ENCR 8100: Intro to Literary ResearchDistinguished MajorsPOV JournalismAMST 3001: Theories and Methods of American StudiesENCR 4500: Houses, Countries, & 19th c. LiteratureENLT 2547: Black Women WritersENLT 2100: Intro to Literary StudyENLT 2513: Major Authors of American Lit
ENNC 8500: Narrative and TravelENMC 3500: Contemporary Fictions
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English Language & Literature   Tags: criticism, databases, english, fiction, literature, poetry, prose  

A guide to doing research in English language and literature at the University of Virginia Library.
Last Updated: Jun 7, 2016 URL: http://guides.lib.virginia.edu/english Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Article Finders

  • MLA Bibliography
    Best online index to scholarly articles in the literature of modern languages. Journal articles and multi-author works are listed. Coverage from 1920 to the present.
  • Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature: ABELL - 1922-present  
    Indexes "monographs, periodical articles, critical editions of literary works, book reviews, collections of essays and doctoral dissertations published anywhere in the world." Coverage from 1920 to 2000. Good supplement to MLA.
  • Web of Knowledge / Web of Science  
    One of the most current interdisciplinary journal indexes available. Not only a good index for articles and book reviews in the humanities, but also the place to discover who has been cited by others. Coverage from 1981 to the present.
  • PAO: Periodicals Archive Online
    Includes the full text of nearly 400 international humanities and social sciences journals published from 1770 to the 1990s.
  • Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals (1824-1900)
    Indexes articles from 43 important British periodicals. Includes author attributions for articles that were originally published anonymously or pseudonomously.
  • Academic Search Complete
    Large general database of articles from scholarly and popular journals and a few newspapers on many topics.
  • MUSE
    Searchable full text of nearly 600 scholarly journals in the humanities, social sciences, and mathematics, mostly from North American university presses. Older volumes are often available from JSTOR.
  • JSTOR Journal Storage Project
    Older issues of scholarly journals, from the start to 3-5 years ago.

All-Purpose Literature Databases

  • Literature Online
    The "Criticism and Reference" search includes ABELL citations and references from articles and books. Many cited journals are available in full text. LION also includes the full text of many works of American and British literature. See this guide for more information.
  • Literature Resource Center
    Includes the full text of articles from the Dictionary of Literary Biography and other biographical and critical compilations about authors, along with journal articles and book chapters about literary works and topics.

Full Text Literature Collections

  • Early English Books Online: EEBO - 1475-1700  
    Facsimile images of virtually every text published in English before 1700, including books, pamphlets, proclamations, almanacs, calendars and other rich primary sources in all subjects. Records are linked to the corresponding PDF page images.
  • ECCO: Eighteenth Century Collection Online - 1701-1800
    Page images of texts published during the 18th c. (mostly British, although some American works are included). Includes complete literary works by major authors like Fielding, Pope, and Swift, as well as ephemeral publications such as pamphlets & sermons.
  • Early American Imprints, Series I: Evans, 1639-1800
    Based on Charles Evans' American Bibliography, this database includes complete bibliographical citations for American imprints from 1639-1800, and links to page images of the books. Easily browseable by subject, genre, author, and place of publication.
  • Early American Imprints, Series II: Shaw-Shoemaker, 1801-1819
    Continues where Series I leaves off, providing coverage from 1801 to 1819.
  • Nineteenth Century Collections Online (NCCO)
    Primary source collections from the long 19th century, in many languages. Includes the Corvey Collection, which contains 9,000 English, French, and German literary monographs from 1790-1840.
  • Columbia Granger's World of Poetry
    Over 250,000 full text poems, categorized and searchable by gender, language, nationality, and poetic form. Allows users to create anthologies of poems for use in the classroom, and to compare two poems side by side.
  • Past Masters
    Part of the Past Masters series from InteLex, these are electronic editions of correspondence, diaries and memoirs of famous writers. Available titles include collected letters of Baillie, Coleridge, Yeats, the Wordsworths, Pope, Swift, Tennyson, and various Romantic poets.
  • Complete Corpus of Old English
    The Dictionary of Old English Electronic Corpus "is a complete record of surviving Old English except for some variant manuscripts of individual texts". The corpus includes over 3,000 fully searchable texts, encoded in TEI.
  • Parker Library on the Web
    High resolution images of the medieval and Renaissance manuscripts from the Parker Library at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.
  • Women Writers' Project
    Writing by women from the Renaissance through the first half of the 19th century.
  • North American Theatre Online
    A comprehensive reference work covering all aspects of American and Canadian Theater. Full-text plays from the Asian American Drama and Black Drama collections, many unpublished elsewhere, are available here.

Full Text Newspapers and Periodicals

  • Gale Newsvault
    Search together 5 historical collections of British and American newspapers: Burney Collection (17th and 18th C.), 19th century British and US newspapers, the Times (London), and the Economist.
  • 17th and 18th Century Burney Collection Newspapers
    A large collection of full-text British newspapers from the 17th and 18th century, as well as pamphlets, broadsides, and other rare materials.
  • America's Historical Newspapers
    Searchable full text collection of US newspapers from 1690 to 1922.
  • American Periodicals Series (APS Online) - 1740-1900
    Full text of over 1000 journals published in the US between 1740 and 1900.
  • 19th Century British Library Newspapers
    Searchable full text and page images of 48 national and regional British newspapers from the collections of the British Library.
  • Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition
    The Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition is a free online edition of six nineteenth-century periodicals and newspapers. The materials can be searched, browsed as facsimiles, or downloaded as PDFs.
  • African-American Newspapers - 1827-1860
    Searchable text and page images for 7 African-American newspapers published between 1827 and 1860. For more recent (1985-present) newspapers, see Ethnic NewsWatch.
  • ProQuest Historical Newspapers
    A searchable archive of major US newspapers, dating back to their initial dates of publication: the NY Times (1851-1999), the Wall Street Journal (1889-1995), the Chicago Tribune (1890-1969), the Washington Post (1877-1987), and the LA Times (1881-1985).
  • Times Digital Archive
    Full-text of the London Times from 1785-1985, including articles, advertisements, illustrations, and photographs.
  • LexisNexis Academic
    The standard resource for relatively recent full-text articles in newspapers and popular magazines.
  • Factiva
    Articles from over 6,000 newspapers and periodicals.

Other Reference Sources

  • WorldCat
    Over 36 million records from libraries around the world including U.Va. This database is a wonderful source for bibliographic information on books, journals, manuscripts, videos, etc.
  • Oxford English Dictionary
    This edition of the OED is updated quarterly and features both simple and advanced search interfaces.
  • Dictionary of American Regional English
    DARE focuses on the regional aspects of American English, documenting words, phrases, and pronunciations that vary from one place to another. This online version provides interactive maps, audio field recordings, and fielded searching.
  • English Short Title Catalogue
    Bibliographic description and library locations for books and pamphlets in English on all subjects printed from 1473 to 1800 anywhere in the world.
  • Dissertations and Theses Online
    Indexes dissertations from 1861 to the present. Abstracts are available from 1980 onward, and dissertations published since 1997 are available in their entirety as PDF files.
  • Theatre in Video
    Streaming video of over 350 productions of plays from Aeschylus through Shakespeare and Beckett to Sam Shepherd. Also documentaries about productions and interviews with authors, directors, and actors.
  • Scribner Writers Online
    Contains biographical and critical essays on the work of important writers. Volumes in this series include American Writers, British Writers, European Writers, and the World and Genre Writers Series.
  • Twaynes Authors Online
    Reference source that provides in-depth analysis of the life, works, career, and critical importance of prominent authors. Covers United States Authors, English Authors and World Authors.
  • NINES (Networked Infrastructure for Nineteenth-Century Electronic Scholarship)
    NINES is an organization of 19th century scholars. Through its Collex interface, it provides cross-collection searching of aggregated, peer-reviewed online scholarship in British and American nineteenth-century studies.
  • Literary Research Guide
    Annotated guide to essential reference sources for literary study. Fully searchable and updated quarterly.
  • Oxford Reference Online
    A large collection of basic information on many subjects drawn from reference books published by Oxford University Press.
  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
    Lives of British persons from the earliest times to the end of the 20th century. IMPORTANT: our access is limited; please click the LOGOUT link when done.
  • Columbia Gazetteer of the World
    Encyclopedia of geographical places and features profiles every country in the world with information on demography, geography, industry, agriculture, cultural and historical points of interest, transportation, and pronunciations.
  • Bibliography of English Women Writers 1500-1640
    Covers over 700 early women authors, both canonical and obscure. Entries list each author's writings, including later editions, along with sources for criticism and reception history up through the present day.
  • The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory & Criticism
    A full-text searchable database of articles on individual critics and theorists, critical and theoretical schools and movements, and the critical and theoretical innovations of specific countries and historical periods.

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Christine Ruotolo, Librarian for English
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University of Virginia
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