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Modern Languages & Literatures: Finding Books

Literature and French, Italian, German, and Spanish Language Sources at Fordham Libraries; Librarian Jeannie Hoag, Editor.

Finding Non-English Books

The best place to find books is the Library Catalog. 

Usually, to search for a topic you might use the Words or Phrase box or the Subject box. 

A Subject search for the terms German Literature will result in literature that is written in German, as well as criticism about German literature in German, but also in English.


If you want books written in a particular language, use the Library Catalog's advance search view, where you can choose the Language limiter.

Library Catalog search with a subject search for literature and the language set to German

For example, for literature in German try:

Subject: Literature
Language: German


You can also find topical results by translating your search terms into the language.

Library catalog words or phrase search for the German word kultur and language set to German

For example, if "culture" is part of your search, you can use the German translation Kultur in the words or phrase box. You can further limit the results by selecting German as the language.

Call Numbers for Modern Languages

Want to browse for books in the library? Fordham University Libraries organizes books using the Library of Congress Classification System. 

Below are general call number ranges for the modern languages offered at Fordham University. For a more detailed breakdown, look at the Library of Congress Classification Outline

Call number ranges for languages

Arabic 
PJ 6001 - 8517 (General)
PJ 6073 - 7144 (Language)
PJ 7501 - 8517  (Literature)

French
PC 2001 - 3761 (Language)
PQ 1 - 3999 (Literature)

German
PF 3001 - 5999 (Language)
PT 1 - 4897 (Literature)

Italian
PC 1001 - 1977 (Language)
PQ 4001 - 5999 (Literature)

Mandarin Chinese
PL 1001 - 3208 (General)
PL 1001 - 1960 (Language)
PL 2250 - 3208 (Literature)

Russian
PG 2001 - 2826 (Language) 
PG 2900 - 3698 (Literature) 

Spanish
PC 5001 - 5498 (Language)
PQ 6001 - 8929 (Literature)

For more information on Library of Congress Call Numbers, see the LC Call Numbers handout available in the Reference Help research guide.

Finding Music or Film

To find audio-visual materials:

  • Use the Library Catalog.
  • Type in a title, author,  translator, etc.
  • Using Advanced Search, limit the type to "Audio material" or "Visual material (DVD, VHS, etc.)."

Many items are located in the Electronic Information Center (EIC) in the Walsh Library.


You can also search Fordham's holdings via WorldCat:

  • Start at the library homepage (www.fordham.edu/library).
  • Go to Resources - WorldCat.
  • Follow the search tips in the PDF below.

Reference & Instruction Department

Reference & Instruction Department
Fordham University Libraries


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