Skip to main content

What's in the Library: Books: Anthologies

Using Antholgoies

Can I cite from an ANTHOLOGY in a research paper?

Any source used to research an academic paper should be included in the Works Cited List/Bibliography. Be aware, however, that:

  • some instructors may want you to cite an author, theorist, or artist from their original primary sources and NOT from the compiled anthology.

So, instead, it's best to use anthologies in a similar manner to reference books, serving as a guide to your topic for sourcing:

  • key writers, theorist, critics, or authors who are experts on your topic, then search these people as authors in a library catalogue to access their own primary sources
  • keywords or subjects that you can use to search for books or peer-reviewed journal articles supporting these concepts

Despite these issues, sometimes the authors included in an anthology are historical and their original works are not available in current or re-printed publications; likewise, the essays or articles may have been translated from other languages and the original source has not been translated in entirety, In these cases:

  • use a citation format that indicates that the author's work has been cited from a secondary source; for ex. using MLA format:

In-text Citation:

"In principle a work of art has always been reproducible" (Benjamin 64).

Entry in Works Cited List:

Benjamin, Walter. "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction." The Nineteenth-Century Visual Culture Reader, edited by Vanessa R. Schwartz and Jeannene M. Przyblysk, Routledge, 2004, pp. 63-72.

What is an Anthology?


An ANTHOLOGY (or READER) is a book that:

  • helps confirm primary sources given that essays, articles, book excerpts are recognized as seminal publications on a topic
  • compiles articles, essays, or research papers
  • arranges these writings in chronological or thematic order
  • oftentimes provides an introductory description of the essay, article, or excerpt describing its context or meaning within the thematic structure of the anthology

What is the benefit of an ANTHOLOGY?

  • to understand how artists, authours, critics, or theorist relate to historical time periods; thus are excellent resources fro material or visual culture researchers
  • to explore the seminal, even canonical artists, authours, critics, or theorist from historical time periods
  • to access writings from other cultures, communities, or social groups that may not be available in standard academic reference books or monographs
  • to access multi-lingual articles, essays, or writings from primary sources that may not have been published in English

Authors: depending on the nature of the anthology, authors included may differ widely:

  • Scholarly anthologies: authors include scholars, researchers, historians, critics who are recognized as experts in their field of inquiry
  • Cultural or social history anthologies: authors could include everyday people, testimonials, oral histories from people that are not usually included in academic publications
  • Art-related anthologies: will include the writings, letters, or artist statements by artists or designers


  • university presses OR
  • private, commercial companies OR
  • non-profit organizations




Examples of Professional Trade Journals in Print