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Research Guides

WRIT 128: Writing About Food and Culture

Your Librarian

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Karen Storz
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Research & Instruction Librarian
Office: Clapp Library 218B

A Few Books in Food Studies

Intro to Library Databases

What is a database?

Databases are resources that contain information that is organized to make it easier to search and access.

The most common kind of library databases contain articles from academic journals and other publications, but there are many kinds of databases--databases for images, videos, data, news, and many other kinds of sources!

Why should I use a library database?

    Not everything can be found in SuperSearch! Articles and books in some databases don't show up in SuperSearch.  
  • Databases are often specialized by subject area (such as history, sociology, art, film/media studies, psychology, etc.).
    • Searching in subject-specific databases focuses your search and helps you find more relevant sources. 
    • Subject-specific databases often offer special filters or search features designed to help researchers in that subject find what they need.
      • For example, in a history database, you might be able to limit your search results to those covering a particular historical period.
  • Databases contain information not available through general internet search engines (such as Google).
    • Many articles that are usually behind paywalls can be accessed through library databases. Wellesley College subscribes to over 300 different databases!

Some Databases for Food Studies Research

The following databases are just a few possible places to find research on food-related topics. Food Studies is a rich and multi-faceted research area, so visit our Databases A-Z page to explore other databases relevant to your topic!

Environmental Issues

Food & Culture


Health & Nutrition


Politics, Policy, and Sociology



Search the Library Catalog

Catalog Search Tips

Why should I search the library catalog?

The library catalog is another way to search for books, ebooks, and videos. Although SuperSearch includes the library catalog, searching the catalog separately can give you a smaller, more focused set of results. You can also use the subject terms to browse related materials.

Try a keyword search. Once you find a book that's relevant to your topic, click on the title and look for Subjects in the record of that book to help you find "more like this."

Sample keyword search for

leads to linked subject terms and more books related to this topic:


Clicking the first word or phrase above will show you everything listed under the broader topic (e.g., Food supply). Clicking a subsequent word or phrase will take you to the narrower topic (e.g., clicking United States in the Subject Food supply > Government policy > United States will show you everything listed under that whole subject string).

Once you find a useful subject term, you can also use it to browse related subtopics, by choosing "Browse Alphabetically by Topic" from the menu next to the search box.

Some useful subject terms for browsing food studies topics in the catalog:

Food -- Social aspects Nutrition
Food History Nutrition Policy
Food Habits Gastronomy
Cooking Cooking -- History
African American Cooking Sustainable Agriculture

Not finding enough, or found an item that's checked out? Search WorldCat and request a copy through Interlibrary Loan.

Don't know where to find a book in the Library? Check out this quick guide.

Library Locations & Call Numbers

Quick Guide to Clapp Library Locations

Call # / Location  
Call Numbers A-DZ
Knapp Multimedia Ctr
Computer Classroom
First Floor
Computing Help Desk
Research Help Desk
Reference Books
Science Collection
Second Floor
Call Numbers E-PM
Third Floor
Call Numbers PN-Z
Special Collections
Book Arts Lab
Fourth Floor


How to find items by call number


Documentary Films