English Literature 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 Article Databases 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.
  • Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature (ABELL)
    Based on the annual print publication by the Modern Humanities Research Association, the Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature provides bibliographic records for monographs, journal articles, doctoral dissertations and book reviews published since 1920, with selected materials included from 1892 - 1919. Part of the Literature Online collections.
    4 simultaneous users.
  • Modern Language Association (MLA) International Bibliography (EBSCOhost)
    "MLA International Bibliography offers a detailed bibliography of journal articles, books and dissertations. Produced by the Modern Language Association (MLA), the electronic version of the bibliography dates back to the 1920s and contains millions of citations from journals & series, as well as book publishers. The indexed materials coverage is international, and includes titles and full-text links from J-STOR and Project Muse. This resource also contains hundreds of thousands of subject names and terms."
    Unlimited simultaneous users.

Additional Resources

  • Academic Search Premier
    Academic Search Premier is a multidisciplinary resource that "provides journal coverage for most academic areas of study."
    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.
  • 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 UNB WorldCat (the library catalogue), explore Encyclopedias, etc on the library website, or try our Guide to Finding Reference Materials

Key Resources

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Dictionary of Literary Biography Complete Online (DLB Online)
    Provides more than 16,000 biographical and critical essays on the lives, works, and careers of the world's most influential literary figures from all eras and genres. Comprised of the award-winning Dictionary of Literary Biography series, which over its 30-year history has been dedicated to making literature and its creators better understood and more accessible to students and interested readers, DLB Complete Online provides reliable information in an easily comprehensible format while placing writers in the larger perspective of literary history. Specifically, DLB Complete Online includes the DLB main series, the DLB Documentary Series, and the DLB Yearbook Series - the latter two of which have never been electronically available. Additionally, DLB Complete Online will include the extremely valuable images from the above DLB series - again, content that has never been available online.
    Unlimited simultaneous users.
  • Abrams' Glossary of Literary Terms [HIL-REFDSK PN41 .A184 2015]

    This text is essential for all serious students of literature. Fully updated, the eleventh edition contains a complete glossary of essential literary terms that explore the terms, place them in context, and suggest related entries and additional reading.

  • Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms

    The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms provides clear and concise definitions of the most troublesome literary terms, from abjection to zeugma. Now expanded and in its fourth edition, it includes increased coverage of new terms from modern critical and theoretical movements, such as feminism, schools of American poetry, Spanish verse forms, life writing, and crime fiction.

    It includes extensive coverage of traditional drama, versification, rhetoric, and literary history, as well as updated and extended advice on recommended further reading and a pronunciation guide to more than 200 terms. Completely revised and updated, this edition also features brand-new entries on terms such as distant reading, graphic novels, middle generation, and misery memoir.

    5 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.

Additional Resources

  • 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 Histories Online (Cambridge Core)
    This resource, part of Cambridge Core, contains the online versions of over 270 Cambridge Histories publications in the following 15 areas: American History, British History, Economic History, General History, History of Science, History of the Book, Language and Linguistics, Literary Studies, Music, Philosophy, Political and Social Theory, Regional History, Religious Studies, Theatre Studies and Performing Arts, and Warfare. For a complete listing of titles in each area, please refer to the publisher's site, at: https://www.cambridge.org/core/what-we-publish/collections/cambridge-histories
    Unlimited simultaneous users.
  • Orlando : Women's Writing in the British Isles from the Beginnings to the Present
    Orlando "provides entries on authors' lives and writing careers, contextual material, timelines, sets of internal links, and bibliographies. Interacting with these materials creates a dynamic inquiry from any number of perspectives into centuries of women's writing."
    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.

  • 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 (booknews.com) Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.

  • Blackwell Reference Online
    WARNING: This resource loads slowly and may need a page reload. 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.

Find Books

To search for books at UNB Libraries, first use the library's online catalogue, UNB WorldCat. UNB WorldCat (searchable below) searches for books and other materials held at UNB Libraries and other institutions worldwide. 

Search UNB WorldCat:     

Advanced Search | Locations Guide | Other Catalogues | Help/FAQ

Bibliographies list publications that have been written about a particular subject, including books, journals, government publications, etc. Annotated bibliographies provide concise summaries of what has been published in a given area.

  • The Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature
    HIL-REF PR83 .H24 1998
  • The Twentieth-Century English Novel: An Annotated Bibliography of General Criticism
    HIL-REF PR881 .C35
  • The Romantic Movement Bibliography, 1936-1970; A Master Cumulation from ELH, Philological Quarterly, and English Language Notes
    HIL-REF PN603 .R54
  • Literary Research Guide: an Annotated Listing of Reference Sources in English Literary Studies
    HIL-REF PR83 .H24 1998

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

Text collections offer online access to a variety of primary source materials, including images of rare or early imprints, full-text transcriptions of letters and correspondence of major literary figures, and electronic versions of scholarly editions of literary works.

Some key text collection for English literature are listed below. To find additional text collections, check the list of Article Databases, or contact Research Help for assistance.

Key Resources

  • Early English Books Online (EEBO)
    "Early English Books Online (EEBO) will contain over 125,000 titles listed in Pollard & Redgrave's Short-Title Catalogue (1475-1640), Wing's Short-Title Catalogue (1641-1700), and the Thomason Tracts (1640-1661)..." Allows searching Eighteenth Century Collections Online as an option.
    Unlimited simultaneous users.
  • Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO)
    A comprehensive digital edition of The Eighteenth Century microfilm set, which has aimed to include every significant English-language and foreign-language title printed in the United Kingdom, along with thousands of important works from the Americas, between 1701 and 1800. Consists of books, pamphlets, broadsides, ephemera. Subject categories include history and geography; fine arts and social sciences; medicine, science, and technology; literature and language; religion and philosophy; law; general reference. Also included are significant collections of women writers of the eighteenth century, collections on the French Revolution, and numerous eighteenth-century editions of the works of Shakespeare. Where they add scholarly value or contain important differences, multiple editions of each individual work are offered. Allows searching Early English Books Online as an option.
    Unlimited simultaneous users.
  • English Poetry Database
    The English Poetry Database "contains poems in English from Anglo-Saxon times to the end of the nineteenth century by writers from the British Isles. The database covers the works of 1,257 named poets and many items by different anonymous hands."
    Unlimited simultaneous users.
  • Canadian Poetry Database
    Created and published in collaboration with the Electronic Text Centre at the University of New Brunswick Libraries, the database comprises essentially the complete canon of English-language Canadian poetry from the 17th century up to the early 20th. Currently the collection contains more than 12,000 poems by 142 poets drawn from over 500 printed sources, many of them rare and inaccessible outside Canada.
    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.
  • 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.

More Information

Last modified on August 2, 2017 11:44