James H. Thomason Library

English 420 Capstone: 20th Century Jewish-American Experience
Background Information

Tova Mirvis

Marion Ettlinger, photographer

  General Reference Sources
  Style Guides
Locating Books
Locating Articles, Reviews, Criticism
  Journal Finder
Web Sites
Get Help

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Reference Sources:    
General Sources   back to top


Contemporary Novelists [Gale Virtual Reference Library], St. James Press, 2001.

Concise discussions of the lives and principal works of contemporary novelists, written by subject experts.

Critical Survey of Long Fiction, Magill, Frank N., ed. English Language Series.  Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Salem Press, 1983.
Main Level, Reference: R 809.3 M272C [8 vols]

Individual critical assessments of authors whose major works are the novel or the novella. Set also includes 20 essays in Vol. 8 dealing with the history of the two forms (Development of the Novel Since 1890) as well as more than a dozen novel classifications (novel of manners, contemporary novella). Standard format of entries includes titles and dates of release of the writer’s long fiction, author’s activity in other literary forms, achievements, biography, analysis examining and interpreting key works, compilation of major publications other than long fiction, and a bibliography of writings on each author.

Critical Survey of Short Fiction, May, Charles, ed., 2rd rev. ed., Pasadena: Salem Press, 2001.
Main Level, Reference: R 809.3 M272C2 [7 vols]

Entries for authors include principal works of short fiction, achievements, biographical sketch, analysis (overview of authors’ writings), and analytical surveys of  major works.


Gale Contextual Encyclopedia of World Literature [Gale Virtual Reference Library], Gale Publishing, 2009.

Covers world authors from many periods and genres, building an understanding of the various contexts -- from the biographical to the literary to the historical -- in which literature can be viewed. Identifies the significant literary devices and global themes that define a writer's style and place the author in a larger literary tradition as chronicled and evaluated by critics over time.


Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America [Gale Virtual Reference Library], Gale Publishing, 2000.

Original essays (about 8,000-12,000 words each) on specific minority and ethnic groups in the U.S., with an emphasis on culture (religions, holidays, customs, language) in addition to information on historical background and settlement patterns. The Encyclopedia also covers ethnoreligious groups such as Jews, Chaldeans and Amish. Also available in print,  Main Level, Reference: R 305.800973 G131G [2 vols]

A Guide to Jewish Themes in American Fiction, 1940-1980, Scarecrow Press, 1981.

Main Level, Reference:  R 016.81354 B565G

Holocaust Literature: An Encyclopedia of Writers and their Work [CREDO Reference], Routledge, 2003.

A comprehensive scholarly work presenting a broad spectrum of voices remembering, interpreting, and reinterpreting one of the twentieth century's most politically and emotionally charged events.

Provides access to a broad, comparative perspective of diverse national Holocaust literatures and genres. Alphabetically arranged bio-critical essays present critical analyses and assessments of literary representations of the Holocaust and its consequences.

Also available in print, Main Level, Reference: R 809.99358 H741H [2 vols]

Immigration in U.S. History  [Gale Virtual Reference Library], Salem Press, 2006.

Special emphasis on the many ethnic communities that have providing American immigrants with 37 articles on European immigrants, including articles on German, Irish, Italian, Jewish, Polish, Russian, and Scandinavian immigrants.

Jewish Writers of the Twentieth Century, Kerbel, Sorrel, ed., New York: Fitzroy Dearborn, 2003.
Main Level, Reference:
R 809. 88924 J556J

An alphabetical arrangement of writers including accomplishments of 20th century Jewish creative writers worldwide. Also includes introductory essays discussing Holocaust literature, Yiddish literature, and the rise of Hebrew writing in the 20th century, as well as American-Jewish and British-Jewish literature.

Jews and American Popular Culture, Praeger Publishers, 2007.

Main Level, Reference:  R 305.8924073 J556J [3 vols]

v. 1. Movies, radio, and television; v. 2. Music, theater, popular art, and literature; v. 3. Sports, leisure, and lifestyle.


Philip Roth : A Bibliography, Rodgers, Bernard F.,  2nd ed.,  Metuchen, N.J. : Scarecrow Press, 1984.

Main Level, Reference: R 016.81354 R616P

An exhaustive listing of Roth’s works, interviews, and other writings, as well as secondary sources about his work, including book reviews, dissertations, books, criticism in periodicals, books, and miscellaneous articles.


SAGE eReference Collection

Search this award-winning collection of over 200 interdisciplinary handbooks and encyclopedias across the social sciences for additional information on Jewish-American authors and culture.


Sharpe Online Reference    

"A unique, interdisciplinary approach to U.S. and global history and culture, Sharpe Online Reference (SOLR) explores the broad range of events, people, movements, and political, social, economic, and cultural issues that have shaped the nation." Search the entire collection OR select Postwar America: An Encyclopedia and search this title individually using "quotes" around your search term to perform a phrase search.

Related Circulating books:

A Measure of Memory: Storytelling and Identity in American Jewish Fiction, Univ. of Georgia Press, 1996.
Upper Level:
813.0098924 Aa75M

The Jewish Writer in America: Assimilation and the Crisis of Identity, Oxford U. Press, 1971.
Upper Level:
810.98924 G987J

Jewish-American Fiction, 1917-1987, Twayne, 1992.
Upper Level: 813.5098924 P657J

The Schlemiel as Modern Hero, U. of Chicago Press, 1971.
Upper Level: 809.93352 W763S

Biography   back to top


The Columbia Companion to the Twentieth-Century American Short Story, Columbia University Press, c2000 .
Main Level, Reference: R 813.0109 C723C

Part I has thematic essays including American working-class short story and American short stories of the Holocaust, as well as signed entries on individual writers and their works in Part II.

Literature Resource Center [Thomson/Gale]

Biographical overview of author career with analysis, interpretation, and evaluation of works and achievements. Most entries include an anthology of critical essays and some include biographical criticism in varying degrees. Indexes numerous literature reference works, including American Writers Series and Contemporary Authors.

The Oxford Companion to American Literature [Oxford Reference Online], Oxford, 1995.

Biographical profiles of important American authors (with information regarding their style, subjects, and major works) and influential foreign writers as well as other figures who have been important in the nation's social and cultural history. Includes summaries of important American novels, stories, essays, poems (with verse form noted), plays, biographies and autobiographies, tracts, narratives, and histories.


Search our collection, then pass-through to the PASCAL catalog [click on PASCAL icon or link in the search results screen] for additional titles on your author which you can request while searching. Search name as a subject as shown in Find Books, below.

PASCAL books arrive in 3-4 days by courier from other SC college and university libraries.


Style Guides   back to top


MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th ed., Modern Language Association, 2009.
Main Level, Ready Reference Shelf:  c.2
Main Level, Reference: 
R 808.027 M72M c.1

Research and Documentation Online-Humanities- MLA Style Overview
, Diana Hacker.

Example of works cited


Presbyterian College Writing Center

Citation styles, writing guides, and scheduling an appointment with a tutor.


Locating Books back to top


Use the online catalog to locate books in Thomason Library. You can search by author, title, keyword, or subject.

  • Search for a person, as AUTHOR or SUBJECT, with last name, first name:              

Roth, Philip [as AUTHOR]

  Roth, Philip [as SUBJECT]  
  • SUBJECT searching requires use of Library of Congress subject headings. The terms below are examples of subject headings related to Jewish American writers:
  Jewish Fiction
  Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945), in literature
  Jews in Literature
  • Materials relevant to the study of Jewish-American writers may also be found by specifying the era or dates, geographic area, or the material type in which you are interested:
  American Fiction-20th Century-History And Criticism  
  American literature--Jewish authors--History and criticism
7 @ PC
  American literature--Jewish authors--History And criticism
  Authors, Yiddish-United States-Biography  

Subject searching is an effective and precise method of searching the catalog, however, KEYWORD searching has benefits, also.

  • If you are unsure of the exact title or the correct subject heading to use, try a KEYWORD search using two or three of the most significant words from the title or subject you are trying to find. Place phrases in "quotation marks."

  • Connect words with AND, OR, NOT to focus your search.
  • Try truncation at the end of a word stem to retrieve singular, plural, and other variations of the word.  Use an asterisk (*) to truncate from 1 to 5 characters. Use a double asterisk (**) to include word endings with an unlimited number of characters.
KEYWORD Searching Tips

· Use AND between keywords to narrow your search:
Malamud AND culture conflict

· Use OR between keywords to expand your search
and group OR terms with parentheses:
(jewish OR yiddish) AND literature

· Use NOT to eliminate terms from your search

Malamud  NOT Roth

· Add * to the root of a keyword to truncate

or expand a term:
critic* = critic, critics, critical, criticism, etc.

Try KEYWORD searching with THOMCAT, other library catalogs & library article databases

searches will provide links to our EBSCO eBooks, as well as our Reference eBook collections.

Example of an EBSCO eBook title in THOMCAT:

Material Culture and Jewish Thought in America, [electronic resource]
Indiana University Press, c2010


PASCAL Catalog

If you need additional materials not available at Thomason Library, try your search in the PASCAL Catalog to find books in other academic libraries in SC. Through PASCAL Delivers, you can order books online for delivery within 3-4 working days. This service for current PC students, faculty, and staff is a project of PASCAL- Partnership Among SC Academic Libraries. Borrowers will be notified by e-mail when requested items arrive at Thomason Library.


A catalog of books and materials at libraries worldwide. Try searching here to find ALL books available on a topic. Materials available at Thomason Library are highlighted and others can be borrowed through ILL or searched in the PASCAL Catalog and then ordered if available at any PASCAL libraries.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

ILL is available to PC students, faculty and staff in order to share resources between libraries. Check here for instructions.

Locating Articles, Reviews, Criticism:  
Databases                                                                                             back to top

The following journal databases are available to PC students, faculty, and staff from on- and off-campus locations.  Search using terms dealing with your topic.

Academic Search Premier
[EBSCOhost]  Collegiate DISCUS
A database covering many disciplines with a large number of full-text articles.


A journal archive with full-text articles covering literature, art, film, folklore, history, and much more. The most current three to five year issues of the journals are not available in this archive as specified by the publishers in their agreements with JSTOR.

Modern Language Association database of articles, essays, criticism on literature, language, linguistics, and folklore.

Project MUSE

Current and recent volumes of 111 core journals in the humanities and social sciences.

Literature Resource Center [Thomson/Gale] Collegiate DISCUS
Biographical, bibliographical and contextual information from the Contemporary Authors and Dictionary of Literary Biography databases, as well as full-text criticism from the Contemporary Literary Criticism Select database.  Contains full-text journal articles from more than 250 literary journals, nearly 44,000 critical essays, more than 122,000 author biographies, and 10,000 definitions of literary terms from Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature.

New York Times Archive [ProQuest Historical Newspapers]
Full-text & full-image of NYT articles and reviews with coverage from 1851 up to three years ago.

Journal Finder back to top




Search Journal Finder to determine if PC has full text for the journal, magazine, or newspaper article you need. Library databases are connected by Journal Finder and lead you to full-text when available.



Search or Browse

Journal Finder

by Title, Full Text Online, Subject, or by Database name

  • Note the date of the journal issue you need before following Journal Finder link.
  • Default search is Journals by Title in Full Text. Type the title of the journal or magazine in the empty box .
  • You may need to select your title from the results. Click on the title you seek.
  • Results for your title include up to three categories: Full Text Resources in your library (in print), Full Text Resources Online, and Indexing Only (not full text).
  • Note the "dates available" in the Full Text category. Click on a database that covers the date you need.
  • Choose year and issue OR volume and issue, then look through the contents of that issue for the article you need. Articles are usually listed in page number order and are available in HTML or PDF format.


Web Sites back to top


Bernard Malamud Papers [Special Collections, Oregon State University]

Includes a timeline of Malamud's life, OSU Library holdings of manuscripts and speeches, a bibliography of newspaper clippings (use Journal Finder to locate/view reviews) and 25 digitized images related to Malamud.

Bern Malamud: An Instinctive Friendship [Chester Garrison, Special Collections, Oregon State University Library]

One of many tributes to Malamud following his death.




Tova Mirvis Official Website

Includes biography, writing, news, and reviews.

Philip Roth: A Bibliography and Research Guide [Compiled by Derek Parker Royal, The Philip Roth Society]

The Links page has Internet sites related to Roth and his works.

National Museum of American Jewish History

Dedicated to chronicling the American Jewish experience. Grand Opening of the new museum building is in Philadelphia in November 2010.

The Jewish Americans: Jewish Life in America [PBS, a series by David Grubin]

Includes resources, statistics, video from the film, shared stories, and more.


Get Help   back to top
Stop by the
Reference Desk

Teresa Inman 833-8313
Dan Lee 833-8437


Hours: 8.30 am - 10 pm for research questions & assistance. Personal appointments also available.
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