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ENGL 112: Poetry and Song

Omni Help

Omni is our academic search tool that enables you to search for books, journals, articles, videos and much more, all from one interface. 

Discover the features of Omni in our quick guide.

Detailed information about how to search Omni is available in the Omni Search Tips guide.

Finding Books

Search Omni, our academic search tool (and library catalogue), to find literary works, books about literary works and authors (e.g. books of criticism, biographies, bibliographies, concordances, literary glossaries, dictionaries, and encyclopedias). 

You can search by keywords, author, title or subject headings. 

Subject Headings vs Keyword Searching

Subject headings allow you to search for resources on a particular author or topic and are often more productive than keyword searches. 

Keyword searches work best if you have multiple concepts or topics and need only a few books. 

For a comprehensive subject search, search with subject headings as well as keywords.

Searching Omni

Start with a keyword search, but expect to revise it. 

Keyword Searching TIPS

Search Technique  

What It Does

quotation marks

Searches for exact phrase

Truncation *

Searches for all forms of a word

Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT)

Lets you broaden or narrow your search


When searching OMNI for books, use the facets located on the search results screen, to limit your search results to books & ebooks.  Also can limit search to book and e-books in Advanced Search.

Consider these search methods to find literary criticism in Omni.

To find critical writings about an author's works, search Omni by subject heading

whitman walt

Look for relevant entries and note the subject headings.  Also can limit the results by clicking on subject. and then clicking on relevant subject.


To find critical writings about a specific work, you can search Omni by either keyword or subject heading. For example:


To find criticisms on a specific work (e.g. Whitman's Song of Myself), seach Omni by keyword:

whitman AND "song of myself" AND criticism

or, search by subject heading (Whitman Walt) and also with sub-headings:

Whitman Walt
Whitman Walt 1819-1892 Criticism and interpretation
Whitman Walt 1819-1892 Song of Myself

To find books concerning a particular mode or genre in a particular language or period, search the mode or genre by subject heading. This will give you a list of more specific subject headings from which you can choose. Some examples:

         american poetry
         english poetry   
         lyric poetry
         shakespeare william 1564-1616 sonnets
         sonnets english criticism and interpretation  

Another approach is to use keyword searching in order to search a specifc topic. For example:

dylan AND blues

Note the limiters on the left side - articles, books & ebooks

When searching for information, use multiple search strategies to account for variations in language, terminology, spelling, etc. 

Once you have found call numbers for a few promising books, go to the stacks, where you will find other related titles.

Browsing the Shelves

The library uses Library of Congress Call Numbers and the majority of books related to English Literature are located on the 4th floor of Stauffer Library with P call numbers. Browsing the shelves can help you identify existing research and relevant resources.

How Call Numbers Work

All print or paper copies of books in the library are assigned a call number, usually found on the book spine.

The call number represents what the book is about and acts like the book's address on the library's shelves. Because books on the shelves are arranged in call number order, you will find books on similar subjects shelved near each other.

How to Read a Call Number


Books not at Queen's

Requesting Materials from within Omni

You can request print monographs from our 17 Omni partner libraries from within Omni, and they will be delivered to Queen’s library for pick-up.

Articles and book chapters can also be requested, and they will be delivered to your Queen’s email.

Interlibrary Loans

You can also request to borrow items from other University libraries.