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American Studies

Resources available to W&M students of American Studies. Covers databases for research along with introductory texts for students considering majoring in the field.

How This Page is Organized

There are three categories of information presented on this page to assist you with your research. First is a list of broad, multidisciplinary databases for you to search, just in case you are not sure what specific subjects your topic might fall within. Second is a list of best bet databases within specific subjects that American Studies work in for you to go to next. Finally, there are links to all the databases within various subjects that Swem subscribes to that you might find useful.

Getting Started

These sources are great beginning places. Academic Search Complete is a multidisciplinary database that will catch a lot of information and types of sources, including current news and magazines. EBSCOHost and ProQuest are both database providers and many of our individual databases are serviced through them. The links here will take you to a basic search that will cover all of the databases they offer. While these three starting places may overwhelm you with results, it is because they cast the widest net.

Academic Search Complete.

Multidisciplinary database of journal articles (including peer reviewed), books, book chapters, reports, conference proceedings, etc. Coverage: 1887-present.


Collection of databases devoted to a variety of disciplines in the humanities, social sciences, and science. See titles of individual databases for further information. Coverage: Varies by title.


Collection of databases devoted to disciplines in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities. See titles of individual databases for further information. Coverage: Varies by database.

Subject Specific Databases

All Subjects:


Multidisciplinary full-text journal articles from 1,500 major journals. Please note: In many cases, JSTOR does not include the most recent 3 to 5 years of these journals. Please use other databases to retrieve recent articles, especially for current events topics. Coverage: Varies by title.

Nexis Uni.

Nexis Uni™ features more than 15,000 news, business and legal sources from LexisNexis—including U.S. Supreme Court decisions dating back to 1790—with an intuitive interface that offers quick discovery across all content types, personalization features such as Alerts and saved searches and a collaborative workspace with shared folders and annotated documents.

Project Muse.

Arts, humanities, and social sciences. Journal articles. Coverage: Varies by title.

Anthropology: Anthropology Plus.

Social, cultural, physical, biological, and linguistic anthropology; ethnology, archaeology, folklore, material culture, and interdisciplinary studies. Includes Anthropological Literature (Harvard University) and Anthropological Index (Royal Anthropological Institute-UK). Index to journal articles, reports, commentaries, edited works, and obituaries. Coverage: Late 19th century-present.

Art and Art History: Arts & Humanities Citation Index.

Archaeology, architecture, art, Asian Studies, classics, dance, film, radio, television, folklore, history, language and literature, music, philosophy, poetry, religion, and theater. Scholarly journals. Unique feature: ability to search citations to a person's work. Coverage: 1980-present.

Film and Media Studies: Film & Television Literature Index.

Covers journal and magazine titles for film and television reviews, scholarly and critical analysis of cinema and television, and articles of popular interest about film and television. About half the journals and magazines are film periodicals and the other half cover film and television with some regularity. Subject coverage includes film & television theory, preservation & restoration, writing, production, cinematography, technical aspects, and reviews.

History: Historical Abstracts.

All aspects of world history (excluding the US and Canada) since 1450. Journal articles, books, reviews, conference proceedings, dissertations, etc. Coverage: 1954-present.

Humanities: Humanities International Complete.

Literature & the literary arts, philosophy, the arts, history, culture, and creative thought. Journal articles, books, and other sources from around the world. Coverage: Varies by title.

Literature: MLA International Bibliography.

Literature, language, linguistics, literary theory, folklore, and the dramatic arts. International coverage of journal articles, series, books, dissertations, bibliographies, and scholarly websites. Includes the MLA Directory of Periodicals. Coverage: 1925-present.

Music: Music Index.

Classical and popular music, musicians, and the music industry. International coverage with citations in journal articles, book reviews, record reviews, news, and obituaries. Coverage: 1970-present.

Political Science: Political Science Complete.

This database provides indexing and abstracts for top-ranked scholarly journals, recent reference works, and professional conference papers. Its coverage consists of topics such as law and legislation, comparative politics, political theory, international relations, humanitarian issues, and non-governmental organizations.

Social Sciences: Social Sciences Citation Index.

Journals in the social sciences; included in Web of Science. Unique feature: ability to search citations to a person's work in footnotes and bibliographies. Coverage: 1980-present.

Theater & Dance: International Bibliography of Theatre & Dance.

Contains all of the content available in International Bibliography of Theatre & Dance as well as full text for 100 titles, including Canadian Theatre Review, Dance Chronicle, Dance Teacher, Modern Drama, PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art, Research in Dance Education, Research in Drama Education, Studies in Theatre and Performance, TDR: The Drama Review, Theater, and many more. Additional full text available includes more than 50 books & monographs.

Subject Specific Database Guides

If you wish to dive deeper into the hundreds of databases that W&M Libraries subscribes to, check out these subject specific lists of databases: Africana Studies, Anthropology, Art and Art History, Film & Media Studies, History, Humanities, Language and Literature, Music, Political Science, Social Science, and Theater & Dance.