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Comparative Literature Research Guide: Finding Books

This guide contains the most important research materials at Yale in Comparative Literature.

How to Find Books at Yale University Library


Subject Headings

The Library of Congress subject headings can be found here. To make sure a subject heading exists, you can search this list of LC subject headings before searching by "subject" in Orbis or in Books+ in Quicksearch. Subject headings come in all types. You can look up subject headings...

By country and period:

  • English literature--17th century
  • English literature--History and criticism
  • American literature--19th century--Criticism and interpretation

By genre:

  • English poetry
  • Protest literature, American
  • American drama
  • Revolutionary literature, American
  • English essays
  • Picaresque literature
  • Novel
  • Drama
  • Fiction
  • Fairy tales
  • Folk literature
  • Religious literature, English
  • Prose literature
  • Comic books, strips
  • Motion pictures--United States
  • Children's literature, English
  • English diaries

By movement:

  • Romanticism
  • Baroque

By individual author's name:

  • Milton, John
  • Hemingway, Ernest, 1899-1961--Character

By individual literary work:

  • Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. Hamlet

By literary theme:

  • Plots
  • Semiotics and literature
  • Women and literature
  • Intertextuality
  • Italy in literature
  • Doubles in literature
  • Satires
  • Coplas

By historical context:

  • England--Social Life and Customs--19th century
  • United States--Intellectual Life--18th century

How to search Books+

What are call numbers?

Books in Digital Databases and Repositories

What if I want to know what libraries have the book I am looking for?

When what you want is checked out

BorrowDirect enables faculty, students and staff to request material from our partner libraries; it is often the fastest way to borrow something not available at Yale Library. 

  • Available items usually arrive within 4 business days.
  • Items can be picked up in person or mailed to your home (some restrictions apply).
  • Loans are for 16 weeks; renewals are not allowed.
  • Items may be returned to any Yale library or book-drop.
  • View checked out items in your library account.

*If the item you are requesting via Borrow Direct is not available in the system, an automatic Interlibrary Loan request will be generated for the item so that you do not have to make a separate ILL request.

Interlibrary Loan enables faculty, students, and staff to request materials from libraries around the world.

Yale Library will attempt to borrow any material another library is willing to lend.

  • Yale faculty, students, and staff can use ILL.
  • Approximate turnaround times by format:
    • Articles and book chapters: 2-4 days
    • Books, scores, and audio-visual materials: 9-12 days
  • Physical ILL items can be picked up in person or mailed to your home (some restrictions apply)