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AMST 3001: Theories and Methods of American Studies

Research guide for Lisa Goff's Spring 2020 AMST 3001 class

Finding library materials

Virgo, the UVA Library’s primary search tool, contains catalog records for books, print journals, DVDs, maps, and digitized materials, as well as links to online articles from our rich array of subscription journals.  You can search catalog materials and articles together, or view those results separately, using the "facets" provided to limit your results by author, format, publication period, and more.  

Sample searches:    

  • Choose "Catalog only" search
  • Search for american cultural studies, then select eBook from the Format facet
  • Search for slave tourism, then select Last 3 years from the Publication Era facet
  • Search for "the oriental obscene", then look at the record for that title and use the subject headings to locate more books on related topics

Research using library databases

The UVA Library subscribes to hundreds of databases that contain scholarly resources not available on the free web. Access to most of these databases is restricted to current members of the UVA community; when you are off Grounds, you will be prompted to sign in with NetBadge when using these resources (see the Off-Grounds Access link for more information).

The best way to connect to the library's databases is through the research portal. This page provides a brief list of the most commonly used databases, as well as links to a complete A-Z listing of all our databases. In addition, library subject specialists have created research guides for academic department here at UVA. Subject research guides list the most important databases for conducting research in that discipline.  American Studies draws upon many other disciplines; Other guides that may be useful for this course include:

While many databases contain full-text articles, others are indexes that provide citations for articles, but not the articles themselves. If you see an article citation without the full text, look for the Find@UVA link or button, which will search all of our online content for a copy of the article. Some articles aren't available online but are available in print journals that can be found through VIRGO.  If the library doesn't have the article either online or in print, you can request a copy through Interlibrary Loan.

Sources for scholarly journal articles (interdisciplinary)


Sources for scholarly journal articles (discipline-specific)

Evaluating your sources

Evaluate books:

  • By press
    • University presses are usually best for humanities & social science research
    • There are many other reputable academic presses, but some of variable quality
    • The fact that UVA owns a particular book is usually a good measure of its quality
  • By reviews
  • By number of citations
  • By author reputation
    • Academic affiliation
    • Other works published
    • Web site/CV

Evaluate articles

Citation resources