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ENLT 2100: Introduction to Literary Studies

Stephen Arata · Spring 2015

Using the library catalog

VIRGO, the U.Va. Library’s primary search tool, contains catalog records for books, print journals, DVDs, maps, and digitized materials, as well as links to online articles from our rich array of subscription journals.  You can search catalog materials and articles together, or view those results separately, using the "facets" provided to limit your results by author, format, publication period, and more.  

Sample searches:

  • Choose "Catalog only" search
  • Search for Emily Bronte; and
  • Select Bronte, Emily from the Author facet to find books written by the author; OR
  • Select Criticism and Interpretation from the Subject facet to find books written about the author; OR
  • Select Ebook from the Format facet to limit to books are available online; OR
  • Select Last 10 years from the Publication Era facet to find recent materials

Finding literary works online

Literature Online (LION) contains a surprisingly complete collection of full-text poetry, fiction and drama from the 15th century through the early 20th century. You can search within a particular author or title, or limit by date, gender, ethnicity, or literary movement.

HathiTrust includes millions of books scanned from research libraries (including U.Va.) plus other digitized materials from those institutions. Most books published before 1923 are free to search, browse, and download.

Finding scholarly journal articles

The MLA International Bibliography (MLAIB) indexes the broadest range of resources about literature in all languages, including over 4,000 journals as well as books and dissertations.  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.

Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature (ABELL) is a good supplement to the MLAIB, and may turn up additional articles and book citations.  Unlike the MLAIB, ABELL includes reviews of scholarly books.

JSTOR contains back issues (usually 3-5 years old or older) of significant scholarly journals in many subjects, including language and literature.  JSTOR is not as comprehensive as MLAIB, but the full-text search will do a better job of picking up matches for specific themes or subjects.  Articles are immediately available as PDFs.

Project Muse provides full-text searching of recent articles from major scholarly journals, including roughly 120 journals about literature.  Like JSTOR, Project Muse is not as comprehensive as the MLAIB, but offers the advantages of full-text searching and instant access to PDFs.

Google Scholar returns articles from many online scholarly journals, plus some books and Web sites, across all subjects. Coverage for the humanities is somewhat limited, but if you have a citation for an article, Google Scholar is sometimes an easy and convenient way to track down the article itself. If you click on "Scholar Preferences" and choose U.Va. as your library, you will see the "Find@U.Va." button in your Google Scholar search results.

Finding biographical information about an author

Literature Resource Center (LRC) includes full text articles from the Dictionary of Literary Biography and Contemporary Authors – terrific sources for author biographies.

Other Resources

WorldCat (OCLC Online Union Catalog): Over  36 million records from libraries around the world including U.Va. You can use WorldCat to find items that our library doesn’t own, and request them through Interlibrary Loan.

Oxford English Dictionary: A historical dictionary that includes definitions of word from it's earliest usage up to the present, along with illustrative quotations demonstrating usage over time.

Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics: Contains over 1,000 detailed entries on all aspects of poetry: movements, genres, forms, critical terms, etc. Available in print or as an ebook.

For Better for Verse: "An interactive learning tool that can help you understand what makes metered poetry in English tick."