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ENGL 2508: Gender and the Gothic

Research guide for students in Cristina Griffin's Fall 2019 ENGL 2508 class.

The resources on this guide will help you research the publication and reception history of your Gothic novel, and trace its literary and scholarly influence.  Find the Project Gothic website for the class at

Researching the publication history of a book

Virgo is UVA Library's catalog. Search the catalog side of Virgo for other editions of your novel held at the University of Virginia. 

WorldCat is a vast union catalog, containing listings of books, journals, manuscripts, and other materials in thousands of libraries worldwide. Searching WorldCat will allow you to find:

  • subsequent editions of the novel
  • translations of the novel
  • other works by the novel's author or illustrator
  • archival material related to the author

If you find an item in WorldCat that the UVA library doesn't own, you can request it through interlibrary loan (note that some materials, such as rare books, cannot be loaned).

Nineteenth Century Collections Online (NCCO) A global digitization and publishing program focusing on primary source collections of the long 19th century. Content consists of monographs, newspapers, manuscripts, pamphlets, ephemera, maps, photographs, statistics, etc. in both Western and non-Western languages. (Listed in A-Z databases under 19th Century)

Researching the reception history of a book

19th century periodical and newspaper databases are great sources for finding contemporary reviews of gothic novels, as well as bookseller's advertisements. Three of the most comprehensive databases of this type are listed below.

British Periodicals includes hundreds of periodicals from the late seventeenth century to the early twentieth, reproduced in high-resolution facsimile page images. The periodicals cover literature and the arts, as well as philosophy, history, science, and social science.

19th Century UK Periodicals, Part 1 includes British periodicals on a range of subjects, with a particular focus on women's and children's publications. There is a small amount of overlap with the British Periodicals database.

19th Century British Library Newspapers includes searchable full text and page images of 48 national and regional British newspapers from the collections of the British Library.

Finding information about an author, illustrator, or publisher

Literature Resource Center (LRC) includes the full text of important literary reference works.  Among them are articles from the Dictionary of Literary Biography, which is a terrific source for finding detailed biographies and profiles of authors, illustrators, publishers, and other literary figures.  

The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (ODNB) provides entries on the lives of British persons from the earliest times to the end of the 20th century. IMPORTANT: our access is limited so please close the browser when finished.

Finding secondary scholarship about your book

The MLA International Bibliography (MLAIB) indexes the broadest range of resources about literature in all languages.  If a literary study of your novel exists, you should find it here. It is not a full-text resource, meaning that you can only search the description of an article, rather than the text of the article. To get the full text of an article, click on “Find article @ UVa Libraries”, or look up the journal title in VIRGO.

JSTOR includes older issues of scholarly journals, from their beginnings to 3-5 years ago, so this may be another good database to look for articles related to your novel or its author. Articles in JSTOR should be full-text, if we subscribe to the journal. 

Google Books contains searchable facsimiles of the books Google has scanned from libraries and publishers. Searching for the title of your novel in Google Books may return a full-text copy of the novel itself, as well as references to the novel in scholarly works, bibliographies, bookseller's cataloges, etc.

HathiTrust includes material scanned by the Google Books partner institutions (including U.Va.) plus other digitized materials from those institutions. Features better bibliographic data and better treatment of multi-volume works than Google Books.

More Books of Possible Interest