Arts and Humanities Research Guide

| July 19, 2010

This virtual research guide is intended to provide an overview of key library resources and services of use to students in the Department of Arts and Humanities; the databases correlate with the programs and disciplines within the department.  The resources, primarily electronic and accessible on and off campus, have been selected as ones supporting research in the topical areas the programs  in the department encompass. This guide also includes a section describing research consultation and assistance services and options for document retrieval and delivery available to all members of the Teachers College community.

To address the research needs of Professor Christine Baron’s Fall 2014 course A&HW 6503, Doctoral Seminar in Social Studies, this guide has been customized to reflect the objectives of the course, in particular to focus on resources relating to history education.  Related research guides posted on this blog pertaining to historical methods can be found at and

Library Resources

Online Catalogs

Periodical Indexes

Federated Search Engines


E-Collections (Text, Images, Sound)

Handbooks of Research

Reviews of Research

Citation Indexes

Digital Archives

Bibliography and Citation Management Programs

Library Services and Publications

All students, faculty, and researchers also have access to a number of important library services and publications provided to support and facilitate research and study in their particular programs and disciplines.

Online Catalogs

Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) are the official subject terms prescribed by the Library of Congress for the cataloging of books and are in use in essentially all academic libraries.  To find works pertaining to the disciplines represented in the Arts and Humanities programs (in particular the teaching of social studies and history), it may be useful to use some of the subject terms, or combinations of terms, listed below when searching the online catalogs of libraries at Teachers College, Columbia University, and other institutions.

  • Historiography
  • History — Study and teaching
  • Social sciences
  • Social sciences — Study and teaching
  • United States — History
  • United States — History — Study and teaching
  • World history — Study and teaching

EDUCAT – The most definitive record of the holdings of the Gottesman Libraries at Teachers College, including books, e-books, journals, e-journals, dissertations, media, and other specialized collections of all kinds.

CLIO – A union catalog of Columbia University Libraries (exclusive of the libraries of Teachers College, the Columbia Law School, and Jewish Theological Seminary), providing the most definitive record of individual libraries’ holdings of books, e-books, journals, e-journals, dissertations, media, and other specialized collections of all kinds.

WorldCat – A union catalog of the contents of over 10,000 libraries worldwide, providing the means to do exhaustive searching by author, title, subject, and numerous other criteria and to find locations for specific items in libraries nearby and elsewhere.

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Periodical Indexes

*Academic Search Premier – A multidisciplinary database providing full text for more than 4,600 journals, including nearly 3,900 peer-reviewed titles.  PDF backfiles to 1975 or further are available for well over one hundred journals.  See also *Academic Search Complete, a scholarly, multidisciplinary full-text database, with more than 8,500 full-text periodicals, including more than 7,300 peer-reviewed journals.  The database features PDF content going back as far as 1887.

*America:  History and Life – Index (with some abstracts) of literature covering the history and culture of the United States and Canada, from prehistory to the present.

Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature (ABELL) – Listings of articles, books, reviews, etc., on British, American, and Commonwealth literature; selective full-text.

Art Full Text – Indexes and abstracts art periodical literature from 1984 -; full-text from 1997 – .

Art Retrospective – Index to periodical literature in art  published from 1929 to 1984.

ARTbibliographies Modern – Citations and abstracts for publications on modern and contemporary art (20th-21st centuries).

ATLA Religion Databases with ATLASerials – Religion and theology material from 1949- (indexing from the 19th century).

BHI:  British Humanities Index – indexes over 320 international humanities journals and weekly magazines published in the UK and other English speaking countries, as well as quality newspapers published in the UK. Topics include architecture, archaeology, art, antiques, education, economics, foreign affairs, environment, cinema, current affairs, gender studies, history, language, law, linguistics, literature, music, painting, philosophy, poetry, political science, religion, and theatre.

Bibliography of the History of Art – Citations and abstracts for articles in Western art history periodicals and other publications.

*ERIC – Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education to provide extensive access to educational-related periodical literature, ERIC (which stands for Educational Resources Information Center) provides coverage of conferences, meetings, government documents, theses, dissertations, reports, audiovisual media, bibliographies, directories, books, and monographs.

*Education Full Text – Provides comprehensive coverage of an international range of English-language periodicals, monographs, and yearbooks. Indexing coverage begins June 1983; abstracts are included beginning spring 1994; full text of some journals is available beginning in January 1996.

*Education Index Retro – Provides cover-to-cover indexing for an international range of English-language periodicals and yearbooks; coverage from 1929 through mid-1983.

*Education Research Complete – Provides indexing and abstracts for more than 2,100 journals, as well as full text for more than 1,200 journals, and includes full text for nearly 500 books and monographs.

Essay & General Literature Index – Indexes essays and articles contained in collections of essays and miscellaneous works published in the United States, Great Britain, and Canada; areas covered include the humanities and social sciences, with subject coverage ranging from economics, political science, and history to criticism of literary works, drama, and film.

*Historical Abstracts – Provides citations and abstracts for publications related to world history, excluding the U.S. and Canada, from 1450 to the present.

Humanities and Social Sciences Retro – Provides coverage of journal articles in the humanities and social sciences from 1907 through 1984.

*Humanities Full Text – Abstracts, bibliographic indexing, and full text from scholarly sources and specialized magazines in the humanities. Indexing begins in 1984, full-text coverage in 1995.

International Bibliography of the Social Sciences – A valuable online resource for social science and interdisciplinary research, IBSS includes over two million bibliographic references to journal articles and to books, reviews and selected chapters dating back to 1951, providing broad coverage of international material and incorporating over 100 languages and countries.

International Index to Music Periodicals (IIMP) – Music journal resource with almost 800,000 indexed articles, plus detailed abstracts and full text from 1874 to the present, covering the scholarly to the popular.

International Index to Performing Arts (IIPA) – Draws its content from more than 210 international periodicals and also indexes articles and obituaries appearing in the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts – Abstracts and indexes the international literature in linguistics and related disciplines in the language sciences, including phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics; coverage from 1973 to present.

MLA International Bibliography – Indexes critical materials on literature, languages, linguistics, and folklore. Provides access to citations from worldwide publications, including periodicals, books, essay collections, working papers, proceedings, dissertations, and bibliographies.

Music Index – A comprehensive guide to music periodicals and literature, featuring digitized content from 1970 to present, this database contains cover-to-cover indexing and abstracts of articles about music, musicians, and the music industry for more than 475 periodicals, as well as book reviews, obituaries, news, and selective coverage for more than 230 periodicals.

Periodicals Archive Online – Archive of hundreds of digitized journals published in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.

Philosopher’s Index – Index with abstracts for journal articles, books, contributions to anthologies, and book reviews, covering the major fields of philosophy, including aesthetics, epistemology, ethics, logic, metaphysics, and the philosophy of related fields such as education, history, law and religion.

*Professional Development Collection – Designed for professional educators, this database provides a highly specialized collection of nearly 520 high-quality education journals, including more than 350 peer-reviewed titles. The database also contains more than 200 educational reports.

*ProQuest – Provides broad multidisciplinary coverage of scholarly  journals, newspapers, dissertations, and other types of publications; for international coverage and access to full texts of dissertations only, search Digital Dissertations, a subset of ProQuest.

*PsycINFO – Covers the scholarly literature in the psychological, social, behavioral, and health sciences.

RILM Abstracts of Music Literature – A comprehensive music bibliography featuring citations, abstracts, and indexes. There are currently over 540,000 records in RILM on traditional music, popular music, and classical music, representing disciplines that include musicology, ethnomusicology, pedagogy, psychology, anthropology, sociology, and others.

RIPM:  Retrospective Index to Music Periodicals – an international annotated database with detailed content analysis of writings on musical history and culture between 1800 and 1950 provided by internationally-recognized scholars and editors.  RIPM currently indexes the contents of 120 music periodicals including articles, reviews, illustrations, music examples, advertisements, press reviews, and more.

*Social Sciences Full Text – Provides coverage of English-language journals across social science disciplines, with indexing from 1983, abstracting from 1984, and select access to full text from 1984 to the present.

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Federated Search Engines

*Quicksearch (via Columbia University Libraries) – To search the catalog, multiple periodical indexes, and other web resources simultaneously within a variety of subjects and disciplinary subcategories.

*Super Search (via Gottesman Libraries) – To search some or all of our periodical indexes, plus EDUCAT and CLIO, simultaneously for books, journal articles, reports, dissertations, etc.

Google Scholar – Provides the means to search for scholarly research across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities, and other web sites.

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Dictionary of Literary BiographyBiographical essays on authors from America, Britain, and selected other countries.

*Encyclopedia of Education (2nd Edition) – The 2003 version of the classic resource in education and related fields.

Encyclopedia of Language and Education (2nd Edition) – This electronic version of the 2008 edition of the Encyclopedia offers new developments, including two new volumes of research and scholarly content, in the field of language teaching and learning in the age of globalization.

International Encyclopedia of Linguistics (2nd Edition) – The 2004 edition of the Encyclopedia encompasses the full range of topics in linguistics, including such areas as historical, comparative, formal, mathematical, functional, philosophical, and sociolinguistics. Special attention is given to interrelations within these branches of the field and to relations of linguistics with other disciplines.

International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences – This key reference work comprises 4,000 articles, commissioned by 52 Section Editors, and includes 90,000 bibliographic references as well as comprehensive name and subject indexes.

Oxford Art Online (formerly Grove Art Online)Searchable database of biographies, bibliographies, and image resources from Grove Art Online, The Oxford Companion to Western Art, the Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, and The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms.

Oxford Music Online (formerly Grove Music Online) – Provides access to multiple Oxford music reference resources, including the Encyclopedia of Popular Music, Grove Music Online, The Oxford Companion to Music, and The Oxford Dictionary of Music.

Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy OnlineOver 2,000 continually updated and revised articles on philosophy and related disciplines.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy – A freely-accessible online encyclopedia of philosophy, maintained by Stanford University.  Each entry is written and maintained by an expert in the field, representing over 65 academic institutions worldwide; articles are thorough and scholarly and include extensive bibliographies and links to other Internet resources.

Twayne’s Authors Series – Provides critical introductions to the lives and works of nearly 600 writers, to the history and influence of literary movements, and to the development of literary genres.  Each author selected for coverage is selected for appropriateness for the high school and college curriculum.

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E-Collections (Text, Images, Sound)

*Alexander Street Press Databases – Themed collections of print documents, video, and recorded sound across disciplines; notable databases include Alexander Street Literature (cross-searchable collections covering the literatures of place, race, and gender), American Film Scripts Online (a searchable full-text database of screenplays and shooting scripts), Dance in Video (streaming video files of dance productions and documentaries by influential performers and companies of the 20th century),  North American Immigrant Letters, Diaries, and Oral Histories (personal views of what it meant to immigrate to the United States and Canada between 1880 and 1950), Opera in Video (streaming video database containing important opera performances), Theatre in Video (containing performances of the world’s leading plays and film documentaries in streaming video), and many others.

*American Memory – a gateway to the Library of Congress’s collections of digitized American historical materials.  The site’s mission is to provide ” free and open access through the Internet to written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience.”

ARTstorDigital images of architecture, painting, photography, sculpture, decorative arts, design and material culture.

Classical Music LibraryIncludes recordings from major labels, independent labels, and self-published recordings from major musical groups; also includes program notes, composer biographies, and images cross-referenced to the recordings.

Classical Scores Library – Collection of digitized scores of important classical music, manuscripts, and unpublished material.

Database of Recorded American Music – A scholarly resource of streaming online music, primarily American, including CD-quality audio, liner notes, and essays from New World, Composers Recordings, and other important labels.

Ebrary – Online books across a range of subject areas; searchable, under All Subjects, by Fine Arts; History (General) and History of Europe; Language and Literature;  Music and Books on Music; Philosophy, Psychology, Religion, etc., and various sub-topics, and by author, title, and other criteria.

JSTOR – An online archive of over 1,200 leading scholarly journals across the humanities, social sciences, and sciences, as well as select monographs and other materials valuable for academic work.  Journals are always included from volume 1, issue 1 and include previous and related titles.  The most recently published issues (the past 3-5 years) are generally not available through JSTOR, though they usually are through other e-sources.

Literature Online (LION) – Fully searchable library of more than 350,000 works of English and American poetry, drama and prose, 260 full-text literature journals, and other key criticism and reference resources.

Music Online : Classical Music Reference Library – Brings together reference materials, spanning the entire history of Western classical music, in a unified database.  Provides coverage of all classical genres, from the Medieval period to the 21st century.

National Council of Teachers of English Journals – Journals published by the NCTE with content reflecting current research, trends, and strategies, including Language Arts, English Journal, College English, and Research in the Teaching of English.

Naxos Music Library – Collection of audio music containing the Naxos, Marco Polo, and Da Capo catalogues;  includes classical music, historical recordings, jazz, world and folk music, along with textual notes on the works being played and biographical information on composers or artists.

*Primary Documents in American HistoryProvides access to digitized versions of collections housed at the Library of Congress, including many of the most important documents in American history.

*Social and Cultural History:  Letters and Diaries Online – Database of English language letters, diaries, autobiographies, oral histories, and other personal narratives providing insight into history dating from the 1550s to the present.

Teachers College Art Collections – With over 1,000 digital images, this online resource represents the library’s entire collection of art. These images are a resource for both teaching and research, as well as a historical representation of the College’s dedication to art and art education.

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Handbooks of Research

Print Resources

*Handbook of Research in Social Studies Education (2008)

Handbook of Research on New Literacies (2009)

Handbook of Research on Teaching Literacy through the Communicative and Visual Arts (1997) (see also e-version below)

Handbook of Research on Teaching Literacy through the Communicative and Visual Arts, Volume 2 (2008)

Handbook of Research on Teaching the English Language Arts, 2nd Edition (2003) (see also e-version below)


Blackwell Reference Online – Provides full-text access to reference works in the humanities, social sciences, and business and management, see research handbooks and companions in Art, Geography, *History, Linguistics, Literature, Philosophy, Religion, and other subject areas.

Handbook of Research in Second Language Teaching and Learning – The electronic version of the 2005 edition of a key resource for research in second language acquisition, TESOL, and related fields in applied linguistics.

Handbook of Research on Teaching Literacy Through the Communicative and Visual Arts – This  handbook brings together state-of-the-art research and practice on the evolving view of literacy as encompassing not only reading, writing, speaking, and listening, but also the multiple ways through which learners gain access to knowledge and skills.

Handbook of Research on Teaching the English Language Arts – Sponsored by the International Reading Association and the National Council of Teachers of English, this electronic version of the second (2003) edition of the printed source offers an overview of recent trends in the study and teaching of English.

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Reviews of Research

Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature (ABELL) – Listings of articles, books, reviews, etc., on British, American, and Commonwealth literature; selective full-text.

*Review of Educational Research – A publication of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), the RER publishes quarterly critical, integrative reviews of research literature bearing on education, including conceptualizations, interpretations, and syntheses of scholarly work.

*Review of Research in Education A publication of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), the RRE provides an annual overview and descriptive analysis of selected topics of relevant research literature through critical and synthesizing essays.

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Citation Indexes

*Scopus – Abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature and quality web sources with smart tools to track, analyze, and visualize research.

*Web of Science – Comprising the Arts & Humanities Citation Index, the Social Sciences Citation Index, and the Science Citation Index Expanded, this database supports searching by topic, author, or publication name, and is also a major means for doing cited reference searching, to find articles that cite a person’s work.

  • See also our library’s Citation Indexes video tutorial on citation searching via the Web of Science and Google Scholar.

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Digital Archives

Academic Commons – Columbia University’s online repository, where current faculty, students, and staff can deposit the results of their scholarly work and research.

PocketKnowledge – The social archive of Teachers College, including unpublished manuscripts and archives from the library’s collections, documents from other departments and administrative offices College-wide, and the work of TC students, faculty, and researchers.

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Bibliography and Citation Management Programs

Citation Management Software – An extensive description of and guide to the use of BibDeskEndNotePapersMendeley, and Zotero, including a comparison of their relative merits, produced by the Columbia University Libraries’ Digital Science Center.

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Library Services and Publications

Ask a Librarian a Question – To explore a variety of kinds of research support:  submit an email reference query to librarians onsite; request a research consultation with a Gottesman librarian; review frequently asked questions via the library’s Knowledge Database.

E-Reserves – Provides online access to digital course readings, including e-journal articles and book chapters, as well as call numbers for physical course reserves materials (books, DVDs, videos, etc.).

Document Delivery – The means to recommend items for purchase and/or to request from other libraries materials  (dissertations, book chapters, journal articles, etc.) not available through the Gottesman or Columbia University Libraries.

Learning at the Library – The Gottesman Libraries’ blog via the Pressible platform, including content in many topical areas contributed by library staff members.

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