Sign Language & Deaf Studies

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Subject Librarian:
Judi Briden

Rush Rhees Library


Office Hours:
By Appointment

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bulletDVDs & Videos
bulletReference Works

bulletLiterature Reviews


bulletLibrary Locations & Maps

bulletCitation Linker
bulletManaging What You Find

bulletWriting & Style Guides

bulletBrowser Plug-in for Voyager

bulletAccess via Cell Phone


bulletSubject Guides

bulletDepartments, Centers & Programs at UR

bulletOrganizations & Societies







Search for scholarly articles in Sign Language and Deaf Studies



The following databases focus on specific subject areas of interest to Sign Language and Deaf Studies.

  • 6641
    Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts - LLBA Via ProQuest 1973 - current
    Identifies articles, books, conference papers and dissertations on the nature and use of language, including sign languages and gesture.
  • 6674
    PsycINFO Via Ovid 1969 - current
    Identifies articles, dissertations, books and chapters in psychology, including sign languages and Deaf studies. PsycINFO (historical) identifies older articles back to 1806. The historical segment does not use APA subject terms, so keyword searching is recommended.

    ERIC - via FirstSearch - Dates: 1966 - current
    Identifies articles and other materials on education research and practice, including education of the                          

    Deaf and sign language.

  • 6644
    Medline - PubMed 1950 - current
    Identifies journal articles in medicine, biomedicine and neuroscience, including hearing disorders and cochlear implants.
  • 6643
    Medline - OVID Via Ovid 1950 - current
    Identifies journal articles in medicine, biomedicine and neuroscience, including hearing disorders and cochlear implants. This has the same content as PubMed, but with a different interface and search features.
  • 6857
    Web of Science Via ISI Web of Science 1898 - current
    Identifies research articles on all topics. Also identifies cited authors and cited works.
  • 6848
    SocINDEX 1895 - current
    Identifies articles, books, conference papers and dissertations on sociological aspects of deafness, as well as other topics in sociology.
  • 6659
    ProQuest Research Via ProQuest Varies
    A general purpose database that identifies articles on all topics in newspapers, popular magazines and journals.
  • 6572
    Wilson OmniFile Via EBSCO 1982 - current
    A general purpose database that identifies articles on all topics in popular magazines and journals.

See Databases for a complete list of library databases. The Browse by Subject section has more database recommendations for Sign Language & Deaf Studies, as well as recommendations for Linguistics, Brain & Cognitive Sciences, Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology and other disciplines. 




Search Articles & Books or the UR Catalog to find books in the University of Rochester Libraries and online. Catalog searches also identify journals (not articles), CDs, DVDs, videos, conference proceedings and UR dissertations. Electronic resources are linked from catalog records.


The following catalog subject terms are used for topics in Sign Language and Deaf Studies; click one to automatically search the Voyager Catalog.


Sign Language
       also, specific languages
American Sign Language

Australian Sign Language
British Sign Language
Indopakistan Sign Language

Israeli Sign Language
Japanese Sign Language

Nicaraguan Sign Language

Quebec Sign Language

Children, Deaf
Cochlear Implants

Deaf Children
Finger Spelling
Hearing Disorders


Hearing Impaired
Interpreters for the Deaf
Older Deaf People
Parents of Deaf Children
Teachers of the Deaf
Video Recordings for the Hearing Impaired


E-books can be searched as a group in large collections, including

  • ebrary - Search inside thousands of e-books. Limited printing is available, and registration for additional features is optional. Download the ebrary reader for advanced functionality. 
  • Ebsco eBook Collection (formerly Netlibrary) - Search inside several thousand e-books from the 1980s and 1990s. Does not support printing.
  • Springer eBook Collection for Behavioral Science.



All journals are listed in the Voyager Catalog, Search by journal title or subject.


From the eJournals page, search/browse by title the subset of library journals that are online.


If you are looking for specific articles, use the Articles & Books search at the top of this page and on the library homepage.


Core ejournals include

  • American Annals of the Deaf - additional years available in print and microform
  • Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education
  • Sign Language & Linguistics- some years also available in print
  • Sign Language Studies - additional years available in print
  • Volta Review - additional years available in print
  • Many other journals will contain articles of interest. Use the Articles & Books search or specific databases at the top of this page to find them.


    DVDsDVDs & Videos

    DVDs and videos are available from the Multimedia Center in Rush Rhees Library. They can be viewed there, and unless on reserve for a class, most can be checked out. All titles are listed in the Voyager Catalog, but a special DVDs & Videos search/browse page makes it much easier to find them by title, language, director and genre. 


    The genre Deaf Studies identifies some, but not all, titles of interest to the American Sign Language Program.


    Reference Works
  • Gallaudet Encyclopedia of Deaf People and Deafness (1987) online in Gale Virtual Reference Library and  Rhees Reference HV2365 .G35 1987
  • Encyclopedia of Deafness and Hearing Disorders   Rhees Reference RF290 .T93 2000
  • MIT Encyclopedia of Communication Disorders  (2003)  online in ebrary and Rhees Reference RC423 .M56 2004
  • Random House Webster's American Sign Language Medical Dictionary   Rhees Stacks HV2475 .C663 2000
  • Signing in Fourteen Languages   Rhees Stacks HV2475 .P75 2000
  • American Sign Language Handshape Dictionary  Rhees Reference HV2475 .T46 1998
  • American Sign Language   Rhees Reference HV2475 .S77 1998
  • Deaf Persons in the Arts and Sciences: A Biographical Dictionary   Rhees Reference HV2373 .L36 1995
  • NTC's Multilingual Dictionary of American Sign Language  Rhees Reference HV2475 .N73 1995
  • Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology  (2010)  online in Wiley Online Library
  • Encyclopedia of Semiotics  (1998)  online in Oxford Digital Reference
  • Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Linguistics  (2007)  online in ebrary
  • Encyclopedia of Life Sciences  (1999-2010)  online in Wiley Online Library

    Literature Reviews
     Review articles provide an overview to an area of research, identify who is working in that area, and cite relevant published work.
    • Annual Review of Neuroscience (online 1978-current). Also available in print from 1980 to present   Carlson Stacks QP351 .A68
    • Annual Review of Psychology (online 1950-current). Also available in print from 1950 to present   Rhees Stacks BF1 .A615, with the latest edition in Rhees Reference
    • Annual Review of Anthropology (online 1972-present). Also available in print 1999-present  Rhees Stacks GN1 .A5 
    • PubMed  (online 1950-current) includes review articles in search results. Use the link to the right of search results to display only review articles.


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    Library Locations & Maps

    These University of Rochester Libraries house materials useful for research in Sign Language & Deaf Studies.

  • Rush Rhees Library - floor mapstack guide - psychology, sociology, interpreting, education, linguistics, Deaf culture
  • Multimedia Center in Rush Rhees - floor map - videos, DVDs, CDs and language tapes
  • Carlson Library - floor layout - science and engineering, biology, neuroscience, and computer science
  • Edward G. Miner Medical Library at the UR Medical Center- first floor map - medicine, health, audition, neuroscience, psychology and psychiatry

    Citation Linker

    If you have a citation (journal title, year, volume, issue, etc.) to an article, Citation Linker will check to see if the library has the item online. Enter as much of the citation as you have. If nothing is found, try again after removing page numbers and dates.


    Even easier, try searching the article title and author last name using the Articles & Books tab.


    Managing What You Find

    To keep up with references and appropriately cite them in papers and bibliographies, consider one of these tools. Each will copy article, book and other citations from databases into a single location that you can manage. Style options include APA, MLA, Chicago, CSE and many others.

    • RefWorks - Store your references on the Internet (so you can access them from anywhere), insert citations while you write your paper, and easily format your bibliography. Brief tutorials are available on RefWorks' website.
      Create your own account by clicking "Sign up for an Individual Account." 
    • EndNote - Export and format references from databases and store them on your own computer.
      Download the EndNote software - free download requires login with NetID and password.
    • Zotero - A free Firefox extension with many of the same features as RefWorks and EndNote, plus other features you might be interested in using.


    Writing & Style Guides
  • MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers 7th ed. (2009)  Rhees Reference Locked Case LB2369 .G53 2009, also Rhees Reserves and Koller-Collins Center.
  • Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association 6th ed. (2010)   Rhees Reference Locked Case BF76.7 P83 2010, also Rhees Reserves and Rhees Reference Stacks - Supplemental materials and a brief tutorial, The Basics of APA Style, are available online at APA's website.
  • Scientific Style and Format: The CSE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers 7th ed. (2006)   Rhees Reference Locked Case T11 .S386 2006 and Carlson Reference - See examples of CSE Style at Diana Hacker's Research and Documentation Online and Ohio State University Libraries' How Do I? guide.
  • Writing & Citing provides more helpful links.

    Browser Plug-in for Voyager

    Add a custom Voyager searchbox to your browser's toolbar. Searchbox options include keyword, title search, journal title search, and DVD/Video search.


    Other databases and journal collections supplied by the library may also have specialized plug-ins. Find out if a plug-in is available by checking the specific database/publisher homepage or help section.


    Access via Cell Phone
     A mobile version of the River Campus Libraries website is accessible using Internet-enabled cell phones or other mobile devices.


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    Subject Guides
    Library Subject Guides

    In addition to this guide, related guides include

  • Brain & Cobnitive Sciences
  • Linguistics
  • Psychology
  • Education

    Departments, Centers & Programs at UR
  • American Sign Language Program
  • Brain & Cognitive Sciences
  • Center for Language Sciences
  • Clinical and Social Sciences in Psychology
  • Linguistics
  • Sign Language Research Center

    Organizations & Societies
  • American Sign Language Teachers Association
  • Conference of Interpreter Trainers
  • National Association of the Deaf
  • National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
  • National Theatre of the Deaf
  • Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf



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