’s advanced search to limit by date.  Add keyword(s) related to the subject/theme of the poem being studied.

5. Use Noodlebib to complete the bibliography:
Noodlebib is an excellent tool designed to help both create and store citations.  Click HERE for more information about using Noodlebib, or if you know your way around,  simply visit the Noodlebib website HERE to begin creating citations right away.

Following these five easy steps will get you well along the way of gathering your research materials for a successful assignment.

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