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MUSC 215 World Popular Musics and Identity

Library resources for this class.


This guide is designed to help you use the library to locate scholarly and reputable sources to support your papers on identity and world popular music. For simplicity's sake, I will focus on four main library resources: Worldcat UMD, the RILM database, and Music Index. You can use the tabs to the left to learn more about these tools. As a summary:

  • Worldcat UMD is probably the best place to start. It will find books (paper and e-books) available from the library, recordings, DVDs (including documentaries), and much more. It will also return a smattering of scholarly articles, but to find many more, try using RILM.
  • RILM is another great resource to know. It indexes scholarly articles, books on music, dissertations, some popular music magazines, and more, and is definitely the best tool for finding scholarly articles. Since RILM does skew a little bit toward the scholarly side, you will not always find articles on the most current popular music acts (for those, try finding magazine articles from Music Index). Although RILM includes many articles in full-text, it is not a completely full-text database. You may need to take additional steps to locate an article in the library once you've identified it.
  • Music Index is very similar to RILM in that it is an index to literature on music. However, Music Index tends to cover more popular music magazines. So, Music Index is a good place to check for non-scholarly but reputable sources. You will notice that Music Index and RILM look almost identical (because they are provided by the same database vendor). This is good because once you have learned one, you will know how the other works. In fact, you can search both databases simultaneously by clicking "Choose Databases" and adding both to your search.

For many topics related to this course, those three will suffice. However, depending on your topic, there may be other tools that will be helpful.