Friday, May 27, 2011

Thoreau's Education in ABELL for James Matthews

After many dead ends, at least online, I've decided to start tracking my progress in searching out a useful article for James Matthews who is studying Henry David Throeau's Walden.

2. I have been using ABELL to look for articles about Thoreau and education or teaching (unsuccessfully at least in full text carried at BYU for the past hour I might add).

3. The Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature contains 860,000 records, covering monographs, periodical articles, critical editions of literary works, book reviews and collections of essays published anywhere in the world from 1920 onwards. What I am confused about is why the library site, when I click on ABELL's database takes me to LION and uses that platform to search ABELL. Rather confusing.

4. I searched terms like "thoreau" and "edu*" in the keywords box and "throeau" and "walden" in the subject box. I turned up a number of "brief records" but in order to determine their usefulness to the project I wanted abstracts. I tried looking up several of the journals on the HBLL site but without sucess. Once the journal was in another language, once not listed, and the last time I found an article that from the title looks as though it'd be very pertinent to James's research but is only available in hardcopy at the library. I thought I would list it here for James's to determine it's usefulness.

5. Dillman, Richard H. "Thoreau's Harvard Education in Rhetoric and Composition." Thoreau Quarterly (1981): 47. Print.

6. I assume the article to explore Thoreau's Harvard education though I could not access an abstract of it presently. I thought it might be interesting for James to check out the journal it is in though as that may be a valuable (if dated) resource. The journal is the Thoreau Quarterly and the HBLL has a copy of the journal, including the issue containing the aforementioned article at this location: PS 3053 .T5

7. About his research, James wrote, that he'd like to "analyze Thoreau as a teacher and an educator, that's actually what he did right after he graduated from Harvard. To the casual onlooker of his life at that point, he was rather unsuccessful at it. I want though to look at his mode of teaching in Walden, especially as a spiritual/moral/ethical teacher." An article on Thoreau's Harvard education would certainly be a great entry point into James's research and who knows what other valuable articles he might find in the Thoreau Quarterly.

Good luck James! (P.S. Are you still in the class? I see you haven't posted since the 17th.)


  1. I am in the class, but now maybe I ought to consider withdrawing.

  2. Wait, why would you withdraw? We only have three weeks left.