Answered By: Jennifer Stidham Last Updated: Jan 25, 2017 Views: 14
I think providing a short answer and a long answer might be appropriate here. I'll do the short answer first :)
Check out this great HCC Library LibGuide on Hamlet. It will help you with finding print and online sources on the play.
Short Answer: A literature database like Gale Literary Sources would be very effective for finding more authoritative criticism about Shakespeare's Hamlet. Because it's focused on literary criticism, you can search for criticism about a certain work (Hamlet) or about a certain author (Shakespeare) or just by keyword (looking for your term anywhere).
Long Answer: Library databases are collections of organized information, sometimes about very specific topics (like literary criticism, biology, or careers) and other times about multiple topics (we call these multi-subject). Whether these databases are specific or broad, they will contain articles from journals that are high-quality sources of information, authored by very knowledgeable, trust-worthy people. Searching through a database can let us find that information easily.
Before we can begin searching through a database, though, we need to choose an appropriate one. Because they are sometimes specific in scope, not every database is equally useful for every assignment. This is where a friendly librarian can be very helpful! But if you're unable to speak to a librarian, the library organizes our databases in a few different ways -- by database name, by database subject, and by database type. If you know exactly what database to use, look by database name; if you know what subject you're looking for, choose a database that falls under that subject; or if you're looking for background information, you might want to look at database format (like encyclopedia) to get you started.
To access any HCC library database from off-campus, you'll be asked for your HCC "W" number (for students) or your first and last names (for faculty/staff) and personal password. Once you've done this and successfully authenticated, you are redirected to the database.
I hope this answers your questions (two-ways!). Let us know if you have further questions.