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Comparative Literature

Research Guide for Comparative Literature

Using the library catalog

Use QuickSearch to search for library materials, regardless of format, that are owned by or accessible via the Rutgers University Libraries.  

Find books and media in the library catalog

Keyword searching

Keyword searching is the default of our (and most) search interface(s). Use it when you're not quite sure what your looking for, or when you want to survey the libraries' holdings on one or several topics.

Keyword search in QuickSearch

Search by author

Most authors are searched last name first, e.g.: Bourdieu Pierre.

A few medieval authors are searched by first name, e.g.:  Christine de Pisan.

Search by title

Either of these should work because of the presence of what catalogers call uniform and parallel titles, but not always. Be prepared to alternate. 

Title in Hindi, e.g.: Kabhi khushi kabhie gham

Title in English translation, e.g.: Sometimes Happiness, Sometimes Sadness

Search by subject

When you begin to get a handle on your research topic, you might be aided by the greater precision of a subject (as opposed to keyword) search.

Author as Subject, e.g.: Saramago José

Author and Work as Subject, e.g.: Saramago José Todos os nomes

Genre as Subject, e.g.: Science fiction

Note: The catalog displays the location of the book, film or other item, its call number, and its status (circulating/non-circulating):

Sublocation, call number and circulation status


Early English Books Online (EEBO) - Full text of thousands of titles published between 1473 and 1700. (NetID Required)

Eighteenth Century Collections Online - Nearly comprehensive collection of works published in English (and non-English language works printed in the United Kingdom) during the eighteenth century. (NetID Required)

HathiTrust Digital Library - Search millions of books, government publications, dissertations, journals, and other published and unpublished materials. Includes hundreds of works in French and Latin, mostly from the 18th and 19th centuries. (NetID Required)

Nineteenth Century Collections Online - Database of primary source collections for the 19th century, primarily anglophone, but including material from other nations and in other languages. (NetID Required)

... Or use Advanced Search in QuickSearch, and use the facets on the left of the screen to limit your results to "Available online."

Streaming video search

Suggested subject headings

Use QuickSearch--Advanced to search by subject. Click on the drop down menu to change your search parameter to SUBJECT.

  • African literature History and criticism
  • Caribbean Area In literature
  • Caribbean literature History and criticism
  • Decolonization in literature
  • Great Britain Colonies [insert region or country]
  • Postcolonialism--Africa
  • Postcolonialism--Caribbean Area
  • Postcolonialism English-speaking countries
  • Postcolonialism in literature
  • South Asians in literature
  • Women and literature--Africa

Subject search

There are many other ways to refine your search. Ask for help using email or chat!

Shelf browsing

Browse these call number ranges when you are up in the stacks.

  • JC11-607 – Political Theory.
  • JV1-9480 – Colonies and Colonization. Emigration and Immigration. International Migration.
  • PN45-57 – Literature - Theory. Philosophy. Esthetics.
  • PR1-56 – English Literature - Literary History and Criticism.
  • PR9080 – Commonwealth and Postcolonial Theory.

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