Skip to Main Content
View current library hours and information

The Handmaid's Tale (1985): Library Resources

A list of resources available through Truxal Library for researching Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale

Library Databases

Use the links below to search for criticism and interpretation of literary works, as well as biographical information about authors. To access databases from off-campus, you will need to log in with your MyAACC credentials or enter your library barcode number.

Use this database for general background information and to define unfamiliar words and phrases:

To further research historical context of literary works, use:

Use these databases to broaden your search:

Searching for Full Text

No full text available?
Have only an article's abstract or just a citation?

Use the library's Finding Articles from Citations page, which is part of the Finding Materials from Citations Guide.

For assistance, contact the reference desk at 410-777-2456 or

Reference Material

Search the Library Catalog for the following reference titles that contain material about Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale. These titles may be available in other college or public libraries.

  • A Companion to Science Fiction
  • Contemporary Authors [vols 49-52]
  • Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series [vols 3, 24, 59, 95]
  • Contemporary Literary Criticism (CLC) - Contains passages from literary criticism originally published in books and journals
    • [44, 84, 135] - look for Handmaid's Tale in the Cumulative Title Index, a separate paperback index that accompanies this multi-volume work
    • [vol 168] - locate the topical essay "Dystopias in Contemporary Literature"
    • [vol 193] - locate the topical essay "Fantasy in Contemporary Literature"
  • Critical Survey of Long Fiction [vol 1, 8]
  • Cyclopedia of Literary Characters [vol 2]
  • Cyclopedia of Literary Places [vol 2]
  • Literature and Its Times [vol 5]
  • Margaret Atwood: A Critical Companion
  • Masterplots [vol 5]
  • Masterplots II: Women's Literature Series [vol 3]
  • Notable American Novelists [vol 1]
  • Novels for Students [vol 4]
  • Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism (TCLC) - Contains passages from literary criticism originally published in books and journals
    •  [vol 158] - locate the topical essay "Anti-Americanism"

Books & Audio/Visual Materials

Conduct a "Subject Browse" search using the Library Catalog for:

  • Atwood, Margaret

You'll find library materials that provide biographical information about Margaret Atwood, as well criticism and interpretation of her work.

Research Assistance

More ways to get help:


MLA-style and APA-style guidelines change periodically, especially for citing sources accessed electronically. For the most up-to-date information about how to cite sources correctly, visit:

Using a citation generator from a database or website? Double-check to be sure the generator has used the current rules.

Library photo courtesy of Barry Halkin Photography