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LTWL 123: Vampires in Literature: Finding Books

Why read whole books?

Your time as a student who is taking multiple courses with heavy reading assignments and possibly working one or more jobs leaves you little time to read entire books in addition to the texts you're required to read for class. But reading just one in-depth work on a topic will provide you with a richer appreciation of the literary work you've just read and show you how an expert works to combine factual research and critical judgment in a sustained argument. Below are examples of how to find an interesting book on a particular aspect of the author, literary movement, or historical period (or all 3) that you would like to explore in more depth.   

The sources listed in the box at the bottom right are useful for finding books published during the life of your author, including first editions of your author's works. Even if you don't have time to time to read any of them this quarter, simply browsing in them may expand your awareness of the world in which your author lived and worked.   

Finding Print and E-Books with Library of Congress Subject Headings

Sample Library of Congress Subject Headings: Individual Authors/Directors/Characters/Titles

Bürger, Gottfried August, 1747-1794—Lenore
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Fictitious Character)

Byron, George Gordon Byron, Baron, 1788-1824—Criticism and Interpretation

Dracula, Count (Fictitious Character)
Ewers, Hanns Heinz, 1871-1943—Criticism and Interpretation
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von, 1749-1832—Bibliography —Characters —Criticism and Interpretation
Herzog, Werner, b. 1942
Hoffman, E.T.A. (Ernst Theodor Amadeus), 1776-1822--Criticism and Interpretation

Le Fanu, Joseph Sheridan, 1814-1873—Criticism and Interpretation
Matheson, Richard, b. 1926—Criticism and Interpretation
Meyer, Stephenie, b. 1973—Twilight Saga Series
Murnau, F. W. (Friedrich Wilhelm), 1888-1931

Nosferatu (Motion Picture)

Polidori, John William, 1795-1821—Vampyre
Stoker, Bram, 1847-1912—Bibliography —Criticism and Interpretation —Dracula—Criticism and Interpretation―Film and Video Adaptations

True Blood (Television Program)
William of Newburgh, 1136-1201—Historia Rerum Anglicarum

Sample Library of Congress Subject Headings: General Topics

Vampires—[Place Name, e.g. Romania]
Vampires—Psychological Aspects
Vampires in Literature
Vampire Films—History and Criticism
Vampires on Television
Horror in Literature
Horror Tales—[American, English, German]—History and Criticism ―Film and Video Adaptations
Horror Films
Dracula Films—History and Criticism
Gothic Fiction (Literary Genre), English—History and Criticism
Racism in Literature
Racism in Motion Pictures
Sex Role in Literature
Sex Role in Motion Pictures
Sex Role on Television
Romanticism—Great Britain
Technological Innovations―Great Britain—History—19th Century
Eastman Kodak Company
Motion Pictures and Literature
Film Adaptations—History and Criticism
Sex in Popular Culture
Homosexuality in Literature
Homosexuality in Motion Pictures
Gays in Literature
Gays in Motion Pictures
Queer Theory

See box in upper right for using keyword searches.

Using Keywords

Generally, I recommend trying subject headings (see left) to find books relevant to your topic.  There are times, however, when a keyword search can retrieve relevant books.  For example, there may not be a specific Subject Heading for the movie "Blacula." But if the word was used in the title of a book or in any other part of the Roger description of a book, a keyword search will retrieve it. The book Film in Society, a 1980 collection of individual articles by different authors, has only one subject heading (Motion Pictures--Reviews). But one of the essays has the title "Black Spookery: Blacula, Dracula A.D. 1972," and because the Roger description lists all the essay titles, you would find this essay.  Combining keywords such as "Blade" and "movie" or the phrase "true blood" (with quote marks) may also retrieve relevant books.  

Older Primary Sources

Database: ECCO (Eighteenth Century Collections Online)

Sample search: Vampyre

Database: C19: The Nineteenth Century

Sample search: Vampire or vampyre

Database: LiON (Literature Online)

Search Texts by vampyre (35 poems, 8 plays, 14 prose works) or vampire (249, poems, 102, plays, 83 prose works).