The MLA International Bibliography indexes scholarly articles, books, and dissertations on literature, languages, linguistics, and folklore. Suggested below are strategies you can use when searching in MLA.

For items about an author

Change “Select a field” to Subject or Primary Subject Author, and enter the author’s name.

  • last name then first name, e.g. Kafka, Franz, or
  • last name (only if it’s unique), e.g. Kerouac

Due to pseudonyms and variant spellings, the name you entered might not be the preferred subject term used by MLA. For example, if you do a search for carroll lewis, you’ll find few records since items about “Lewis Carroll” are listed under “Charles Lutwidge Dodgson.” To find out if the name you entered is the preferred subject term, click on “Look up author as subject.”

For items about a literary work

For a work written in English, enter its title in Subject heading (all) or Author’s work. If the title is not unique, e.g. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, A Journey by Edith Wharton, enter the author’s name in the Author as subject box and the title in Author’s work box.

For works written in languages other than English, use their original titles whenever possible. Translated titles are not treated consistently in MLA. While some are listed under both their original titles and English translations (e.g. Cien años de soledad or One Hundred Years of Solitude), some are only listed under their original titles (e.g. Un Coeur Simple not A Simple Heart).

Note: The author’s work as subject search is still quite limited due to the fact that literary titles were generally not included in subject lists until 1980. Try other types of searches, including author as subject.

If you are looking for items about a film, enter the word “film” in the Performance medium field, and type in the title of the film in Subject heading (all) or Author’s work.