The following definitions appear in the eleventh edition of A Handbook to Literature by William Harmon:
"A story relating mysterious pranks and adventures of spirits who manifest themselves in the form of diminutive beings. These spirits possess supernatural wisdom and foresight, a mischievous temperament, the power to regulate the affairs of human beings for good or evil, and the capacity to change their shape."
"A short narrative handed down through oral tradition, with various tellers and groups modifying it, so that it acquires cumulative authorship."
"An anonymous story that presents supernatural episodes as a means of interpreting natural events...They all attempt to explain creation, divinity, and religion; to probe the meaning of existence and death; to account for natural phenomena; and to chronicle the adventures of cultural heroes."
How to Use the Guide
Begin your research
Start with the Find Books tab. There are three options in the dropdown list:
1) Select the Reference Sources option for locating background information on a topic. Encyclopedias, both in print and online, provide an overview of a subject as well as identify key authors and scholars who have contributed to the field. Lists of books and articles in bibliographies at the end of an encyclopedia entry are often referenced as well. You can then use those names and titles in book catalogs and databases to learn more about the subject.
2) Then, select the Search the Library Catalog option to locate books, videos and other media in the VSC libraries. There are tips on using the catalog to locate materials in our library collection using subject, author, title or keyword searches. In addition, there are instructions on how to request items from other libraries using interlibrary loan.
3) Although you will locate EBSCO eBooks in a catalog search, you can also search the collection separately and then download books to an eReader following the instructions on the page. Some books are listed for direct access as well.
Update your findings
To locate more recent information or articles in periodicals (newspapers, magazines, journals), use the Find Articles tab for easy access to databases. If an article is not available in full text online, in print in our collection, or in full text on the Web, you can place interlibrary loan requests using the information on that section of the site. Use the Websites tab to find online resources selected by librarians and faculty. We have also included a tip sheet on citing sources in the tab MLA Style.
Please contact us with your questions about the research process.
The Willey Library Reference Staff