This is the "Library resources" page of the "International Sign Language Research Guide" guide.
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International Sign Language Research Guide   Tags: deaf, research guide  

This guide offers some basic information about how to get started on researching the sign languages of countries other than the United States.
Last Updated: Sep 13, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Books are good places to get in-depth information and the historical background of a subject. Hint: Don't forget to check the bibliography (list of resources) at the end of most books to find other sources of information!

To find books about different national sign languages using the WRLC Catalog, perform a Keyword (AND, OR, NOT) with these keywords (including quotation marks):

  • "sign language" AND sweden [or the name of any other country]
  • "finger spelling" AND italy [or the name of any other country]
  • gestuno


Periodicals (magazines, journals, and newspapers) are good places to find recent information on a topic, and many have moved online into large databases that allow you to search many periodicals at the same time. The Library subscribes to a number of databases, most of which are accessible only to Gallaudet students, staff, and faculty. There are other sources available to the public, however, such as ERIC.

Search terms

For finding information about different sign languages, use keyword searches like the following:

  • sign language and china [or the name of any other country]
  • finger spelling and britain [or the name of any other country]
  • nonverbal communication
  • nonverbal language
  • sign language



DVDs and videotapes depicting speakers of sign languages from around the world may also be found in the Gallaudet University Library. You can use the following kind of Keyword (AND, OR, NOT) search in the WRLC Catalog:

  • "sign language" AND videorecording AND russia [or the name of any other country]

Vertical files

Vertical files include materials such as newspaper clippings, brochures, maps, poetry, and other non-book printed material. To find information on international sign languages, look in the Deaf Subject File on the first floor of the Library, next to the Deaf Stacks. Those files are kept locked. To use them, ask a Library staff member or student assistant for help. Use the following subject headings:

  • Sign Language-Israel [or the name of any other country]
  • Fingerspelling-Brazil [or the name of any other country]

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