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Research consultations

I am available to assist with your research throughout the academic year.  If you would like to arrange for an individual research consultation, please e-mail me with a requested date and time, and a brief description of your research interest.


The purpose of this guide is to recommend print and electronic resources for conducting research in Modern Languages at the J.N. Desmarais Library. Click on the links on the left for suggestions about starting your research, getting books and articles, and citing your sources for research.

For information about the Modern Languages program, including courses and faculty, please visit the Department's home page.

Library Instruction

To learn more about the library and its resources and how you can exploit them to your advantage, register in the Research Skills Tutorial on D2L. There are several sections in the tutorial with a short quiz at the end of each; at the end you will receive a Certificate of Completion. Many professors require you to take this tutorial--and once you finish it, you can save your certificate to reprint as often as necessary.

We can hold special classes at the request of at least 5 students. If you would like to arrange a special class, or you think your course would benefit from some in-class library instruction, please ask your professor to contact the librarian responsible for your faculty to set up some sessions.

More Help

In the library: The Library User Assistance Desk to your immediate left as you enter the library is a good place to start.

By email: Email the librarian responsible for your faculty for a reply during regular working hours.

Research consultations: Book a research consultation with the librarian responsible for your faculty by Zoom or phone.

By chat: With our "Ask the Library" service. For more information, see About Ask a Librarian.

For Distance Education students: Telephone: 1-800-661-1058, ext. 2 or email:

Get started in Italian studies

New books at the library

See this list of new books that have recently arrived or are on order for Italian studies.

Very Short Introductions (Oxford University Press series)

Get started in Spanish/Latin American studies

Very Short Introductions (Oxford University Press series)

Reference resources in Spanish/Latin-American studies

Style manuals

Manual de estilo. 2008. 2. ed. Print.


Diccionario de americanismos. 2010. Print.

Nueva gramática de la lengua española. 2009. 2 vols. Print.

Encyclopedias: Latin America

Early Spanish American narrative. 2004. Print.

Enciclopedia hispánica. 1992-93. 18 volumes. Print.

Encyclopedia of contemporary Latin American and Caribbean cultures. 2000. Online and print.

Latin American women writers: an encyclopedia. 2008. Print.

Encyclopedias: Spain

Centro virtual Cervantes. Website. Open access.

Enciclopedia hispánica. 1992. Print.

Encyclopedia of contemporary Spanish culture. 2002. Online and print.

The Feminist encyclopedia of Spanish literature. 2002. Print.

Get books

Call numbers for Modern Languages

Italian studies

PC 1001-4071 Italian language
PQ 4001-4886 History and criticism of Italian literature, literary collections, and works of individual authors arranged by era.
DG 417-975 Italian history

Spanish studies

PC 4861-4971 Spanish language
PQ 6001-6293 History and criticism of Spanish literature, literary collections, and works of individual authors arranged by era.
DP 1-638 Spanish history

Spanish American studies

PC 4861-4971 Spanish language (including Spanish America)
PQ 7061-8560 History and criticism of Spanish American literature, arranged by country and era, and works of individual authors by era.
F 1201-3799, Spanish American history, arranged by country and era.

Getting books

The catalogue is the essential tool for finding library materials at the university.

We offer a library research workshop in Desire2Learn to learn how to find what is in our collections.


With nearly 200 million records representing titles held by nearly 75,000 libraries you will find almost any book ever published in the English language in WorldCat.

Racer and WorldCat

Use RACER to see what is in university libraries in Ontario. You can then request the loan of books that we don't have at Laurentian.

Use WorldCat to see what in academic libraries in North America and beyond.


E-book collections

Some e-books may be located by using the library’s catalogue and selecting "Books & eBooks" as the "Material Type" and then further filtering your results by "Available online". 

We have e-book collections. Check out resources like MyiLibrary.

Get articles

Related resources

We recommend Academic OneFile.

Lexis Nexis has major newspapers worldwide, including North America, Europe, and the U.K., updated daily.

We also get major newspapers like the Globe and Mail and the New York Times, the latter in text, historical newspaper and digital microfilm editions.

Recommended databases for Modern Languages

  • MLA International Bibliography ?

    Description: Covers literature from all over the world--Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North and South America. Folklore is represented by folk literature, music, art, rituals, and belief systems. Linguistics and language materials range from history and theory of linguistics, comparative linguistics, semantics, stylistics, and syntax to translation. Other topics include literary theory and criticism, dramatic arts (film, radio, television, theater), and history of printing and publishing. Since 1926.

  • JSTOR ?

    Description: JSTOR includes the archives of over one thousand leading academic journals across the humanities, social sciences, and sciences, as well as select monographs and other materials valuable for academic work. The entire corpus is full-text searchable, offers search term highlighting, includes high-quality images, and is interlinked by millions of citations and references. Note: Normally the journals in JSTOR are five years from current; further, all JSTOR journals are available through the "Get it @ Laurentian" link from other databases. JSTOR should NOT be used as at the first resort.

  • Google Scholar ?

    Description: "Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature... across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites."

  • Literature Online (LION) ?

    Description: Literature Online is the premier online resource for literary research today. Primary texts, criticism, and reference works are made available in a tailored research environment to provide a one-stop resource for the study and teaching of English literature. --Publisher's description

  • Arts & Humanities Citation Index ?

    Description: Fully indexes over 1,700 arts and humanities journals, as well as selected items over 250 scientific and social sciences journals — from 1975 to present. Covering subjects that include archaeology, art, architecture, asian studies, classics, dance, folklore, history, language, linguistics, literary reviews, literature, music, philosophy, poetry, radio, television, & film, religion and theatre.

  • Humanities & Social Sciences Index Retrospective: 1907-1984 ?

    Description: Humanities & Social Sciences Index Retrospective™: 1907-1984 offers a broad range of subject coverage in the humanities and social sciences with high-quality indexing of more than 1,300,000 articles in nearly 1,100 periodicals, dating as far back as 1907, as well as citations of over 240,000 book reviews.

  • Iter: Gateway to the Middle Ages and Renaissance ?

    Description: Covers secondary sources pertaining to the Middle Ages and Renaissance (400-1700). Citations for books and journal material (articles, reviews, review articles, bibliographies, catalogues, abstracts and discographies) are included, as are citations for dissertation abstracts and essays in books (including entries in conference proceedings, festschriften, encyclopedias and exhibition catalogues).

  • Historical Abstracts ?

    Description: Historical Abstracts covers the history of the world (excluding the United States and Canada) from 1450 to the present, including world history, military history, women's history, history of education, and more. This authoritative database provides indexing of more than 2,300 academic historical journals in over 40 languages back to 1955. Access is limited to 6 concurrent users.

  • Francis and Pascal ?

    Description: Free access multilingual social sciences and humanities databases. English and French searching options available.

Modern Languages Librarian

DMaley's picture
Name: Desmond Maley
Position Title: Associate Librarian
Email Address:
Extension: 3323
Office Location: 30-246, J.-N. Desmarais Library

Get style manuals

The process of citation

The intent of the citation process is to list a resource that you utilized, such as a book, article or website, in an open and transparent way that makes it easy to locate. Thus the citation for a book normally gives such key attributes as:

  • title,  author, place of publication, publisher, date, and page number.

For journals, you would give:

  • journal title, article title, author, volume number, issue number, date, and page numbers. Note that you do not have to list the place of publication.

For government publications, you would list the document in terms of the agency that created it, e.g.:

  • the country, state or province, the ministry, department and/or committee, and so on.

In general, with these kinds of publications, the more bibliographic detail you can provide, the better. The same is true of local or "alternative" publications as well as archival materials, all of which are frequently hard to locate in library collections.

Style manuals

Style manuals help you to set out your sources and presentation in an organized, logical and consistent way. Below is a sampling of the most important ones:

APA Style Manual. The seventh edition (2020) of this standard publication for the social sciences.

Chicago Manual of Style. Now in its 17th edition (2017), this is the standard resource writers, editors and publishers, with examples and advice on all aspects of form and style.

A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. 9th edition. 2018. Known as Turabian (after its first author), this is the classic short form of Chicago style.

MLA Handbook. 2016. Published by the Modern Language Association, this is the standard resource for scholarly communication in the humanities.

The Purdue Online Writing Lab is a recommended website for learning how to cite using the APA and MLA manuals.


The value of ethical research

The purpose of research is to develop an informed opinion and perspective on your topic that, in turn, can lead to meaningful conversation and insights, whether in written, oral or visual form. it is essential to the critical method that the sources you consulted are acknowledged and documented. This makes clear the literature you reviewed in developing your perspective. In the process you may also discover analysis and facts that you were not aware of, and this helps you to avoid the pitfall of simplistic thinking. Last but not least, you also improve your own research and writing skills, which results in a stronger presentation.  These are skills that will last you a lifetime.

Plagiarism, on the other hand, is the failure to acknowledge sources. Worst of all is handing in work that is not your own, but copying or paraphrasing the work of others without acknowledgement is also plagiarism. This shows disrespect for a major standard of academic conduct that can result in disciplinary action. Please see Laurentian's policy on Academic Integrity.