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Music: A Guide to Library Resources and Research: Research Tools and Tips

A guide to library resources for music research at Cornell.

Research at Cornell

The Cornell University Library homepage is a convenient place to find guidance on aspects of the research process.

See the links for Introduction to Research, Research Guides, Citation Management, and more. Also see below for some of these links.

Library Services

Library Research

Appraisal of Sources


Annotated Bibliography

Research Tip

In searching for books and articles on a topic in music, follow the steps outlined in the research guides on the left, using music-specific resources. Start with the database Oxford Music Online, which contains several music reference sources, most notably Grove Music Online, to get an overview of a topic, genre, person, etc. For topics in world music, the database Garland Encyclopedia of World Music Online is also a good place to start. Consult relevant articles and their bibliographies. 

Keep in mind, though, that reference sources like this are not continuously updated. Search literature databases like RILM and Music Index Online (separately or simultaneously) for more recent books, book chapters, articles, and dissertations. 

Search the Library Catalog (for books) and Articles & Full Text (for articles) to locate specific items cited in bibliographies, and to see what else may be available. If you are looking for a chapter from a book, search the title of the book rather than the title of the chapter. If you are looking for a journal article, search the title of the article, rather than the title of the journal. Exception: If you are looking for an article in a print journal, rather than electronic, search the title of the journal in the library catalog.

See the Articles, Databases, and Electronic Journals page for access to these resources.

Search Tip

JSTOR is great, but don't stop there, because you may be missing out on newer content that is not yet available in JSTOR. Be sure to search in multiple databases, both general and discipline-specific.

If you find a thesis or dissertation of interest in ProQuest, be sure to search for publications by the same author in the Library Catalog and the Articles & Full Text search. That author may have published articles or a book on the same topic or related topics.

See the Articles, Databases, and Electronic Journals page for access to these resources.

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