SLAVIC 5B: Laughter in Literature

About this Guide

Research Guide for Slavic 5B, Course Instructor: Katya Balter

Library Hours

Hours on: 
Enter as mm/dd/yy 


To select individual libraries/units, hold down the Ctrl key while clicking.

Campus Library Map

Click on the image below to see a larger interactive version of the campus library map.

UC Berkeley Library campus map

You can also view/download a PDF map of library locations. For library contact information and building addresses, visit our directory.

Off-campus access to library resources

You can access UCB Library resources from off campus or via your laptop or other mobile device using one of two simple methods:

Proxy Server
After you make a one-time change in your web browser settings, the proxy server will ask you to log in with a CalNet ID or Library PIN when you click on the link to a licensed resource. See the setup instructions, FAQ, and Troubleshooting pages to configure your browser.

VPN (Virtual Private Network)
After you install and run the VPN "client" software on your computer, you can log in with a CalNet ID to establish a secure connection with the campus network.

Doe, Main Stacks, Moffitt Library floorplans

Looking for a location in Doe, Main Stacks or Moffitt?  Try the floorplans, or ask for assistance!

This guide has been archived

Please note: this course guide was created during a previous semester, and is no longer being actively maintained. For a list of current course guides, please see

Background Sources

Examples of reference sources for background information:

Russian literature in the age of Pushkin and Gogol.  Prose

Reference guide to Russian literature

Handbook of Russian literature

Encyclopedia of Russian history

Routledge atlas of Russian history

Encyclopedia of Russian history:  from the Christianization of Kiev to the break-up of the U.S.S.R.

Links are to OskiCat records.  All these titles are in the Doe Reference collection, North Reading Room, 2nd floor Doe Library.

For more examples, browse the reference collections in the same call number area, or ask for assistance at the Doe Reference Center (next to the North Reading Room) or elsewhere.

Selected Excerpts of Literary Criticism


To find books, DVDs, maps, sound recordings, manuscripts, and much more - everything except articles - use a library catalog.

OskiCat = most UC Berkeley libraries

MELVYL = all UC campus libraries, including all UC Berkeley libraries

What's the difference?  more details here

For each item make sure you know the name of the physical library, call number, and whether or not it's checked out, library use only, etc.

Call numbers are on the spine of the book; learn how to read them so you can find what you need on the shelves.

Searching OskiCat

Sample Searches: 

1.     russian humor

modify search

languages:  english

2.     gogol criticism and interpretation

modify search

languages:  english

3.    russia* satir*         (* = truncation or wildcard; satir* = satire, satires, satirical, satirically...)

       modify search

       languages:  english

Make sure to note the library location, call number, and availability (checked out? on hold?) for each item.

SMS and QR Codes in OskiCat

You can now text yourself a call number or use a QR code reader to find the location of an item in the UCB Library. Just click on a title in your OskiCat search results, and both options will be displayed on the right.

SMS and QR image

Article Databases

Search an article database to find citations (title, author, title of journal, date, page numbers) for articles on a particular topic.  The Library gives you access to over 200 article databases covering different disciplines.

1.  Think about which academic disciplines might write about your topic.  Examples:  literature, film, anthropology, history...

2.  Find the appropriate article database by subject (academic discipline or department).  Look for "Recommended" databases.

Library home > Articles > Article Databases by Subject

Sample Searches

Library home > Article Databases > Article Databases by Subject > Slavic and East European Studies > ABSEES Online Database

gogol    (select a field - optional)
(select a field - optional)

language:  english

Library home > Articles > Article Databases by Subject > Slavic and East European Studies > MLA Bibliography

russia*   or    soviet   (keywords)
film*    or     cinema    (keywords)
satir*                         (keywords)


Search Results

UC-eLinks - Find Article Text/Location

Once you've searched a database to find articles, you may need to use UC-eLinks orange logo to link to a PDF or html file if the full text is not immediately available. Each database is a bit different, but a good rule of thumb is this: when you see the Uc-eLinks icon click on it to view your article access options, which can range from full text to a call number to an Interlibrary Loan request:

UC e-Links image

For more information, here's a tutorial on using UC-eLinks.

Other Databases - Film Studies

Searching Transliterated Russian Names

Names and other words can be transliterated several ways from the Cyrillic to the Roman alphabet.

Different databases may use different forms of a name:

ABSEES database: Dostoevsky, Fyodor

MLA database: DostoevskiÄ­, Fedor MikhaÄ­lovich

OskiCat and other library catalogs:  Dostoyevsky, Fyodor

What to do when you don't know the right form?

1. Search whatever form of the name you've seen.

2. Click on the title of an item that looks relevant, to view the detailed record.

3. Look for "Subject" or other tags that use a standardized form of the name. 

4. Click on these tags to find more items,
    Use the standardized form in new searches.

Examples in OskiCat:  

Dostoevsky - common English version
369 hits
sample record
has this subject tag:  Dostoyevsky, Fyodor, 1821-1881 -- Criticism and interpretation.

Dostoevskii - direct transliteration from the Russian
341 hits
sample record
has this subject tag:  Dostoyevsky, Fyodor, 1821-1881 -- Influence.

Dostoyevsky - standardized form of the name for library catalogs
1603 hits

The same general technique applies to other languages and other databases, as long as they use standardized names.

(courtesy JKS)

Ask a Librarian 24/7 Chat

Javascript required to chat

You do allow embedded content.

Corliss Wants Your Feedback!

Please take a few minutes to give me some feedback about the library workshop and this course page!  Anonymously, of course.


Getting Help

Other ways to get help:  in person, by e-mail, using specialized chat services

And of course:  e-mail Corliss or email Theresa (Bancroft Library)

Research Advisory Service

Research Advisory Service for Cal Undergraduates

Book a 30-minute appointment with a librarian who will help refine and focus research inquiries, identify useful online and print sources, and develop search strategies for humanities and social sciences topics (examples of research topics).

Schedule, view, edit or cancel your appointment online (CalNetID required)

This service is for Cal undergraduates only. Graduate students and faculty should contact the library liaison to their department or program for specialized reference consultations.

Related Guides

Email Guide Owner
Subcribe to RSS RSS Feed
add to bookmark Bookmark This

Go To Full Version