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WGSS 8005: Women's Studies Proseminar (Megan Sinnott: Fall 2021 - Spring 2022): Finding Secondary Sources

General Library Information: Coronavirus

Both the Library South and Library North (new!!) entrances are open.

**You need your PantherCard to enter the Library buildings.**

Non-GSU visitors are now welcome in the Library but must provide a government-issued photo ID to access the Library.

GIL Express and Interlibrary Loan for books are available.

We are now offering print and audiovisual reserves.

Access to books, A/V resources, and GIL Express/ILL materials are still available through Express Pickup (i.e., curbside pickup).
Click here for information on Express Pickup. This service is available to all GSU faculty/staff/students.

Special Collections & Archives is open to researchers by appointment only;
please contact them at for assistance.

Saxby's Coffee is currently open. 

All of our electronic resources remain open!

  • For a list of our online databases, see the Databases by Name list on the library's homepage.

  • You can also sort our databases by subject area using the Databases by Subject dropdown on the library's home page.

  • You can search for electronic books in the library's catalog. The Books tab on this guide has information on how to search for ebooks, and on other electronic-book collections being made available.

  • You can place Interlibrary Loan requests for articles and for book chapters/sections (which can be requested and delivered electronically).This includes articles and chapters held in GSU's print collections.

  • You can view films through our four streaming services: Academic Video Online (AVON) [new!], Kanopy, Films on Demand, and SWANK. (The library is not able to provide access to commercial streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu, etc.)

And you can still get help!

  • You're here! Check out the resources on this research guide.
  • Reference assistance is available at the Research Support Desk on Library North 1 from 12pm - 6pm Monday through Thursday.
  • Virtual reference: the blue "Ask Us" button on the right-hand side of this page (on the library's homepage, it will be a red "Chat with Us" button) will take you to our chat reference service, staffed by reference librarians from
    • 9am - 8pm Monday-Thursday
    • 9am - 2pm Fridays
  • We have an extensive list of library FAQs which is available for research assistance 24/7. FAQs related to using the library during social distancing are collected here.
  • You can contact me directly via email -- click the Email link in the box with my photo in it or email me directly at As always, email is the best way to start with me, but we can also make an appointment to meet via WebEx.     
  • My Spring 2022 in-person office hours are in the Department of Communication, 25 Park Place Room 825, on Tuesdays from 2pm - 4pm. ***Please let me know if you want to drop in during these hours, as I will have to let you into the Communication department.***
  • In-person consultations and instruction are possible; however, all in-person consultations will need to be scheduled in advance since I will need to reserve an office space for in-person meetings.

How Do I Find Secondary Sources for My Topic?

Use keyword searching in the GSU library catalog (called GILFind) (for books) and in relevant databases (for articles). Brainstorm different keywords for your topic and see what happens.

Use Boolean searching (AND, OR, NOT) to expand or narrow your searches. (What's Boolean searching again? Learn more here.)

When you find a relevant item, click on the record and look for subject terms. Clicking on a subject term will bring up other related items.

Try your keywords and subject terms in other databases, and see what you find!

* * * * *

Looking for books?

This guide focuses on finding articles. For more information on searching for books (especially complicated during the coronavirus emergency!) please consult the Books tab on the general Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies guide. I can also help you with book searching!

How Do I Find Women's Studies Journals?

For useful lists of Women's Studies journals, use these links:

Key Women's Studies Databases Available @ GSU

Click here for a full list of the secondary- and primary-source databases held by the GSU Library.

Interdisciplinary Article Databases available @ GSU

Women's Studies is interdisciplinary!

These databases are broad, interdisciplinary article databases.

Don't forget to check related research guides to find additional databases for your topic. To see all of our databases, use our A-Z list.

Other Subject Article Databases Available @ GSU

These databases focus on specific social-science disciplines. To search more broadly, try the databases in the "General Articles Databases" box.

You can also use the dropdown "Find by Subject" box in the Articles / Databases tab to identify relevant databases by subject.

Subject-specific research guides can also help you find more databases for your topic.

Using Find It @GSU

Many databases give you only a citation telling you where to find the article, not the article itself.

This button is often a shortcut to the full article text in another database:

Click the Find It @GSU button to open a window with links to the article you need.

If the GSU Library does not have access to an electronic copy of the article, we may have a copy in print.

If that fails, try searching for the journal title in GIL-Find, or use the "Journals" tab.

If the GSU Library does not have a print or electronic version of the article, use Interlibrary Loan (ILL) to request it from another library.

Lost? Stuck? Too many options? Ask a Librarian for help, or contact your History Librarian!

For Graduate Students and Faculty: Desktop Delivery

If you find a journal article or book chapter that is available at the GSU Library in print only, you have two options:

  1. You can come to the GSU Library and make a xerox copy or scan the article/chapter (**Currently this is not an option due to coronavirus.**)
  2. Graduate students (and faculty) can fill out an Interlibrary Loan request for the article/chapter, and it will be made available to you as a PDF, through the ILL system.

To fill out an Interlibrary Loan request, start here.

This offer applies only to journal articles and book chapters and not to whole books.

For more information about Desktop Delivery, click here.

Library of Congress Classification Outline

The Library of Congress Classification Outline gives an overview of what the different letters and letter combinations used in call numbers mean!

  • Click on an individual letter to get the subcategories (i.e. H breaks down into subcategories like HB, HD, HQ, and so on).
  • Click on a subcategory to get a more detailed outline of the subjects included in each subcategory (that's what the numbers following the letters mean!)

Most academic libraries (i.e. colleges and universities) use the Library of Congress Classification Outline, so once you've begun to recognize which letter/number combinations seem relevant to you, you can use that combination at any other college/university library. 

I mentioned this book in class -- it's a study of how the Library of Congress has classified homosexuality and related terms. Very interesting study on how subject terms evolve: