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German Subject Guide: Reference Sources

A guide to key databases, reference & web sources, and research & citation guides for German

On This Page:

A select list of dictionaries, encyclopedias, and other reference sources available through the R.P. Bell Library. The items listed as "Ref" can be found on the main floor of the library.

Selected Reference Sources for German Language, Literature and Film

The following are examples of Reference sources available in the library or online. See also "Recommended Websites" for selected websites and online sources.


German Language Dictionaries, Grammar and Usage Guides

Unilingual Dictionaries:

Wahrig Deutsches Wörterbuch. (Brockhaus) PF 3625 .W2 2011 Ref.

Duden Deutsches Universal-wörterbuch. PF 3625 .D85 2011 Ref. Duden Onlinewörterbuch


Bilingual Dictionaries:

German/English, English/German dictionaries. (Collins, Oxford, etc.) PF 3640 ... Ref.

Online versions: 

OLDO - Oxford Language Dictionaries Online.

Oxford Duden German-English Dictionary. Electronic Edition 2000 in InteLex Past Masters database).

Collins German-English and English-German Dictionary. Free version; not as descriptive as print. Provides usage examples from published texts.

SEE ALSO:  Recommended Websites -- Dictionaries and Language Resources


Specialized Dictionaries:

Dictionary of German Slang and Colloquial Expressions. PF 3640 .S95 2009 Ref.

The Firefly Five Language Visual Dictionary. P 361 .C668 2009 Ref.

From "anbandeln" to "Zwetschkenknödel": An Austrian Lexical and Cultural Guide. PF 5322 .H54 2000 Ref.

Guide to Correspondence in German / Korrespondenzführer auf deutsch. PF 3483 .J34 1995 Ref.

Das neue Wörterbuch der Szenesprachen. PF 5991 .D83 2009 Ref.

Wörterbuch moderne Wirtschaft / Dictionary of Modern Business. PF 3031 .B385 2008 Ref.

Deutsches Wörterbuch von Jacob Grimm & Wilhelm Grimm, 1854 - . (multiple volumes) PF 3625 .G7 Oversize Stacks, Ground floor (Online version: 1854-1961.)


Grammar & Usage Guides:

Duden. (11 volumes include Rechtschreibung, Redewendungen, Grammatik, etc. Various dates) PF 3146 .G76 Ref.

501 German Verbs. PF 3271 .S85 Ref.

2001 German and English Idioms. PF 3640 .S975 2010 Ref.

A Practical Dictionary of German Usage. PF 3460 .B35 1996 Ref.

A Concise German Grammar. PF 3112 .B764 1999 Ref.

German Literature

Encyclopedia of German Literature. PT 41 .E5 2000 Ref.

Oxford Companion to German Literature. PT 41 .O87 Ref.

Feminist Encyclopedia of German Literature. PT 41 .F46 1997 Ref.

Historical Dictionary of German Literature to 1945. PT 41 .G73 Ref.

Historical Dictionary of Postwar German Literature. PT 401 .G68 2009 Ref.

Kritisches Lexikon zur deutschsprachigen Gegenwartsliteratur. (12 volumes) PT 41 .K758 Ref.

Deutsches Literatur Lexikon. Z 2231 .K663 Ref.

Metzler Lexikon Literatur-und Kulturtheorie. PT 401 .M28 2008 Ref.

A Glossary of German Literary Terms. PN 44.5 .G56 Ref.

Sachwörterbuch der Literatur. PN 41 .W5 2001 Ref.

Dictionary of Literary Biography. Several vols, (e.g. German Writers in the Age of Goethe, 1789-1832: DLB 90) PT 311 .G47 Ref.

Gale's Literary Index. Use to find information on authors and their works from Gale reference sets such as CLC: Contemporary Literary Criticism, CA: Contemporary Authors, DLB: Dictionary of Literary Biography, etc. DLB located in Ref., others in Basement Reference.

German Film

The BFI Companion to German Cinema. PN 1993.5 .G3 B45 1999 Ref.

Chronik des Deutschen Films 1895-1994. PN 1993.5 .G3 P75 1995 Ref.
- A year by year listing of key German films, awards, and other film-related information.

Cinegraph: Lexikon zum deutschsprachigen Film. 7 vols. looseleaf 1984 - PN 1998 .A2 C5 Ref.

The Concise Cinegraph: Encyclopaedia of German Cinema. PN 1993.5 .G3 C65 2009 Ref.

Encyclopedia of European Cinema. PN 1993.5 .E8 E6 1995 Basement Ref.

Film Literature Index Online. Citations to articles, film reviews and book reviews published 1976-2001.

Film Review Index. (v. 1:1882-1949, v. 2: 1950-1985) Z 5784 .M9 F513 1986 Basement Ref.

Fischer Filmgeschichte. (v. 1: 1895-1924, v. 2: 1925-1944, v. 3: 1945-1960, v. 4: 1961-1976, v. 5: 1977-1995) PN 1993.5 A1 F53 1990 Basement Ref.

Gale's Literary Index. Use to find information on directors and their films from Gale reference sets such as CLC: Contemporary Literary Criticism, CA: Contemporary Authors, etc. located in Basement Reference.

International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers. PN 1997.8 .I58 1990 2 vols. Basement Ref.

The International Film Index, 1895-1990. 2 vols. PN 1998 .I52 1991 Basement Ref.

Oxford History of World Cinema. PN 1993.5 .A1 O96 1996 Basement Ref. and ebook (access through catalogue)

Reclams deutsches Filmlexikon. PN 1998 .A2 H65 1984 Ref.

Women Filmmakers & Their Films. PN 1998.2 .W66 1998 Basement Ref.

Film Studies in General:

Cinema Studies: The Key Concepts. PN 1993.45 .H36 2013 Ref.

Critical Dictionary of Film and Television Theory. PN 1993.45 .C75 Ref.

Schirmer Encyclopedia of Film. 2007 ed. in Gale Virtual Reference Library

German Cultural and Historical Information

Biographie-Portal. A combined index with links to nine major biographical sources. Provides access to more than 100,000 scholarly biographies of persons from all social backgrounds and nearly all periods of German, Austrian, and Swiss history.

Brockhaus Enzyklopädie in zwanzig Bänden. AE 27 .B76 1976 Basement Ref.

Chronik der Deutschen. DD 84 .C56 Ref.

Chronik des 20. Jahrhunderts. D 421 .C57 Basement Ref.

Encyclopedia of Contemporary German Culture. DD 290.26 .E53 1999 Ref.

German Culture & Society: The Essential Glossary. DD 239 .G47 2002 Ref.

Germany: A Reference Guide From the Renaissance to the Present. DD 17 .B54 2006 Ref.

Die Grossen Deutschen: Deutsche Biographie. CT 1054 .G87 Basement Ref.
- Use Gesamtregister in the back of the last volume to find entries (main entries in bold print).

Historical Dictionary of Contemporary Germany. DD 237 .L395 2007 Ref.

Longman Companion to Germany Since 1945. DD 257 .W39 1998 Ref.

Modern Germany: An Encyclopedia of History, People, and Culture, 1871-1990. (2 vols.) DD 14 .M64 1998 Ref.

Neue Deutsche Biographie. DD 85 N48 (20 vols) Basement Ref. 1953 - .  Also available online.

Neuer Bild Atlas zur Deutschen Geschichte. DD 89 .G328 2002 Basement Ref.

The Regions of Germany: A Reference Guide to History & Culture. DD 290.25 B87 2005 Basement Ref.

Weimar Republic Sourcebook. DD 240 .W3927 1994 Ref.

Finding Aids / Bibliographies

Bibliographie der deutschen Sprach- und Literatur-Wissenschaft. (Annual) Z 2231 .B58 Ref.
- Covers books, essays and articles published each year
- Table of Contents by time period; within time periods by type, themes, then individual authors and works
- Has name and subject indexes.

Germanistik: Internationales Referatenorgan mit Bibliographischen Hinweisen. Z 2231 .A2 G37 Ref. Older issues in basement
- Lists articles, essays, theses and books
- Table of Contents by time periods for literature; separate sections for linguistics, film and theatre, etc.
- Has name and subject indexes.

Weimarer Goethe-Bibliographie online (WGB). Hosted by the Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek, Weimar. Includes references to works on Goethe, his life, works, and influence worldwide.


See also Databases for German studies in the A-Z List of Databases.