Library Lingo baffles some and annoys others, but it’s downright useful for those who understand it. Last month’s “Psssssst!” praised the humble bibliography, which smart students know signals the beginning – and the end – of a well-managed research effort. For your next project, try consulting one of these other awesome-ographies as well!
Good researchers turn to the autobiography or biography for someone’s life story (of course, great ones turn to both). The autobiography (or “memoir”) is written from the person’s own perspective, while the biography is told from another author’s view. Many libraries keep these all in one spot – and shelve them alphabetically by last name – to make finding them easy.
The less familiar discography is a list of audio recordings. Most bands’ websites have a discography tab, under which every recording that band has made is listed. But to find lists of topic-specific or unknown recordings, try including the keyword “discography” in your search. Authors spend entire careers compiling such works as “Heat wave: the Motown fact book” (Bianco 1988) and “101 albums that changed popular music” (Smith 2009). These books make for great reading (and point you to great listening, too)!
Cinema buffs are familiar with the quintessential online filmography, the IMDb, a searchable list of practically every movie ever made. But if you need a more scholarly resource, try consulting a published filmography. By including that term in your search, you’ll discover such gems as “Fiasco: a history of Hollywood’s iconic flops” (Parish 2006) and “African Americans and the Oscar: decades of struggle and achievement” (Mapp 2008).
Too much Library Lingo for one day? Let Scholar’s Secret help! Contact us anytime to get started on your next research project.