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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

German Studies: Literature

A beginner's guide to German Studies research at the UIUC Library.

Open Literature Online

Reference Works

Reference works are written by scholars and provide information on a topic such as facts, definitions, histories, overviews, statistics, etc.  Examples you may be familiar with are encyclopedias, biographies, dictionaries, etc.

Print Reference

Most reference works are in print and are located in the reference areas of the Library; most cannot be checked out.  Try visiting the following areas in the Main Library (or check the Library Catalog):

  • Current and most frequently used:  Room 200, call number range 430 (German languages) or 830 (German literature)
  • Older but still useful: Main Stacks Reference, just inside the entrance to the Main Stacks
  • Lesser consulted and second copies: Literature and Languages Library circulating collection, Main Stacks, or Oak Street remote storage.

Literary Terms

For general literary analysis, explore the Literature and Language Library's guide for Literary Theory.

Holocaust Literature

German Literature Databases

German and Austrian Authors

In addition to the books linked below, you can find more works on German or Austrian authors via the Library Catalog:

  • For specific authors:
    • Works by an author: search the author's name (last name, first name)
    • Works about an author: use the author's name as a topic or subject heading
  • More than one author:
    • Sample search terms:
      • Authors, German
      • Authors, Austrian

20th Century

Women Writers

Literary Themes & Motifs


In addition to the histories linked below, you can find others by using the Library Catalog.  Try browsing by subject with these or related search terms:

  • German literature, History and criticism
  • Austrian literature, History and criticism


Bibliographies of literary criticism for German-language literature are available two forms: online and in print. Online databases tend to be limited to works dating from the last few decades and to journal articles and book chapters (but often omit full books). Print bibliographies usually cover articles and books and can go back many years, perhaps even centuries. A list of online article indexes can be found in the box below.

To find more print bibliographies on German literature, search the Library Catalog using the subject heading German literature, bibliography.


Select Bibliographies

Bibliographies by Century

For 15th and 16th century books, visit the Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

17th Century Books

18th - 19th Centuries