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Foreign Languages and Literature

Basic Search Tips

Many VCU Libraries resources contain foreign language content, or content in English translation. How can you search for it?

  • Use foreign language vocabulary in the search bar: aliteración, "der blick," tégìnà, etc.

  • Beware homonyms and false cognates. For example, if you search for "roman" (the German word for "novel"), you may get results about German novels... but also Roman history, as well as films by Roman Polanski.

  • Some searches may return results in languages you don't want, but which have relevant material in your language in the bibliography or footnotes.

  • Use widgets to select the language you want to search in, usually via a drop-down menu or on the left or right side of the page.

  • To search thoroughly, try once using a language widget, and then again with foreign language vocabulary.

  • If your search returns too many results, add the definite article and put your word in quotation marks (e.g. chanson vs. "la chanson").

Browsing for Foreign Languages and Literature

VCU Libraries owns or subscribes to content in many different languages, and there is no way to find "all of the material in Italian," or whichever language you are researching. When conducting research in a given subject area (entomology; biostatistics; accounting) you may encounter material in foreign languages.

If you want to browse the physical shelves at Cabell Library for literature or materials about your language, start here (mostly on the 4th floor) for languages taught at VCU:

Arabic PJ 6001-8517

PL 1001-3208


PC 2001-3761

PQ 1-3999


PF 3001-5999

PT 1-4897


PC 1001-1977

PQ 4001-5999



PA 2001-2915

PA 6000-8595



PG 2001-2826

PG 2900-3698


PC 4001-4977

PQ 6001-8929

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