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EH305 -- Native American Literature: Subject Headings

EH305 -- Native American Literature: This Library Guide directs you to sources for information on Native American writers from colonial times to the present. The resources presented are selected and representative, not comprehensive, and are intende

Page Overview

This page contains information on locating, by subject, works pertaining to Native American Literature.  It also provides insights on difficulties that might be encountered in searching for such information.

Call Number Range for Native American Literature (LC Subclass PS)

Shelf-browsing ranges: 

For history and criticism: PS153.I52 . . .

For collections of primary works: PS508.I5 . . . and PS509.I5 . . . .

Between these two more populated areas, smaller populations of books pertaining to Native American Literature may be found at PS173.I6, PS217.I49, PS310.I52, PS338.I53, and PS374.I49 (and beyond).  For works by or about individual authors, perform last-name-first JaxCat author or subject searches.

A problem almost, but not quite, unique to Native American literature is that the term used by the Library of Congress Subject Headings to reference it is not "Native American"; it is "Indian" -- not too surprising once one realizes that the LCSH were devised between 1898 and 1912 and not 1998 to 2012.  So instead of "Native American literature as a subject heading search, one has to choose among

American literature -- Indian authors

Indian Literature (see LCSH vol. III, p. 3521)

Indians in literature  

As with many literary topics, Native American literature is complemented and supplemented by  non-literary "bookending" topics elsewhere in the classification:

Indian (with modifiers, such as Indian art)

Indians (with subheadings, such as Indians -- Poetry)

Indians of North America (instead of Native Americans) (see LCSH vol. III, pp. 3532-3540)

The subject possibilities and materials dispersement is so great in these areas that it probably is better to consult the relevant sections of Library of Congress Subject Headings *before* attempting subject searches in JaxCat.






Library of Congress Classifications and Subject Headings

Subject headings for Native American Literature

Subject headings for American literature can be found

Books that are entirely, cover-to-cover, by or about a Native American author may be located by performing either an author or subject search in the library's JaxCat catalog, using as search terms the author's name (in last-name first order).

Other subjects with which Native American Literature resonates

  • general literature
  • history
  • social sciences

In literary criticism, angle of approach often takes precedence over the subject itself.  For example, psychoanalytic criticism of an author may require the use of books on the library's second or ninth floors (in addition to six and seven).  Feminist or other gender approaches might bring materials from the library's fourth floor into play.  Historicist criticism might involve materials from the third floor.

In seeking materials for research, the perspective from which the subject is considered may be as important as the subject itself.