University of Oregon

German Language and Literature Research Guide

The following is a selected list of resources for starting research in German language and literature. For further assistance, please ask at the main reference desk, or contact Bruce Tabb, Germanic languages and literatures subject specialist, at

Starting Your Research

These reference sources can help you identify a topic for your research, provide an overview of a specific issue or topic, and suggest other materials which might be useful to you.

  • Oxford Companion to German Literature
    A single volume publication. It contains a wide variety of entries listed in a single alphabet and linked by a system of cross-references. Entries can be a name of an author, a name of a work, or a theme or motive. It spans the period from ca. 800 to the 1990's. Click on the call number PT41.G3 1997to view the online catalog record for the third edition. Click on the call number PT41.G3 1986 to view the online catalog record for the second edition. Click on the call number PT41.G3 to view the online catalog record for the first, second, and third editions.
  • German Literature, an Annotated Reference Guide
    by Uwe K. Faulhaber and Penrith B.Goff (New York : Garland Pub., 1979) is an annotated bibliography embracing major research tools, literary criticism, and periodicals in the field of German literature. As a quick reference guide it is comprehensive enough for the established scholar and teacher, yet useful for the undergraduate. Its major problem is that it is not current. Click on the call number Z2231.F38 to view the full online catalog record.
  • The Year's Work in Modern Language Studies
    Published by theModern Humanities Research Association, began in 1929, and each volume is divided by language, and then time period and area. Since it includes citations to articles, collections, and books, it can help provide research ideas and information on recent popular topics. Click on the call number PB1.Y45 to view the online catalog record.
  • Encyclopedia Britannica (Off-campus access limited to UO students, faculty, and staff)
    Encyclopedia Britannica has concise, frequently scholarly articles on many topics of interest to students of literature.
  • Journals/Current Periodicals
    Browse through the table of contents of current issues of journals on German literature. These are kept on the second floor in the Current Periodicals Room. Most journals on German literature will be in the PT section. Use the same call number on a current issues to find older, bound issues in the stacks (4th floor of Knight).

Finding Articles

To look for articles in journals, newspapers, or magazines, you will need to start with an index. An index will allow you to look by author, subject, or keyword which describes your topic. After identifying articles that look useful for your research, look up the journal title, note the article title, in the UO Online Library Catalog to determine if the Library subscribes to the journal. If the Library subscribes, the catalog record will give you the call number and location of the journal.

  • MLA International Bibliography
    Modern Language Association Bibliography is an index to languages, literature, linguistics, and folklore. As one of the largest journal indexes of literary criticism, it includes journal article citations as well as references books, chapters in collections of essays, and papers issued as conference proceedings. MLA Bibliography can be accessed from the University of Oregon Library's Web pages, or by clicking here on MLA.
  • Articles on Twentieth Century Literatur
    by David E. Pownall (New York: Kraus-Thomson Organization, 1973-1980) is a seven-volume annotated bibliography, arranged alphabetically by author and title discussed. It is located in Knight Reference and is a good source for English-language criticism of literature written in a variety of languages. Its main drawback is that it is out-of date, but nonetheless it is a good starting point. Click on the call number Z6519.P66 to view the full online catalog record.
  • Magill's Bibliography of Literary Criticism
    Edited by Frank N. Magill, associate editors, Stephen L. Hanson,Patricia King Hanson (Englewood Cliffs, N.J. : Salem Press, 1979) is four-volume bibliography arranged alphabetically by author and title of the work being discussed. Though out-of-date it is a good starting point for gathering sources for basic criticism of western literature. It is located in Knight Reference. Click on the call number Z6511.M25 to view the full online catalog record. 
  • Academic Search Premier provides full text for over 1,250 academic, social sciences, humanities, general science, education and multi-cultural journals. In addition to the full text, this database offers indexing and abstracts for nearly 2,880 journals. Over 700 of the over 1,250 full text journals are peer reviewed. Over 1,670 of the indexed journals are peer reviewed. Full text backfiles go as far back as January of 1990, while indexing and abstract backfiles go as far back as January of 1984. This is a good database to use if your topic is multidisiplinary.
  • See also: The Year's Work in Modern Languages Studies above

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Finding Books

  • UO Online Library Catalog 
    Through the UO online catalog you can identify by subject, keyword, title, or author books owned by the UO libraries. You can also find titles of journals and magazines.
  • Summit Catalog
    Summit is a library catalog that combines information from 45 academic libraries in Oregon and Washington into a single, unified database and puts well over 5,000,000 items at your fingertips. Books not owned by the UO Libraries may be requested through Summit borrowing. Once you find the book you want, it can be requested online by clicking on REQUEST THIS ITEM from the Summit screen. To request a journal article from a periodical not owned by the UO libraries, you will need to fill out an interlibrary loan form.
  • WorldCat 
    Worldcat is a database of library catalogs from around the world and contains bibliographic records for books, journals, maps, musical scores and recordings, manuscripts, videos, and several other types of materials. The searching capabilities are quite flexible making it possible to search in a number of different ways, for example, by author, by corporate body, by publisher, by subject, by keyword, by genre, etc.

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Dictionaries and Grammars

The University of Oregon Library System has a variety of German language dictionaries available, both English-German/German-English as well as German/German. The following are titles selected from the collection. Browse the shelves in the same call number range to find other titles, or do a subject search in the library catalog for German language -Dictionaries - English to retrieve German-English/English-dictionaries, or for German language dictionaries, search the subject "German language - Dictionaries." Dictionaries on specialized vocabulary are also available. German-English/English German dictionaries:

  • The Oxford Duden German Dictionary : German-English, English-German
    Edited by the Dudenredaktion and the German Section of the Oxford University Press Dictionary Department (Oxford : Clarendon Press ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1997).
    This is a standard, precise, beginning and intermediate college-level dictionary. To view the full online catalog record, click on the call number PF3640.O94 1997.
  • LEO dictionary. German-English
    A online, computer file by Achim Jung and Peter Kai Wimmer. Published by LEO (Link Everything Online).This online dictionary contains over 180,000 entries and can be searched in either Englishor German. To connect, click on LEO German/English Dictionary.
  • Harrap's Standard German and English Dictionary KNIGHT REFERENCE [PF3640.H3]
    Edited by Trevor Jones. This dictionary was begun in 1963. Only three of the proposed four volumes were published before the editor's death in 1985. It is questionable whether the fourth and last volume will be published. Nonetheless it is the standard German-English dictionary even in its incomplete form. It includes both Austrian and Swiss words not found in standard German dictionaries, as well as terminology from the United States and Canada. It also lists both colloquiallisms and archaic usages. Click on the call number PF3640.H3 to view the full online catalog record.
  • Shorter Cambridge-Eichborn German dictionary: Business and Business Law, Economics, Administration
    By Reinhart von Eichborn. This dictionary is one of the basic German-English/English-German dictionaries devoted to business and business-related vocabulary. To view the full online catalog record, click on the call number H45.E37 1984.

German/German Dictionaries:

  • Brockhaus-Wahrig deutsches Wörterbuch
    Edited by Gerhard Wahrig, Hildegard Kramer, HaraldZimmermann. Wiesbaden : F. A. Brockhaus ; Stuttgart : Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt,1980-1984. This is a basic resource dictionary for the study of German language and literature. The six volumes include standard written and spoken German, principal dialects, some colloquial expressions and jargon, representative first names, foreign words, and neologisms. Click on the call number PF3625.W23 to view the full online catalog record.
  • Duden, das große Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache in acht Bänden
    Edited and revised by the Dudenredaktion under the leadership of Gunther Drosdowski. Mannheim : Dudenverlag, c1993-1995.
    This Duden dictionary in eight volumes is a wordlist of over 200,000 terms. It is comprehensive in that it gives pronunciation, pronunciation variations, contemporary and historical meanings, etymological roots, and includes slang expressions and their origins. In addition this set is excellent reference source for students of German because of the numerous examples of usage. Click on the call number PF3625.D825 1993 to view the complete online catalog record.


  • Reference Grammar of the German Language
    by Herbert Lederer.New York: Scribner, 1969.
    This authorative grammar of the German language is based on Grammatik der deutschen Sprache by Dora Schulz and Heinz Griesbach which is one of the most basic and standard German grammars. Because Reference Grammar of the German Language is in English, it is one of the best comprehensive grammars for intermediate and advanced students of German. Click on the call number PF3105.L43 to view the full online catalog record.
  • Grammatik der deutschen Sprache
    by Gisela Zifonun, Ludger Hoffmann, Bruno Strecker ... [et al.]. Berlin: W. de Gruyter, 1997.
    This grammar published in three volumes is one of the definitive grammars of the German language. Though possibly daunting for the beginning student, it is a must for the more advanced student. Click on the call number PF3105.Z54 1997 to view the full online catalog record.
  • There are a number of other good grammars, some more extensive than others, some in English, some in German (or other languages). To view a list of German grammars, search on the subject heading (or simply click on the subject heading) German language - Grammar.

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Finding English Translations

  • A Critical Bibliography of German Literature in English Translation, 1481-1927
    by Bayard Quincy Morgan (New York : Scarecrow Press, 1965)
    Lists thousands of well-known works of German literature that have been translated into English, with brief critical evaluations. It also includes an index of translators. Click on the call number Z2234.T7M8 1938 to view the full online catalog record.There are a second edition and a supplement which expand the years covered. To view the full online record for these, click on the call number Z2234.T7M8 1965.
  • UOLibrary Catalog For a novel, a collection short stories, or poems by one author, search by author and then limit the search results by English language. If you don't find the author's work for which you are searching, try the following additional sources:


  • Summit Catalog
    As with the UO online catalog, search the catalog by authoror title, and then limit the search results by English.

Short Stories

  • Short Story Index, located onTable 3 in the KNIGHT REFERENCE area, is arranged in one alphabetical list by author, English title, and subject, lists short stories written in or translated into English. It is published yearly with 5 year cumulations. To view the full online record for Short Story Index and its supplements, click on the call number Z9517.S5C6.
  1. Search for author to find story/title/collection
  2. Look up collection in "Listof Collections Indexed"
  3. Search the UO Online Library Catalog by collection title


  • Granger's Index to Poetryin Anthologies
  • Granger's Index to Poetryin Collected and Selected Works
    Both are located on Index Table 3 in the KNIGHT REFERENCE area. Use Granger's Index to Poetry in Anthologies or Granger's Index to Poetry in Collected and Selected Works to find poems translated into English. It is indexed by author, English title, and subject.
  1. Search index by author to find English title
  2. Look up title to find collection abbreviation
  3. Look up collection abbreviation to find full title
  4. Search UO Online Library Catalog for collection title

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Finding Film Information

The following may be useful in initial research on German-language films and their production.

  • Encyclopedia of European Cinema
    Ed. by Ginette Vincendeau. (New York, NY: Facts on File, 1995)
    Located in KNIGHT REFERENCE, the Encyclopedia of European Cinema is arranged alphbetically with brief encyclopedic entries. Click on the call numberPN1993.5.E8 V56 1995 to view the full online record.
  • To find materials about German films or film production in the Knight Library, click on the subject heading Motion pictures-Germany. Or try the same search in Summit. To find actual films in German in the Knight Library click on the subject heading: Feature films-Germany.

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People and Organizations

  • Biographyand Genealogy Master Index
    Biography and Genealogy Master Index (BGMI) is an index to hundreds of sources of biographical information for people worldwide from all time periods. First find a citation in BGMI, then search for it in the UO Online Library Catalog.
  • Contemporary Authors 
    Contemporary Authorsis a large, multi-volume set located in KNIGHT REFERENCE. Use the cumulative index at the end of the set to learn who is included. To view the full online records for this title, click on the call number Z1224.C6. Since 1995 there is an online version. Click here to connect.
  • Dictionary of Literary Biography (DLB) published by Gale Research Company. This is a large set. Several volumes of the DLB cover German literature. These volumes are located in the PT section of KNIGHT REFERENCE. They are particularly strong in 19th- and 20th-century fiction writers. The following volumes deal with German literature. Click on the call number to view the full online record.
    Volume 56 covers German fiction writers from 1914 to 1945. PT772.G39 1987
    Volume 66 covers German fiction writers from 1885 to 1913. PT771.G47 1988
    Volume 69 covers contemporary German fiction writers. PT772.C59 1988
    Volume 75 covers more contemporary German fiction writers. PT772.C593 1988
    Volume 81 covers Austrian fiction writers from 1875 to 1913. PT3814.A97 1989
    Volume 85 covers Austrian fiction writers after 1914. PT3814.A98 1989
    Volume 90 covers German writers in the age of Goethe, 1789-1832. PT311.G47 1989
    Volume 94 covers German writers from Sturm und Drang to classicism.PT311.G48 1990
    Volume 97 covers German writers from the Enlightenment to Sturm und Drang, from 1720 to 1764. PT293.G47 1990
    Volume 118 covers Twentieth-century German dramatists from 1889 to 1918. PT666.T86 1992
    Volume 124 covers Twentieth-century German dramatists from 1919-1992. PT666.T87 1992
    Volume 129 covers Nineteenth-century German writers from 1841 to 1900. PT341.N56 1993
  • Women Writers of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland
    Edited by Elke Frederiksen (New York : Greenwood Press, 1989) is a bio-bliographical guide to women who write in Germany. Located in KNIGHT REFERENCE, click on the call number Z2233.5.W6 W66 1989 to view the full online record.

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German Language and Literature Web Resources

  • German Studies Web
    German Studies Web, maintained by the Western European Specialists Sectionof the Association of College and Research Libraries, is a comprehensive list of Web sites which deal with all aspects of the German-speaking world.
  • Eastern German Studies Association
    This Web site is maintained by the Eastern German Studies Association which is an association of scholars interested in that part of Germany which was once known as the German Democratic Republic.
  • German Studies Association
    This is the Web site for the German Studies Association which a multi- and interdisciplinaryassociation of scholars in German, Austrian, and Swiss history,literature, culture studies, political science, and economics.
  • The German Way
    The German Way is a Web site that boasts itself as the "guide to all things Germanic."
  • Yahoo! Deutschland 
    General guide and search engine for German web sites.


Created by annie on Jun 18, 2012 Last updated Aug 24, 2015
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