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Romance and Courtship

Romance Fiction

The Schlesinger holds over 1,000 works of romance fiction spanning more than a century and covering a wide variety of subgenres. The information on this page is intended as an introduction to some examples of these materials in our collections and suggestions for how to find more; this is not an exhaustive list.

When doing your own searches for items on this topic, some useful subject and genre/form terms to use might include Romance fiction, Love stories, and/or Erotic fiction. Combine these with thematic keywords that match your interests, e.g. Businesswomen, Mexico, Vampires, or Nobility.

If you're looking for secondary materials on the subject of romance fiction, try the subject term Romance fiction--History and criticism.

Note: Some of the subgenre definitions used on this page come from the Romance Writers of America website. As the descriptions of individual items show, multiple subgenres often overlap in a single item.

Historical Romance

Historical romances are usually set before 1950. Historical romances at Schlesinger can be found by doing a HOLLIS catalog search for items that include headings for "Romance fiction" + "Historical fiction." Here are some examples from our collection:

Medical Romance

Medical romances feature the lives of doctors and nurses. Medical romances at Schlesinger can be found by doing a HOLLIS catalog search for items that include the heading "Romance fiction" + keywords such as "medicine" or "medical." Here are some examples from our collection:

African American Romance

African American romances feature Black American characters (and are often written by Black authors). African American romances at Schlesinger can be found by doing a HOLLIS catalog search for items that include the heading "Romance fiction" + the keywords "African American" or "African Americans." Here are some examples from our collection:

Lesbian Romance

Lesbian romances are centered on the lives of lesbian characters. Lesbian romances at Schlesinger can be found by doing a HOLLIS catalog search for items that include the heading "Romance fiction" and the subject keyword "Lesbian." Here are some examples from our collection:

Paranormal Romance

Paranormal romances feature fantasy or science fiction elements as an integral part of their plots. Paranormal romances at Schlesinger can be found by doing a HOLLIS catalog search for items that include the keywords "paranormal romance fiction." Here are some examples from our collection:

Pulp Romance

Pulp romance comes from the mid-20th century and features lurid, often exploitative content about sex and relationships. Pulp romances at Schlesinger can be found by doing a HOLLIS catalog search for items that include the heading "Pulp literature." Here are some examples from our collection:

Romance Comics

Romance comics includes graphic novels and comic art focused on romantic stories. Romance comics at Schlesinger can be found by doing a HOLLIS catalog search for items that include the heading "Romance comic books, strips, etc." Here are some examples from our collection.

Christian Romance

Christian romance fiction tells romantic stories with a central focus on Christian spiritual beliefs. Christian romances at Schlesinger can be found by doing a HOLLIS catalog search for items that include the headings "Romance fiction" or "Love stories" + "Christian fiction." Here are some examples from our collection:

Romance Magazines

Romance magazines are periodicals that usually feature short, romance-focused fiction or serialized love stories. Romance magazines at Schlesinger can be found by doing a HOLLIS catalog search for items that include the heading "Romance fiction -- Periodicals." Here are some examples from our collection.