No matter how lengthy and detailed a book may be, it's still, by its nature, a general examination of a more or less broad topic. More highly specialized (and crucial) research is found in the various Classics journals. Many of you won't have a particular need to consult journal articles, but those of you in the senior-level classes should be encountering them regularly.
Locating journal articles on a particular topic is trickier than looking for monographs. Looking at your course text or course bibliography is still helpful, because these sources should list articles as well as monographs. But a library subject search won't do anything for you at all. But there are other places to look:
- One of the most important bibliographic sources for classicists is the annual French publication L’année philologique. It has been in existence since 1924; every year it collects all publications (monographs, articles, and anything else) related to the field of Classics published anywhere in the world. You don’t need to know French to use it, beyond being able to figure out that a section entitled “Histoire, grecque” deals with Greek history. The UW library regularly collects the volumes of L’année, but there is generally a significant time lag in their publication. For the most up-to-date information, you generally have to look elsewhere (e.g., Gnomon – see the next section). The Trellis catalogue entry for L’année provides a link to a searchable electronic database that covers a significant number of the published volumes.
- A helpful publication that allows you to be more up to the minute than L'année philologique is the German periodical Gnomon (call number PA3.G6, PER). You don't need to know German in order to use this for bibliographic searching. Simply look under the headings in the section entitled Bibliographische Beilage; in any one year, Gnomon attaches four of these sections to the journal. There is also a Web site for Gnomon. You might want to take a look at it, especially since it provides a searchable database; however, you probably do need at least a little German to feel comfortable using it.
- Another very useful tool, which has been provided to the international Classical community by the helpful people at U of T (and elsewhere) is TOCS-IN. This database (again searchable by author, by keyword, etc.) compiles tables of contents of journals related to Classics. So this is an excellent way to look for recent articles on your subject. Some of the articles are even available on-line.
- The UW library has a number of journals relevant to the field of Classical Studies - Journal of Hellenic Studies, Journal of Roman Studies, Phoenix, American Journal of Archaeology, and so on. Issues of many journals are available through JSTOR and other electronic databases. The Trellis catalogue entry for a particular journal will indicate if UW has access to these databases. For journals which UW does not have, either in hard copy or through electronic access, there are services such as interlibrary loan.