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American Literature

Online Encyclopedias

The following links will take you to online encyclopedias and reference manuals to help you get started on your research. Here you can find general background information, definitions, and history on many literary terms, concepts, works, and authors specific to American Indian literature.

Print Encyclopedias

The library also has a number of print encyclopedias that can be found in the Reference section on the second floor of the library. Reference books cannot be checked out of the library but there are scanners available on the second floor that can be used to scan information from these texts into a PDF which you can email to yourself.

Finding Articles

Use databases to find academic articles to continue your research. Below are the most helpful databases for finding relevant articles for American Indian literary topics

Good Starting Journals for American Indian Literature

The following are links to specific academic journals which are published and peer-reviewed by experts in the field. If you want to narrow your search to a specific time period or genre, finding a journal that publishes in that area can help. SAIL for example, is the United States' only dedicated literary journal for American Indian literature. 

Historical Resources

Literature and history are and have always been closely related. These online and print resources covering various topics on American Indian history can help you understand not only the literature but also its times.


Internet Resources

Search the entire library catalog here.

  • You can search "everything", or can specify the type of results, like books or articles. 

  • Stick with keywords or phrases, instead of questions. So, instead of searching "what are some problems faced by Native American youth?" you would search "Native American youth" instead.

The majority of books on American Indian literature and works by American Indian authors can be found starting at the PS.I53 call number. These books are found on the third floor of the Chester Fritz Library.

Featured Books 

Looking for an interesting research topic? Currently, the featured books section holds some of the newest additions to the library's collection of research-worthy, literary texts on American Indian literature.