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Research Guides

German Language and Literature

Information on researching German language and literature

Reference Resources

Reference books are good places to stimulate ideas and obtain background information on a research topic or question. Below are selected reference books in MSU libraries. For more book titles, search the library's online catalog.


Das Grosse Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache. Mannheim ; Wien ; Zurich: Bibliographisches Institut, 1976-
Call Number: PF3625 .G75
Modern German dictionary.
Garland, Henry B. The Oxford Companion to German Literature. Oxford [Eng.]: Clarendon Press, 1976.
Call Number: [MUW library] PT41 .G3
An alphabetical listing of authors, titles, characters, etc. Covers every period of the literature of each German-speaking country.
Grim, Jacob. Deutsches wörterbuch. Leipzig, S. Hirzel, 1854-19
Call Number: Ref PF3625 .G7
An important historical German dictionary.
Kluge, Friedrich. Etymologisches Wörterbuch der Deutschen Sprache. 23rd ed. Berlin; New York: de Gruyter, 1995.
Call Number: Ref PF3580 .K5
This dictionary of German etymology provides comprehensive information about the historical development and forming of 13,000 German and foreign words.
Langenscheidt New Muret-Sanders Encyclopedic Dictionary of the English and German Languages. New York, Barnes & Noble, 1962-
Call Number: Ref PF3640 .L36
One of the most comprehensive German-English/English-German dictionaries.
Oxford-Duden German Dictionary: German-English, English-German. New York: Oxford University Press, 1990.
Call Number: Ref PF3640 .O94
Provides detailed coverage of every language field from general to specialist vocabulary, and from contemporary to literary German.

Encyclopedia and Handbooks for Literature

Encyclopedia of German Literature. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, 2000<
Call Number: Ref PT91 .E53
Entries focus on authors, works, literary movements and periods, and types of literature, providing an overview of the present state of the field. Has suggestions for further reading.
Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment. New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press, 2003.
Call Number: Ref B802 .E53
Examines the developments in European culture from the 1670s through the early 19th century. The articles describe and clarify the concepts and key individuals.
Handbuch der deutschen Literaturgeschichte. Abt. 2 Bibliographien. Bern, Munchen, Francke, 1969.
Cataloged individually with different call numbers and kept in Reference Department
This title contains eight volumes with each of them covering a major period: Romantik; Barock; Deutsches Schrifttum der Gegenwart; Fruhes Mittelalter: Vor- und Fruhgeschichte des deutschen Schrifttums; Wilhelminisches Zeitalter; Neunzehntes Jahrhundert; Hohes Mittelalter; and Hohes Mittelalter.

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