Skip to Main Content
UVM Libraries Research Guides banner

English & American Literature : African American Literature

Locate Books in Howe Library

These call number ranges hold a variety of books on American literature, and the study of literature: PS : American [U.S. & Canada] literature and PN 1-6790 : Literature-general (including Drama); Criticism. For a more detailed breakdown of the Library of Congress (LC) "P" classification, go to the LC Classification Outline for Language and Literature.

Books that may be checked out of the Library:  3rd floor (Call #s PA-PS).  Reference Books(non-circulating. main/1st floor):  ROWS 9-11 (PA-PS) : Languages and Literatures 
Browse the Stacks Find a useful book in the stacks? Browse in that area to discover other books that might be useful.

Use the Library Catalog to Search for Books in the Library

The Library Catalog locates books, journals (not articles), microfilm, dvds, cds, and U.S. documents (1976->) owned by the UVM Libraries. There are two versions of the catalog:
CATQuest version and the Classic Library Catalog. Each version has its advantages and disadvantages.
Because the CATQuest search box is front and center on the Library homepage, find instructions for using the CATQuest version below. If something confuses you, use the Classic Library Catalog. To find this link on the Library homepage, click the "Research" link at the top of the page and find the link in the "FIND" column.

Find Books by Subject and Keywords

Use Library of Congress Subject Headings* in the  Library Catalog to locate books on your topic. Click image below (live link!) to be brought to the Browse search function in CATQuest.


Selected Library of Congress subject headings on topics related to African American literature:
Note: in the results list, look for the subheading "history and criticism" to find books of critical analysis on that topic.

american literature african american authors individual author [e.g. walker alice] african americans in literature
american literature african american authors history and criticism american drama african american authors blacks in literature
american fiction african american authors american drama african american authors history and criticism race in literature
american poetry african american authors harlem renaissance slavery in literature
african american poets black arts movement antislavery movements in literature
american prose literature african american authors african americans folklore slaves writings american
african americans intellectual life literature and society united states history slave narratives
  caribbean literature  

Subject headings for English & American literature (broadly and the 20th-21st c), 19th century literature, Medieval-18th century literature are found in their respective guides on the "Books" page.

Find Literary Criticism for a Writer's Works
In CATQuest Advanced Search  limit entire search to "Library Catalog." Select "Books" from the list in the Resource Type category. Type the name of the writer in the top box. In the middle box type  criticism interpretation.  Limit search terms to Subject field.

Books Beyond Howe Library

Enrich your research by searching for books beyond the UVM Libraries.

In addition to the databases above, consider:
Book Reviews: Article databases frequently index book reviews. If you find a review (or citation for a review) for a book that looks useful or interesting, check the library catalog to see if the library owns it. If the library doesn't own the book, borrow it through Interlibrary Loan.
Bibliographies:  Scholarly journal articles, scholarly encyclopedia essays, and academic-oriented books will provide bibliographies or lists for further reading. If you find a book that looks useful or interesting, check the library catalog to see if the library owns it. If the library doesn't own the book, borrow it through Interlibrary Loan. These are indeed the "low hanging fruit" during the research process!