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Native American & Indigenous Studies: Languages & Literatures

A guide to the indexes, reference works, legal sources, and primary resources in Native American Studies.


Most of our Native American linguistics titles fall in the call number range PM 30-3000, and are roughly alphabetical by language in the PM 550-2711 section.  Note that many related languages/dialects are shelved together as a language group (e.g., Dakota/Lakota).

Suggested resources

There are two typical ways to search the library catalog for Indigenous language materials.

  1. Search by subject heading for the language, often with subheading "Texts"
  2. Limit or filter a search using the appropriate language facet

To retrieve all items assigned a specific language code, run an advanced search for "*"  [an asterisk with quotation marks], with a specific language selected from the "language" drop menu.

Note that some language cataloging is inconsistent, or coded for the corresponding larger language group (e.g., Abenaki material is assigned the language code "Algonquian").


Searching the Library Catalog

There are a variety of relevant subject headings, but they are inconsistently assigned.  Consider including these terms (along with others, such as "renewal") as keywords when search our catalog and other databases


Dartmouth has no single, discrete collection of literature by Native authors. While there are a few specific call number sections to browse for collections or general literary criticism, a more thorough approach requires searching by specific author and/or subject heading.

To find works by a specific author, run an AUTHOR search in the catalog. For works about a specific author or work, run a SUBJECT search for the author:

To find collections of works by Native authors, try a subject search in the library catalog for "Indian authors" or "Indian women authors."   There is also inconsistent use of the broader heading "Indigenous authors". Note these are used as main headings as well as sub-headings. Also note these headings include North, Central & South America.

To find representation *of* Native Americans, try relevant subject searches with "Fiction", "Poetry", etc., or the phrase "In Literature"

To search our library catalog for criticism of a specific author's work, run a subject search for the author. In particular, look for the subject subheading "Criticism and interpretation" or the name of specific works. 

To search our catalog for broader criticism of Native authors, look for the subheading "History and criticism."  Subject heading terminology is current in transition, so you may encounter variant headings for similar works, e.g., "Indigenous authors" "Indian authors"

To find journal articles or book chapters, you'll need to search article indexes such as: