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LTCS 250: Native American Literature: Books By And About Native Americans

Resources for Native American Literature & Culture

Books By Native Americans via Roger

For a particular book (which may be print or digital) you're looking for, in UC Library Search change the command box from Keyword to either Author or Title and type the author or title of the book you're looking for. (For titles, omit "a," "an," or "the" if it is the first word.)  For example: (Author) Tapahonso, Luci or (Title) Dance Partner.

If you are trying to find books of fiction, poetry, drama, or other literary genres, change the command box from Keyword to Subject and type one of these Subject Headings (see Box below): 

American Drama--Indian Authors

American Fiction--Indian Authors

American Poetry--Indian Authors

The above subject headings, and others like them, are usually applied only to multi-author anthologies, but are sometimes applied to works by a single author.

The following headings are used when the titles are ABOUT the particular subject (e.g. Indians or Cherokees). The authors of the titles are not necessarily Indians themselves, but usually are.

Indians of North America--Fiction (currently almost 130 titles).

Indians of North America--Folklore (currently over 225 titles).

Indians of North America--Poetry (currently over 125 titles).

Indians of North America--Literary Collections (used for anthologies of multiple genres)

Dakota Indians--Fiction

Cherokee Indians--Poetry

Ojibwa Indians--Folkore


Wounded Knee Massacre (S.D.) 1890--Personal Narratives




What are Subject Headings?

Libraries try to provide access to their collections not just by author and title but by subjects as well. To do so, it is important to develop a dynamic thesaurus of terms or "headings" that will bring together all materials on a topic even if the items themselves may use a variety of different words. To help standardize this thesaurus across the country, most U.S. academic libraries use the Library of Congress Subject Headings. Finding the correct heading for your concept may take a little effort, but doing so will help ensure that you discover all the books your library has on it.

Doing a keyword search, especially for fairly new topics, can often lead to additional useful books. But if you find a useful books using keyword searching, look at the bottom of the catalog record to see which headings the library used for them and click on those subject headings to get to additional books. For example, searching for the keywords "indigenous poetics" brings you to a book (Sherman Alexie: A Collection of Critical Essays) with two subject headings that lead to over 300 additional books that may be relevant to your topic.

Books About Native Americans via Roger

Books about Native American literature often use the same headings as in the box at the left, but the headings are followed by words such as "History and Criticism" (for topics) or "Criticism and Interpretation" (for specific authors). For example:

American Literature--Indian Authors--History and Criticism

American Literature--Indian Authors--History and Criticism--Theory, Etc.

Canadian Literature--Indian Authors

Momaday, N. Scott, 1934--Criticism and Interpretation

Momaday, N. Scott, 1934--House Made of Dawn.  (As a subject heading, this leads to books that discuss or critique this particular novel.)

Indians in Literature. (This heading leads to books that are basically about how Indians are portrayed in literary works. There are presently over 325 books listed under this heading and its sub-headings.)

Broader headings that may be useful:

American Literature--Minority Authors--History and Criticism (not "Ethnic" authors or literature)

American Fiction (or Poetry, Drama)--Minority Authors--History and Criticism

Minorities in Literature. (Not necessarily, but mostly, referring to U.S.)

Imperialism in Literature

Postcolonialism in Literature

Cultural Pluralism--United States (non-literary books)


Finding Books from Bibliographies

Although the proliferation of Internet content online search engines has made the compilation and publication of book-length bibliographies less prevalent today than in the past, many published bibliographies owned by the Library can help you identify books either by or about (or both) Native Americans. Here are some bibliographies available in Geisel Library:

Native North American Literature: Biographical and Critical Information on Native Writers and Orators from the United States and Canada from Historical
Times to the Present. Ed. Janet Witalec. Detroit: Gale Research, 1994. PS 508 .I5 N38 1994 (Reference Collection)

Bean, Joan and Barbara Branstad. The Native American in Long Fiction: An Annotated Bibliography, Supplement 1995-2002. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2003. PS 374 .I49 B42 2003 suppl (Stacks / 7th floor) (Unfortunately, we do not have the original book to which this is a supplement. I have requested that SDSU's copy be sent to me and I'll share!)

Beidler, Peter G. and MarionF. Egge. The American Indian in Short Fiction: An Annotated Bibliography. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1979. PS 374 .I49 B44 (Reference Collection)

Brumble, H. David. An Annotated Bibliography of American Indian and Eskimo Autobiographies. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1981. E89 .B78 (Reference Collection) For later dates, see Stuhr (below).

Colonnese, Tom. American Indian Novelists: An Annotated Critical Bibliography. New York: Garland, 1985. Use Melvyl to request from storage.

Haywood, Charles. A Bibliography of North American Folklore and Folksong. 2nd, revised edition. 2 volumes. New York: Dover, 1961. Volume 2: The American Indians north of Mexico, including the Eskimos. GR 101 .H3 1961 (Reference Collection).

Jacobson, Angeline. Contemporary Native American Literature: A Selected and Partially Annotated Bibliography. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1977. PS 153 .I32 J32 (Geisel stacks / 7th floor) 

Rock, Roger O. The Native American In American Literature: A Selectively Annotated Bibliography. Westport, Ct.: Greenwood Press, 1985. PS 173 .I6 R64 1985 (Geisel stacks / 7th floor). Note that this may include publications by non-Native Americans as long as the topic is Native American literature.

Ruoff, A. Lavonne Brown. American Indian Literatures: An Introduction, Bibliographic Review, and Selected Bibliography. New York: Modern Language Association, 1990. PM 155 .R86 1990 (Geisel stacks / 7th floor) 

Stuhr, Rebecca. Autobiographies by Americans of Color, 1980-1994: An Annotated Bibliography. Troy, N.Y.: Whitson, 1997. CT 220 .S783 1997 (Reference Collection) Continued by:

Iwabuchi, Deborah Stuhr and Rebecca Stuhr. Autobiographies of Americans of Color, 1995-2000: An Annotated Bibliography. Troy, N.Y.: Whitston, 2003. CT 220 .I83 2003 (Reference Collection)

NOTE: Biographical reference works may also contain bibliographies of the people included, especially of works by them.