The MLA International Bibliography is the most comprehensive index for research works on literatures and languages. The database contains citations for secondary works in:
The MLA does NOT include works exclusively on classical Greek and Latin literatures or works on subjects like aesthetics, human behavior, communication, and information processes, except as they relate directly to human language or literature.
The majority of citations indexed by MLA are in English. But at least seventy other languages are represented, including French, Spanish, German, Russian, Japanese, Portuguese, Norwegian, and Turkish.
Dates of Coverage
The MLA contains citations from 1926 to the present.
MLA is primary an index and contains only some full-text articles. If you need the full text of a citation that isn't available in the database, click on the Discover button icon to search all Library holdings for its location in another database and/or in the Library catalog:
If you have questions, don't hesitate to Ask a Librarian for help!
(TI) Title: search this field if you are looking for known-items or items with your search terms in their title (e.g. "
(AU) Author: search this field if you are looking for items by a particular scholar (e.g. Greenblatt, Stephen)
(SK) Primary Subject Work: the title of the work you are interested in researching (e.g. "The Revenger's Tragedy")
(SA) Primary Subject Author: the author of the work you are interested in researching (e.g. Tournier, Cyril)
(SU) Subjects -- All: search this field for
controlled-vocabulary words, names, or phrases that describes what the
item is about (e.g. "revenge tragedy," staging)
Limits are tools that enable you to focus on certain types of materials for your search based on specific categories and characteristics. Here are some of the most common ones you may use:
Exclude Dissertations: We strongly recommend that you check this box to exclude dissertations from your search: dissertations are tricky to use and best to leave out.
Limit by Source Type: Use this to restrict your search to only one type of item such as Book, Book Article/Chapter, or Journal Article.
Limit by Language: Select "English" in this menu to limit your search to only English-language texts.
Limit by Peer Review: Check the box next to "Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals" to search for only those items in scholarly journals.
Limit by Linked Full-Text: Check the box next to "Link Full-Text" to search for only items with full-text.
Limit by Publication Date: Type in the publication date limits for your search.
The opening search page of the MLA International Bibliography database is actually Advanced Search. This search mode is the most effective way to search MLA. It provides three search bars so that you can search for multiple key terms at once:
You can also apply different limits to your search, including by Publication Date, Publication Type, Language, Genre, and Scholarly (Peer-Reviewed) Journals (see the sidebar).
After you type in your search terms and click on the Search button, you see a list of results:
These results will include citation records for journal articles, books, and book chapters. Journal articles may or may not be available in full text--if they are, then you will see Linked Full Text, HTML Full Text and PDF Full Text icons, as shown in the above example. Citations for book chapters and books will not have full-text links, so to find them, click on the button to search all Library holdings.
When you click the Discover icon, the link will take you to a page similar to the one below. In addition to locating items in the catalog, you can also use the Discover system to search for the full text version of journal articles in the library's other databases.
While MLA does not provide access to the full text of the article shown in the example above, the full text is available through another database, in this case Project Muse. If the full text is available for a journal article through any of the library's databases, direct links to those databases are generally provided under the "Online Full Text" heading.
Basic Search is a simple search that you can access through the "Basic Search" link below the Advanced Search bars. We strongly recommend that you use Advanced Search, but if you're overwhelmed by all of the options, select Basic Search.
In Basic Search, you can type in one key phrase, title, or author, and choose to limit by Pubication Date, Linked Full-Text only, Language, or Scholarly (Peer-Reviewed) Journals.
Using the Thesaurus
Using Subject Terms and General Subject Terms