Library resources for SDS380: Sexual Diversity in a Global Context


Welcome! This guide will help you use the resources of the University of Toronto Libraries to succeed with your work in SDS380. The library system contains millions of books, films, periodicals, documents, and more spread across 44 libraries, as well as an increasing wealth of electronic resources accessible through the library homepage (which now works on a range of mobile devices!). Library staff are available to assist you in person, via email, or Ask a Librarian chat.

The first place to start when looking for a particular resource is the library catalogue – you can use the search box on the homepage or use one of the material-specific searches linked next to it (highlighted in the red box below).

Screenshot of section of UTL homepage showing material-specific search links.

You can also use the Advanced Search link on the right for further control over your search queries. Note that many electronic resources will require you to authenticate with your UTORid.

Basic tips for searching the library catalogue

  • If you don’t have a specific title in mind, try leaving the dropdown box associated with your search query set to “anywhere”.
    Screenshot of the catalogue search box with dropdown menu set to "anywhere" to search all fields.This will keep the results of your initial search broad, searching the full contents of the catalogue record, including tables of contents and descriptions – you may find something unexpectedly helpful. If you find your search returns few or no results, broaden it by removing words from your query.
  • The Advanced Search screen offers two search options: multi-field and Boolean. Use the + button at the end of the multi-field search box to add multiple criteria to your search, in the form of additional rows. One of these fields you can search is Place of Publication, which will be helpful if you are looking for titles from a particular country. Boolean searching uses the operators AND, OR, and NOT to combine or exclude terms from your query – these FAQ entries describe more about how to use and combine these operators to construct Boolean searches.
  • Try clicking on different headings in the sidebar to see what other materials are available to you (note: you may need to remove terms from your search in the “Your current search” box by clicking the red X in order to access results). If you find a useful title in the catalogue, you can browse by subject or geographical area to find other works that may be related – just click on the appropriate subject headings to find out.
    Screenshot showing faceted browsing in UTL search results screen.


Suggested databases

While not specific to issues of sexuality and gender, the following databases may also be useful in your literature searches:

As well, the Alexander Street LGBT Thought and Culture database contains a wealth of periodicals and primary source material, and can be browsed geographically.

Newspapers and magazines

Use the newspaper and magazine searches linked on the main library website to find relevant articles from online databases via Summon, the library’s periodical search tool. Older volumes may be found in print or on microfilm – search the library catalogue for the publication title, find the call number, and consult the index covering the time period you are looking for to find out when articles were published. Some indexes may be searchable in databases, but you may need to consult the print edition if the full text of the periodical has not been digitized. Here is a more detailed research guide to searching for newspaper articles at the University of Toronto.

Government documents

Many government publications require searching an index separate from the library catalogue in order to locate them. There are a number of UTL research guides that describe how to search for these publications. While most government documents in print and on microforms are located on the 5th floor of Robarts Library, many international publications are in storage and must be requested 24 hours in advance through the Request button in the catalogue record.

Finding films

  • The Media Commons has films available to borrow and watch on site – they are located on the 3rd floor of Robarts Library. Films are loaned for two nights, with up to three renewals. You can search for films in the library catalogue by setting the Format dropdown menu on the Advanced Search screen to “Videos & DVDs”. Selected titles may be available at St. Michael’s College Library as well.
  • Media Commons also offers the Criterion on Demand streaming service, allowing select titles to be streamed from your computer, on or off campus.
  • The Alexander Street LGBT Studies in Video database provides access to a large number of films pertaining to sexuality from around the world.
  • The University of Toronto Libraries also programs a monthly Queer Film Series in conjunction with the university’s Sexual & Gender Diversity Office, featuring great films and guest speakers – look for posters in libraries and in other spots around campus.

Citation guides

You can use your choice of citation style appropriate to the humanities or social sciences for your written work in this class, as long as you remain consistent in its application. These commonly-used citation and style guides will help you cite your work:

Good luck!

compiled by Jordan Hale, Faculty of Information, for INF1310