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Intro to American Studies: Basic Resources: Getting Started

This guide focuses on basic resources that you can use when seeking information or materials relating to American Studies.

Not sure where to start your research?

Articles in scholarly encyclopedias usually present a good overview of the topic and identify the current issues, approaches, and scholarship relating to that topic. Knowing the issues can help you focus your research on a particular aspect of a topic.


Bibliographies are great for finding out what has been written/is available on a specific topic.

Getting Started

Encyclopedia of American Studies.
Sponsored by the American Studies Association, the Encyclopedia has some 650 signed, scholarly articles with bibliographies on topics, problems, themes and issues relating to the American experience.
Danbury, CT., Grolier Educational, 2001. 4 volumes. List of Entries Available?
St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture
Tom and Sara Pendergast, editors. Detroit, MI, St. James Press, 2000. 5 vols.
2700 signed entries with bibliographies on all aspects of 20th century U.S. popular culture. Rutgers-restricted Access
Dana Call Number: Ref. E169.1 .S764 2000
Encyclopedia of African American Popular Culture
Jessie Carney Smith, editor. Santa Barbara, Calif., Greenwood, 2011. 4 vols.
Over 600 signed entries on all aspects of African American popular culture ranging from "Aunt Jemima" to "Civil Rights" to "Zydeco Music." Entries include brief bibliographies. Appendix includes list of African American films and radio and television programs. Rutgers-restricted Access
LGBT: Encyclopedia of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History in America
New York, Charles Scribner's Sons, 2004. 3 vols. Rutgers-restricted Access


American Studies: An Annotated Bibliography
Jack Salzman, editor. New York, Cambridge University Press, 1986. 3 vols.
Dana Call Number: Ref. E189.1 .A436 1986
American Studies: An Annotated Bibliography, 1984-1988 [Google Book Limited Preview]
Jack Salzman, editor. New York, Cambridge University Press, 1990.
Dana Call Number: Ref. E189.1 .S35 1990
Interdisciplinary Cultural Theory
Extensive critical bibliography by Dr. T.V. Reed, Professor of American Studies and English at Washington State University.