Welcome to the Humanities Research Guide

Humanities is the study of human culture through the perspective of a number of academic disciplines, ranging in scope from Art to Theater, with many subject areas in between. Listed below are a number of resources that are helpful for studying the Humanities.

Click on a link on the menu below to take you to that specific section.

Learn how studying the Humanities can help prepare you for the workplace!

Finding Books

Use the COD Library's book catalog to find books & videos. Click on the "keyword" tab to search using multiple search terms and limit your results by material type (book, video), date, or language. You'll need a current library card to check out books.


I-Share allows you to borrow books from over 80 Illinois academic libraries. You must have a current COD library card, and create an account to request books from an I-Share library.

E-book Collections

Most books in these collections can also be located and accessed by searching in the Library's book catalog.

  • ebrary
  • Collection contains several books on topics in the Humanities. Many e-books can be viewed from your computer or downloaded to your e-book reader. You need to create an account to download e-books to your device.

  • EBSCO e-book collection
  • Find 100s of Philosophy-related books . NOTE: Books can be viewed by single page on a computer, or, can be downloaded to an e-book reader. You'll be prompted to create an EBSCO account. The loan period for e-books is four hours. Books can be renewed after the initial loan period expires.

  • Humanities (ACLS) E-book Collection
  • This resource includes over 1500 full-text, cross-searchable books in the humanities selected by scholars for their continuing importance for research and teaching. Pages from this collection can be printed and emailed.

Project Gutenberg E-books

Project Gutenberg provides access to a number of humanities-related e-books. Many can be read online or downloaded to e-book readers.

General Reference Works

  • Encyclopedia Britannica - Online
    The online version of the classic Encyclopedia Britannica that also includes web links, select articles and access to Webster's Dictionary.

  • Credo Reference Online
    Credo Reference is a full-text online reference service. The collection includes over three million entries from hundreds of well-regarded titles from some of world's the best reference publishers.

  • Reference Universe
    Reference Universe is a finding aid for reference materials in both the print and electronic collections owned by our Library.

General Databases

The Library subscribes to many databases that provide access to thousands of popular and credible, scholarly journals. Many databases provide access to full-text articles, while some provide information about the article only (citation). Request (for free!) through Interlibrary Loan copies of articles to which the Library doesn't have full-text access.

Databases are organized collections of information that you can search on a variety of fields, like title and author's name. iTunes is a database and so is Amazon. Even your contacts list in your phone is a type of mini database. The Library has databases of articles from newspapers, magazines and journals. We also have databases of streaming videos, music and e-books. The difference between our databases and iTunes or Amazon is that our stuff is free for you to use. You can browse the library's databases here:


  • Academic Search Complete
  • Multidisciplinary database covering a wide range of academic areas.

  • Excellent source for credible scholarly, peer-reviewed articles. Articles in database were published between the early 1700s and between 1-5 years ago.

  • Project MUSE
  • Project MUSE offers full-text current and archival articles from 500+ scholarly journals from major university presses covering literature and criticism, history, performing arts, cultural studies, education, philosophy, political science, gender studies, and more. Updated continually.

Subject Specific Research Guides

Use these research guides to find resources on specific subjects:

Media for the Humanities

International/ Ethnic Film Directors

Films made by directors associated with the following ethnic/racial groups:

Asians and Asian-Americans
Indians and Indian-Americans
Middle Easterners and Middle-East-Americans
Native Americans
Latin Americans and Latino-Americans

Other Resources

  • The African Film Collection
    a collection of films about Africa, containing works by African and non-African filmmakers. The collection contains representative films, documentaries, and music DVDs and contains works from all over Africa. These films are housed at Western Illinois University and are available to be borrowed through InterLibrary Loan.

  • African Film Library
    "The library consists of award-winning works from more than 80 producers including Senegalese Ousmane Sembene and Djibril Mambety, Yousef Chahine from Egypt and Haile Gerima from Ethiopia."

  • Great Performances
    "GREAT PERFORMANCES presents a diverse programming portfolio of classical music, opera, popular song, musical theater, dance, drama, and performance documentaries."

  • iFilm Connections: Asia & Pacific
    "iFilm Connections: Asia & Pacific seeks to create a deeper awareness and understanding of Asian and Pacific Island film cultures by providing immediate and comprehensive information about contemporary feature films from these areas." Includes an online film festival of independent films touching on globalization.

  • Black Film Research Online
    A University of Chicago guide to film directors, internet resources and other information.

  • British Library: Archival Sound Recordings
    About 7,000 items are currently available for listening.

  • Global Gateway: World Culture and Resources
    A Gateway to online collections about different cultures around the world.

  • Hiphop Archive
    Includes readings, visuals, listening, and short videos.

  • Performing Arts Encyclopedia
    Music, theatre and dance resources from the Library of Congress.

  • Smart History
    "This site is being developed by Beth Harris and Steven Zucker as a dynamic enhancement (or even substitute) for the static traditional Western art history textbook."