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FTS: Childhood in Nordic Folk and Fairy Tales: Getting Started

Welcome to the Library

The Princess and the Trolls

John Baeur, Prinsessan och Trollen, 1913, courtesy of Wikimedia

Finding Books and Videos

General Collection books are on the upper level (call numbers starting A-PQ) or the main floor (call numbers from PR - Z). They can be checked out for six weeks.

Children's Collection books are on the lower level at the back of the floor (near Olin Hall). They can be checked out for six weeks.

Videos are on the lower level at the front of the floor. They can be checked out for three days.

Books in the Reference Collection are on the main floor, Beck Hall side. They must be used in the library.

Books on Reserve are kept behind the main desk. They must be used in the library.

On the Reference Shelves

On the Reference Shelves


The six librarians, eight library staff members, and dozens of student employees want to make the library a place that helps you learn and explore ideas. Three places you'll find us:

  • The circulation desk - where you check books out and ask for reserves
  • The reference desk - where you can get help with your research or simply trouble-shoot problems you encounter. Librarians are available from 10:30-4:30 and 6-10pm M-W, 10:30-4:30 T, 10:30-2:30 F, and 2pm - 8pm Sundays.
  • Interlibrary loan (ILL) - we will borrow books or get articles from journals that are not in  our library. Mostly, you will interact with these staff members via the web and email. It takes several days to get a book, 24-48 hours to get an article from another library.

Your friendly librarians

Kinds of Sources

  • Background sources to get the big picture and a general overview - such as Wikipedia, reference books, textbooks.
  • Primary sources or "exhibits - the raw materials you analyze; in this course, folk tales and modern retellings of stories are the raw materials that you will analyze.
  • Secondary sources or "arguments" - books or articles that tell you how other researchers have analyzed folk tales.
  • Method or theory sources - ones that explain how to make an argument or an interpretation.

"Sources are people talking to people"

There are (at least) two ways to find information.

  • The Google way - put key words into a search engine, catalog, or database and see what turns up. This seems quick and efficient, but can overwhelm you with choices.
  • Following connections from one expert to another - when you find a good source, it may well point you to other sources. In a way, you're becoming part of a big conversation and your voice matters! The trick in following connections is getting your hands on the books and articles they wrote.

Tracing Cited Sources

Once you see a reference that looks good, how do you get your hands on it? Here's a quick checklist.

  • Is the reference to a book? Search the title of the book in the library catalog.
  • Is the reference to a chapter or essay in a book? Check the book title in the library catalog (not the title of the essay).
  • Is the reference to a journal article? Search for the title of the journal in the Journals List (not the title of the article).
  • Did you strike out? Request it through Interlibrary Loan (ILL).
  • Not sure what it is? Ask at the reference desk.



Barbara Fister's picture
Barbara Fister
I'm happy to meet to discuss your research in my office, over coffee, or wherever it's convenient for you.

Office: Library Lower Level (facing Beck Hall)
phone: x7553
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