Skip to main content
UMW Libraries
Simpson | Stafford | Special Collections

Modern Languages and Literatures: Obtaining Background Material

A research guide to finding books, articles, and other resources in Modern Languages and Literatures

Using Reference Books

Use Reference books to:

♦  Obtain background material to help familiarize yourself with your topic

♦  Locate definitions of terms and concepts

♦  Find bibliographies suggesting additional resources on your topic


Reference books are on the first floor of Simpson Library

Don't forget!  If you need assistance, stop at the Information Desk (located to the right as you enter Simpson Library's front door).

Citing Your Sources

While writing research papers, you may need to:

  List your sources in bibliographies or works cited, and

♦  Provide either footnotes or endnotes.

Here is a link to the UMW Libraries' Guide to Citing Resources.

Navigation Menu

When looking for background information related to any of the following topics, either click on these links or scroll down for reference books found on the first floor of Simpson Library:

General Reference Works









General Reference Books

The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the Language Sciences
REFB P 29 .C28 2011
The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the World's Ancient Languages
REFB P 140 .C36 2004
Compendium of the World's Languages
REFB P 371 .C36 2000

Encyclopedia of the World's Endangered Languages
REFB P 40.5 .L332 E45 2007
Ethnologue: Languages of the World
REFB P 371 .E83 2005


Arabic-English Dictionary
REFB PJ 6640 .W34

A Dictionary of Iraqi Arabic
REFB PJ 6826 .D53 2003

Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics
REFB PJ 6031 .E53 2006

Encyclopedia of Arabic Literature
REFB PJ 7510 .E53 1998

NCT's Gulf Arabic-English Dictionary
REFB PJ 6856 .Q24 1997

Modern Arabic Literature
REFB PJ 7538 .M58

The Oxford English-Arabic Dictionary
REFB PJ 6640 .O93


Collins Robert French Dictionary
REFB PC 2640 .C69 2002

The Feminist Encyclopedia of French Literature
REFB PQ 149 .F47 1999

French Women Writers: A Bio-Bibliographical Source Book
REFB PQ 149 .F73 1991

Guide to French Literature
REFB PQ 41 .L484 1994

Harper Collins French Concise Dictionary
REFB PC 2640 .F74 2004

Harrap's New Standard French and English Dictionary
REFB PC 2640 .H317 1980

Larousse Chambers Dictionnaire
REFB PC 2640 .G735 2003

Larousse French-English, English-French dictionary
REFB PC 2640 .G735 2003

The New Oxford Companion to Literature in French
REFB PQ 41 .N48 1995

Tresor de la Langue Francaise
REFB PC 2625 .I4


Collins German-English, English-German Dictionary
REFB PF 3640 .C68 2003

Companion to Twentieth Century German Literature
REFB PT 401 .F87

Duden: Das Grosse Worterbuch der Deutschen Sprache in Zehn Banden
REFB PF 3625 .G75 1999

Encyclopedia of German Literature
REFB PT 41 .E63 2000

The Feminist Encyclopedia of German Literature
REFB PT 41 .F46 1997

Harrap's Standard German and English Dictionary
REFB PF 3640 .H3 1963a

Killy Literaturlexikon
REFB PT 41 .K55 2016

Langenscheidt's New Muret-Sanders Encyclopedic Dictionary of the English and German Languages
REFB PF 3640 .L257

Oxford-Duden German Dictionary
REFB PF 3640 .O94 2005


Collins Italian Dictionary
REFB PC 1640 .C38 2005

Dictionary of Italian Literature
REFB PQ 4006 .D45 1996

DII : Dizionario Inglese-Italiano, Italiano-Inglese
REFB PC 1640 .D18 2001

Dizionario Etimologico Italiano
REFB PC 1580 .B3 1975

Encyclopedia of Italian Literary Studies
REFB PQ 4006 .E536 2007

Grande Dizionario Della Lingua Italiana
REFB PC 1625 .B3

Italian Literature and Its Times
REFB PQ 4038 .M67 2005

Italian Women Writers: A Bio-Bibliographical Sourcebook
REFB PQ 4063 .I88 1994

Larousse Concise Dictionary: Italian-English, English Italian
REFB PC 1640 .L315 2004

The Oxford Companion to Italian Literature
REFB PQ 4006 .O84 2002

Oxford-Paravia Il Dizionario
REFB PC 1640 .O95 2006


    Japanese Modern Writers: A Bio-Critical Sourcebook
    REFB PL 725 .J37 1994

    Kodansha's Furigana English-Japanese Dictionary
    REFB PL 679 .K67 2001

    Modern Japanese Novelists: A Biographical Dictionary
    REFB PL 747.55 .L48 1993

    Modern Japanese Writers
    REFB PL 723 .M563 2001

    Random House Japanese-English English-Japanese Dictionary
    REFB PL 679 .N294 1995


      Basic Glossary of Korean Studies
      REFB PL 935 .B38 1993

      Minjung's Essence English-Korean Dictionary
      REFB PL 937 .E5 E84 1996

      Minjung's Essence Korean-English Dictionary
      REFB PL 937 .E774 1996

      NTC's Compact Korean and English Dictionary
      REFB PL 937 .E5 N15 1995


      Dictionary of Russian Literature since 1917
      REFB PG 2991.4 .K3513

      Dictionary of Russian Women Writers
      REFB PG 2997 .D53 1994

      English-Russian, Russian-English Dictionary
      REFB PG 2640 .K34 1984

      Handbook of Russian Literature
      REFB PG 2940 .H29 1985

      Oxford Russian Dictionary
      REFB PG 2640 .W5 2000

      The Penguin Russian Dictionary
      REFB PG 2640 .R93 1995

      Reference Guide to Russian Literature
      REFB PG 2940 .R44 199


      Collins Dictionary
      REFB PC 4640 .C53 2003

      The Contemporary Spanish Novel
      REFB PQ 6144 .A64 1996

      Encyclopedia Latina: History, Culture, and Society in the United States
      REFB E 184 .S75 E587 2005

      Encyclopedia of Contemporary Latin American and Caribbean Cultures
      REFB F 1406 .E515 2000

      Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture
      REFB F 1406 .E53 2008

      Encyclopedia of Latino Popular Culture
      REFB E 184 .S75 E59 2004

      Encyclopedia of Modern Mexico
      REFB F 1234 .D364 2002

      Feminist Encyclopedia of Spanish Literature
      REFB PQ 6055 .F46 2002

      Harper Collins Spanish Concise Dictionary
      REFB PC 4640 .S63 2004

      Hispanic Literature Criticism
      REFB PQ 7081 .A1 H573 1994

      Larousse Concise Dictionary
      REFB PC 4640 .L38 2006

      Larousse Gran Diccionario
      REFB PC 4640 .L393 2004

      Larousse Standard Diccionario
      REFB PC 4640 .S72 2004

      Latin American Literature and Its Times
      REFB PQ 7081 .M625 1999

      Latin American Writers
      REFB PQ 7081 .A1 L37 1989

      Latino American Cinema: A Encyclopedia of Movies, Stars, Concepts, and Trends
      REFB PN 1995.9 .L37 B38

      Literary Cultures of Latin America
      REFB PQ 7081 .A1 L525 2004

      Mexico: An Encyclopedia of Contemporary Culture and History
      REFB F 1234 .C67 2004

      A New History of Spanish Writing, 1939 to the 1990s
      REFB PQ 6072 .N49 2000

      Oxford Spanish Dictionary
      REFB PC 4640 .O94 2003

      Spanish and Portuguese Literatures and Their Times
      REFB PQ 6041 .M67 2002

      Spanish Women Writers: A Bio-Bibliographical Source Book
      REFB PQ 6055 .S63
      World Literature in Spanish: An Encyclopedia
      REFB PQ 6006 .W67 2011