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WRI 181/182: The Politics of Nostalgia

Known item searching

After consulting reference sources and keyword searching, research proceeds with the selection of a few important books or articles. Pay close attention to the citations in their bibliography and footnotes, which will in turn lead you to other sources. These citations are referred to as "known items" since they include all of the information you need in order to find them. There are three types of citation:


Coontz, Stephanie. The way we never were : American families and the nostalgia trap. New York: Basic Books, 2016. Rev. ed.

  • Search by "Title starts with" in the Catalog in order to find books written by a single author. Omit an initial article (a, the, la, etc.) if your title begins with one. If Princeton does not own the book or it is otherwise unavailable (e.g., checked out), use Borrow Direct to request a copy from another Ivy library.


Griffin, Ruth. "Home Sweet Home? Orange is the New Black and Narratives of Institutional (Be)Longing." Remembering Home in a Time of Mobility: Memory, Nostalgia and Melancholy. Ed. Maja Mikula. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2017. 132-150.

  • Edited books are collections of articles published under a single title. Search for these as you would for a book written by a single author by using the "Title starts with" index in the Catalog. Do not search for the author or the title of the article (in quotes) but rather by the title of the entire collection.


Lovell, Jarret. "Nostalgia, Comic Books, and the 'War Against Crime!' An Inquiry into the Resurgence of Popular Justice." Journal of Popular Culture, 36:2 (Fall 2002): 335-51.

  • Citations to journal articles look a lot like those to edited books, but note the "numeration" (7:3 = volume 7: number 3) and that the year is set off in parentheses. Often times, simply quoting the title in a Google search will bring you to the electronic version of the article. Sometimes access will be provided via this link: Check SFX, which connects to a screen with links that attempt to locate the article or to one that allows you to "Request an Item or Article" via a library service that will find and deliver a scan. If all else fails, search for the journal title by using the "Title starts with" index of the Catalog and then limit by the format "Journal.". These titles will often be abbreviated so you have to expand those abbreviations before searching the Journal title index -- simply enter the abbreviation in Ulrich's Periodical Directory to find the full title.