The History and Future of the Book

Research Project

As a reminder, regarding Part A of the project: You need to create 3 different complex search queries, one for each database: MLA, OCLC and either JSTOR or Project Muse.

From these 3 different searches you need a total of 10 possible articles or books for a working bibliography (from this set you will choose your short annotated bibliography for Part B).

You indicate your results on 3 separate pages, one for each database. The example provided on page 2 of the research assignment handout shows how you would format each of these pages, with the database named at the top, with the number of results, and a list of what seem to be relevant items for your research. There are 6 listed on the hypothetical page provided in the handout, so for Part A in full there would be 2 more pages and a total of 4 more items listed.


  1. traditional bibliographical sources converted to databases
    MLA: the bibliography of the Modern Language Association, and the traditional research tool for studies in English literature.  This search tool finds scholarly articles on international literature, linguistics and folklore. (help on searching)

    The MLA search interface has a new feature called "Smarttext Searching." This will skew your results horribly because if your search term gets no hits, there is a script that will go off and find a huge pile of items it thinks you might want. For the purpose of doing this exercise you'll need to start by turning Smarttext searching off.
    Instructions for turning off "Smarttext Search" on the MLA search form

  2. metasearch tools: simultaneously search multiple sources
    OCLC: tool that searches and consolidates results from many databases (library holdings, journal title pages, bibliographical databases, etc.). This search tool finds scholarly journal articles and books in academic libraries worldwide. Subject matter is diverse and comprehensive.

    (help on searching):
    1. click on WorldCat at the very top left;
    2. click on the question mark in a gray circle right beside the "Hot Topics" dropdown menu at the top left;
    3. search for "boolean" in "Find Help Topics" at the top right;
    4. click on "Combining search terms (Boolean searching)"
  3. databases containing archives of full-text articles