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ENGL*2901 Guide

Find Articles

When searching for journal articles, an indexing and abstracting database or print index is usually the best place to begin. Below are some recommended print indexes and databases for research in English Literature. For other databases, check the Indexes and Abstracts page of the library website.

Key Resources

  • Literature Online
    Literature Online offers full text access to rare and inacessible works, up-to-date, reference resources, in addition to the full text of poetry, drama, and prose fiction from the seventh century to the present day. Materials are included from almost every period and genre of English literature as well as many works by 20th century authors. Contemporary criticism is available through the Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature (ABELL).
    Unlimited simultaneous users.
  • Literature Criticism Online
    Provides Online access to the content of the following reference works on literature: Twentieth-century literary criticism, Nineteenth-century literature criticism, Literature criticism 1400-1800, Shakespeare criticism, Contemporary literary criticism, and Children's literature review.
    Unlimited simultaneous users.
  • Historical Abstracts (EBSCO)
    "Historical Abstracts is an exceptional resource that covers the history of the world (excluding the United States and Canada) from 1450 to the present, including world history, military history, women's history, history of education, and more ... Provides indexing of more than 1,700 academic historical journals in over 40 languages back to 1955."--Database information page.
    Unlimited simultaneous users.

Additional Resources

  • Iter - Gateway to the Middle Ages and Renaissance
    A bibliography covering the period 400-1700. Citations are drawn from journals, books, conference proceedings, festschriften, encyclopedias and exhibition catalogues.
    Unlimited simultaneous users.
  • JSTOR Archival Collection
    JSTOR provides access to back issues of a variety of scholarly journals. UNB Libraries currently subscribes to the Arts & Sciences (I through X) collections, along with the Life Sciences and Ireland collections.
    Unlimited simultaneous users.
  • Project Muse
    "Project MUSE covers the fields of literature and criticism, history, the visual and performing arts, cultural studies, education, political science, gender studies, and many others." UNB subscribes to almost 400 eJournals, and provides access to select Open Access eBooks.
    Unlimited simultaneous users.

Reference Sources

When researching a new topic it is often necessary to get an overview, explanations of unfamiliar terms, or brief factual information. The print and electronic resources listed below include selected reference materials (dictionaries, encyclopaedias, handbooks, guides, and standards) for the field of English Literature. To find additional reference materials, check in Quest (the library catalogue), explore the Reference Materials tab on the library website, or try our Guide to Finding Reference Materials


Key Resources

  • Wiley/Blackwell Reference Online
    Wiley/Blackwell Reference Online "is a vast new online library giving instant access to the most authoritative and up-to-date scholarship across the humanities and social sciences. With more than 350 reference volumes to be published in Blackwell Reference Online by the end of 2008, it is the largest academic reference collection available online and includes the critically-acclaimed Blackwell Companions and Handbooks, major reference works such as the Blackwell Encyclopedia of Management and the Companion to Syntax, and a whole host of other valuable reference materials such as dictionaries, encyclopedias and concise companions."
    Unlimited simultaneous users.
  • Oxford Reference
    Multi-part database of the online versions of Oxford University Press texts. Each topical division contains the searchable version of the latest edition of published dictionaries and encyclopedias. Additionally, information about Oxford University Press is provided. Online texts will be updated after new editions of the print monographs are published. Covers the humanities and social sciences.
    5 simultaneous users.
  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (ODNB)
    Oxford Dictionary of National Biography is an illustrated/fulltext reference tool providing 55,000 specially-written signed biographies of the men and women who shaped all aspects of the British past from the earliest times to the end of the year 2000. It is the product of research instituted at the University of Oxford and funded by the British Academy and by Oxford University Press. It is the achievement of 10,000 contributors and advisers staff in Oxford. The Oxford DNB aims to provide full, accurate, concise, and readable articles on noteworthy people in all walks of life. No living person is included: the Dictionary's articles are confined to people who died before 31 December 2000.
    3 simultaneous users.
  • Oxford English Dictionary (OED Online)
    "This unique and powerful resource offers unprecedented access to the definitive record of the meaning, history and evolution of more than 600,000 words over the last 1,500 years." A complete text of the 2nd. ed. of the Oxford English dictionary with quarterly updates, including revisions not available in any other form.
    5 simultaneous users.
  • Literature Criticism Online
    Provides Online access to the content of the following reference works on literature: Twentieth-century literary criticism, Nineteenth-century literature criticism, Literature criticism 1400-1800, Shakespeare criticism, Contemporary literary criticism, and Children's literature review.
    Unlimited simultaneous users.
  • Cambridge Guide to Literature in English, The

    The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English provides, in a single volume, the most comprehensive and up-to-date survey of literature in English available today. Substantially enlarged and updated for this new edition, it covers all the major novelists, poets, and dramatists of the classical canon and of contemporary literature, from Shakespeare, Milton, Wordsworth, Austen, Dickens, and Conrad to Saul Bellow, Adrienne Rich, Les Murray, Wole Soyinka, R.K. Narayan, Janet Frame, Mordecai Richler, Joseph Brodsky, and John Coetzee. Unique among literature guides, this volume provides extensive, multicultural coverage of all literature written in English, including Indian, Caribbean, Australian, African, Canadian, and Irish, as well as British and American. More than one hundred specialist contributors provide biographical and critical articles on writers and their works, critics, philosophers, historians, and biographers. Substantial coverage is also given to such literary genres as popular fiction, science fiction, detective novels and children's classics. Literary concepts such as structuralism, tragedy, and irony are described, and full explanations are provided for movements from neoclassicism to postmodernism. Hailed in its first edition as "indispensable" and "path-breaking" (Los Angeles Times), and for having "immense browsability" (Anthony Burgess) and "breadth of vision" (The Guardian), this new edition of The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English is the definitive handbook to the vast, diverse, and extraordinarily rich heritage of English literature. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.

Additional Resources

  • Oxford Companion to English Literature, The [HIL-REF PR19 .O94 2006]

    Containing encyclopedic coverage of all aspects of English literature from Homer to hypertext, The Oxford Companion to English Literature has been a standard source for students, scholars and general readers since the 1930s. The sixth edition, edited by the novelist Margaret Drabble, contains over 8,000 entries on writers, their works, and their cultural contexts, as well as discussions of critics, literary theory, allusions, and characters from novels and plays. The appendices containing the chronology and lists of literary award winners have been updated, as have many of the entries. Annotation #169;2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR ( Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.

  • Critical companion to William Shakespeare [HIL-REF PR2892 .B69 2005 vols. 1-2]

    In addition to facts about Shakespeare's life and works, Boyce includes in his encyclopedia a brief biography of Shakespeare, scene- by-scene synopses, critical commentary on every play, analyses of characters and biographical information on figures in Shakespeare's life. Boyce, a freelance writer specializing in Elizabethan England, notes that this reference is not intended as scholarship, but he incorporates entries on important scholars, documents, and literary and theatrical terms. This revised edition includes a discussion of Edward III, a new addition to the canon, and recent scholarship about Shakespeare's possible Catholicism and his probable collaboration with other playwrights. Annotation #169;2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR ( Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.

  • Greenwood Companion to Shakespeare [HIL-REF PR2976 .G739 2005 vols. 1-4]

    To help students approach Shakespeare's works without "shuddering fear," this comprehensive companion provides a grounding in the author's life and work. The first volume contains essays about Shakespeare's personal history and his times, including the state of the theater and the English language in his day. The second half of volume one is dedicated to Shakespeare's history plays. Volumes two, three, and four discuss the comedies, tragedies, and comedies, respectively. Volume four also covers Shakespeare's sonnets and the narrative poems. The discussions of the plays include scene-by-scene plot summaries, publication history, sources, structure, plotting, characters and themes. The essays also explicate key passages and consider critical discourse about the works. An annotated bibliography accompanies each essay; an annotated list of relevant websites and a selected bibliography are appended to volume four. Annotation #169;2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR ( Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.

  • Sixteenth-century British nondramatic writers. First series [HIL-REF PN41 .D5 vol.132]
  • Sixteenth-century British nondramatic writers. Second series [HIL-REF PN41 .D5 vol.136]
  • Sixteenth-century British nondramatic writers. Third series [HIL-REF PN41 .D5 vol.167]
  • Sixteenth-century British nondramatic writers. [Fourth series] [HIL-REF PN41 .D5 vol.172]

Find Books

To search for books at UNB Libraries, first use the library's online catalogue, Quest. Quest contains materials held at the Harriet Irving, Science and Forestry, Engineering, and Law libraries, as well as the Ward Chipman Library in Saint John. Course reserves are also available via Quest's Reserve Desk.



Citing Your Sources

Accurate, properly formatted footnotes, reading lists, and bibliographies are hallmarks of good academic research. Through citing, you acknowledge the source of any ideas you mention in your writing, document your research, and provide the information your readers need to track down your sources.

Numerous citation styles exist, and each specifies what elements are required (title, author, journal name, etc.) and how the citation should be formatted. The standard citation style for English Literature is MLA, but your instructor may require or recommend that you use another. Consult your course syllabus or check with your instructor to be sure of using the correct citation style for your assignment.

Primary Sources

Primary sources may include documents such as letters, poems, manuscripts, early printed editions, or other books that are from (rather than about) the Early Modern period. Using primary sources can help you learn more about the author(s) you are researching and/or develop a historical context for your literary analysis.

Key Resources

  • Early English Books Online (EEBO via ProQuest)

    EEBO is based on the microfilm collections curated by the Ann Arbor publisher Eugene B. Power (1905-1993). The founder of what became University Microfilms International or UMI, Power’s first foreign project established the microfilming operation at the British Museum in 1942 and, since then, more than 200 libraries worldwide have contributed to the microfilm collection.

    Following its digital launch in 1998, Early English Books Online now contains page images of virtually every work printed in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and British North America, as well as works in English printed elsewhere between 1473 and 1700.
    Unlimited simultaneous users.

  • Past Masters (Intelex)
    InteLex Past Masters is comprised of 100+ full-text humanities and sciences databases that make available cohesive collections of editions, in both original language and in English translation, of seminal figures in the humanities and sciences.
    Unlimited simultaneous users.

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