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ENGL 6300 (Dr. Tyrer): Intro to English Graduate Studies

Search Discover Databases,Books, or Reserves

Searching with Subject Headings

When researching literature in a library catalog, subject headings are often the most efficient way of searching the library catalog.  There are several types of headings that you should consider as you conduct your searches: authors as subjects, national literatures, and literary themes.

To find books about an author and his or her works, a subject search for the author (last name, first name) is the most efficient way to search.

To find criticism, specifically, search for the author's name plus the words "criticism and interpretation." For example, criticism of Herman Melville's fiction and poetry can be found under the heading Melville, Herman, 1819-1891 -- Criticism and Interpretation. Subject headings for works of criticism may also contain the title of a particular literary work, such as Melville, Herman, 1819-1891 -- Pierre.

See below for more useful subject headings for your research

Can't find a book you need? Try searching the collections of world libraries using WorldCat below and request the item through Interlibrary Loan


Subject headings/shelf browsing

The following sections are good for browsing for books on 19th century American literature, which are shelved on the 1st floor.


SubjectCall Number Range
Modern EnglishPE1001-1693
PS201-21719th century
PS991-3390Individual authors - 19th century

Sample Subject Headings




Author as Subject

Last name, First name

Dickinson, Emily

Literary Genre

Nationality + genre

American drama

American fiction

American poetry

American prose literature

Literary Themes

Theme + in literature

Psychoanalysis in literature

Literature + theme

Literature - psychology

Theme + and literature

Psychoanalysis and literature

National Literature

Nationality + Literature

American literature

American literature - African American authors

Period History

Nation + history + time period

United States -- History -- 19th century

United States -- History -- 1815-1861

Interlibrary Loan Details

If there's something you need that we don't have, you can request it through Interlibrary Loan and have it delivered here, usually at no charge.

Creating Your Account

If you haven't used Interlibrary Loan (ILL) before, you'll need to first create a special account for the ILL system. You can create the account by:

  1. Going to Interlibrary Loan Request
  2. Clicking on "Create Account"
  3. Reading and Agreeing to the Copyright Restrictions
  4. Then click on "First Time Users Click Here"

Filling Out the New User Registration Form

On the New User Registration form, watch out for these three things:

  • Your BuffGold number will need 9 digits. The first 3 of those digits will usually all be zeroes. If your ID number is 987123, enter 000987123.
  • The e-mail address must be your WTAMU e-mail address, including the or ending.
  • The username also must be your WTAMU e-mail address, including the or ending.

Creating an ILL Request

There are four principal ways to submit an Interlibrary Loan Request. The third and fourth on this list may often be the most convenient.

From our home page:

If you already know that we don't have your item and you want to go to the request form directly without searching in our resources, you can find it from the Cornette Library's home page under the "Services" menu, on the pages about services "For Students" and "For Faculty & Staff."

From our home-page discovery search:

If you've searched using our home page's discovery tool and found something we don't have here, you can click the "Request the article from Interlibrary Loan" link within the "Get It" section. If you are already signed into ILL, the link will open a request with most information of the article or book filled out.

From WorldCat

On the other hand, if you've done a search in WorldCat and found an item listed that we don't have, you can access the request form directly from the item record in such a way that the details will already be filled in for you. From your search results, click on the item's title, which will take you to the item record. In the section entitled "Get This Item," there is a bullet point with a link reading "Request via Interlibrary Loan" on the line labeled "External Resources." Using that link will automatically populate the fields of the request form with your item's details.

From a periodical database search result

If you've found an article through one of our periodical databases, click the "Find Full Text" or similar link. This will take you to our Discover service. From here follow the directions above from the "From Our Catalog" section.

Delivery could take as little as a couple of days or as much as three weeks. See here for more information about Interlibrary Loan. Click here for our ILL FAQs. For our Interlibrary Loan policies click our Library policies section then select the InternLbrary Loan.