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HI 2900: Topics in Gender History: Queer Histories: Research Resources

Research Resources

Screenshot of the WPI Library Search box on the library homepage

WPI Library Search (the main search box on the library homepage) searches across most of the library's resources at once and can be used to find books, articles, and more. Enter your keywords to get started. Then use the tips below to refine your search results. 

Search Tips for WPI Library Search: 

Use these search terms to narrow or broaden your search:





lesbian AND bars

 Narrows the search to entries containing both terms. 


trans OR transgender

 Broadens the search to entries containing either term. 


Stonewall NOT Jackson

 Excludes entries containing the second term. 

 “ ” 

"gender identity” 

 Retrieves results containing the exact phrase in quotes. 



 Wildcard: Retrieves both woman and women. 



 Truncation: Retrieves feminism, feminist, feminists, etc. 

After you search, refine your search results using the filters on the left​. Filter by availability, resource type, publication date, and more. ​

Screenshot of the search filters in the WPI Library Search

Use the databases listed below to find journal articles, books, and book chapters related to your research topic. 


Recommended Databases for Humanities


General Research Databases

How to Find Books

Books are a vital sources of historical scholarship. To find books at the Gordon Library, type your keywords into the WPI Library Search. Use the drop-down menu to the right of the search box to select "Books & Media."

Screenshot of the dropdown menu next to the WPI Library search box. An arrow points to the filter for Books & Media.


To limit your search to online books, go to the Availability filter on the left and select Available online.

To limit your search to print books, go to the Availability filter on the left and select Available on shelf.

Screenshot of the Availability filter in the WPI Library Search.


Examples of Books

Listed below are examples of books about queer history. When you find a book for your research, remember to check the credentials of the authors/editors and to research the reputation of the publisher in order to evaluate the credibility of the book. 

Find Films in the WPI Library Search

To find films in the WPI Library Search, enter your search terms. On the search results page, go to the Resource Type filter on the left and select Videos

Video Databases

Recommended films for HI2900:

The Boys in the Band

Read the book the film was based on:

The Crying Game

Mädchen in Uniform

Boys Don’t Cry

Set it Off

The Bird Cage

La Cage aux Folles

Women in Love

The 1969 version of this film is currently unavailable for streaming online.

The 2011 television adaption is available online through the library:

Read the book on which the film was based:

Colonel Redl

What are Peer-Reviewed Journals?

A peer-reviewed journal is a respected publication. Before articles are published within these types of journals, they are sent by the editors of the journal to other scholars in the field ("peers"), often anonymously, to get feedback on the quality of the scholarship, review research methods, as well as relevance or importance to the field. The article may be accepted, often with revisions suggested, or rejected for publication. Many peer-reviewed journals have low acceptance rates. 

Peer-reviewed articles are typically substantial in length (often 10 pages or more) and typically have many citations. 

To find peer reviewed articles in WPI Library Search, enter your keywords and then choose the Peer-Reviewed Journals filter on the left.

screenshot of the Peer-reviewed Journals filter in the WPI Library Search

Examples of Peer-Reviewed Journals for Gender and Sexuality Studies

Examples of Peer-Reviewed Journals for Film Studies


Use BrowZine to find additional journals available at WPI. Search by journal title or browse by subject to find relevant journals. 

What are Primary Sources?

Primary sources are materials that provide firsthand testimony to a subject under investigation. Researchers often use these firsthand accounts of specific events to understand events from the viewpoint of people living during that time period. Primary sources include letters, diaries, photographs, newspaper articles, and pamphlets. Primary sources also include writings and recordings by witnesses who experienced the events or conditions being documented. For example, oral histories, autobiographies, and memoirs are primary sources.

Primary Sources: Library Databases

Primary Sources: Examples of Helpful Websites

To find primary sources via Google, try adding keywords like primary sources, documents, archives, journals, papers, letters, or documentary history to your search terms.

Here are some examples of websites that have primary sources for Queer History:

Primary Sources: Books at WPI

Sometimes collections of primary source documents are republished in books. To find books like these, search WPI Library Search for books about your topic and add keywords like sourcebook, documents, primary sources, documentary history, papers, letters, journal, diary, memoir, or autobiography to your search terms. 

Here are some examples of books containing primary sources:

Full Text Finder

When searching in the library's databases, you may find an abstract for an article but not the full-text. When this happens, click on the FullTextFinder icon. 

The FullTextFinder will either redirect you to another database that has the full-text of the article or it will tell you that we don't have this article in our collections. If we don't have an article that you need, request the article via Interlibrary Loan. Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a service that allows WPI students and faculty to request items from other libraries free of charge. 

Interlibrary Loan

Is there something you need that the WPI library doesn't have? Our Interlibrary Loan service allows WPI students and faculty to request items from other libraries free of charge.


Use to search for books, articles, and more at libraries around the world. Request materials from other libraries via Interlibrary Loan

Borrow from Nearby Libraries

The Academic and Research Collaborative (ARC) allows member users to borrow directly from Worcester area libraries. Before you can borrow materials directly from participating libraries, you need to sign up for an ARC card in person at the Gordon Library's Information Desk. Pick up your ARC card today!

As a resident of Massachusetts, you can sign up for a library card at the Worcester Public Library (WPL). WPI students with a college ID can are eligible for WPL cards. You can also sign up for an ecard, which allows you to access the WPL's online resources. 

As a resident of Massachusetts, you can also sign up for a library card at the Boston Public Library (BPL). Students who live in Massachusetts while attending school are eligible for a BPL card. The BPL also has an option for an ecard, which allows you to access the BPL's online resources.