Irish Literature Guide

Overview / News


Welcome to UNB Libraries' (Saint John) Guide to Irish (and Anglo-Irish) Literature. The purpose of this guide is to help you find resources related to this discipline and enhance your learning. If you are taking a literature course at UNB Saint John, you may find you also have a specific course guide available.

How you want to begin your research depends on your topic and your knowledge. If your topic is brand new to you, you might want to start with book based material. The data and information in books, at least, in non-fiction, academic books, generally differs from that found in articles. It is presented at length but tends to be presented in less depth and with less specificity. Book content may be less "cutting edge" and more likely to present standard, and accepted information. Journal articles often present more controversial content and preliminary research results which require more testing before they are accepted.

For students, books are a logical starting point for research because they often introduce several relevant topics around a broader subject while articles often deal with a single, very specific topic with an assumed context -- that is, articles may assume an audience with a high level of subject knowledge.

Once you have some background on your topic which may help you think critically about related information and data, you will be ready to plunge into journal articles, grey literature, and beyond. Enjoy the search!

In this guide, you will find links leading you to reference materials (dictionaries, specialized encyclopedias, handbooks ...), books (both online and in print), databases (containing full-text journals, full-text articles, and linked material), and more. That said, not everything you will need will be here. Remember, you can always visit a library and ask a librarian for more help.

In addition to this subject guide in Irish (and Anglo-Irish) Literature, you might also wish to explore:

UNB Libraries' (Saint John) Guide to English Literature

UNB Libraries' (Saint John) Guide to Canadian Literature


News and Views


Latest News, Literature Ireland

Dublin Review of Books

Books, Irish Independent

Books, The Guardian

Book Reviews, Telegraph (UK)

Reference Sources

In addition to the suggestions below, more reference resources for the field of Irish (and Anglo-Irish) literature can be found by checking UNB WorldCat, and the Reference Materials collection, or may be publicly accessible via the internet. If you are looking for general material relating to English literature, check the Reference  section of the UNB Libraries' Guide to English Literature (Saint John)


Awards and Prizes

Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards

Francis MacManus Short Story Competition, RTE Radio 1

Hennessy New Irish Writing, Irish Times

Rooney Prize for Literature, Trinity Oscar Wilde Centre, Trinity College Dublin


Biography and Bibliography

Dictionary of Literary Biography Complete Online (DLB Online), licensed resource

An Bunachar Náisiúnta Beathaisnéisí Gaeilge, biographies are in Gaelic, public access

Irish Writers Online, Philip Casey, public access

Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature (ABELL), 4 simultaneous users, licensed resource

Irish History Online: a bibliography of Irish history, public access

Bibliography of Irish Linguistics and Literature, School of Celtic Studies, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, public access

Bibliography of Gaelic Arthurian Literature, University of Rochester, public access

Literature of the "Troubles", Bill Rolston, CAIN, public access

Bibliography of Nineteenth-Century Irish Literature, Julia M. Wright, public access

Old Irish and Early Christian Ireland: A Basic Bibliography, Charles D. Wright, public access

A Bibliography of Irish Studies in Japan, IASIL-Japan, public access


Dictionaries, Glossaries, ...

The pocket Oxford Irish dictionary (Irish-English), licensed resource

Gaelic Dictionaries, John T. McCranie, public access


Encyclopedias and Guides

Cambridge history of Irish literature, Vol. 1, To 1890, licensed resource

Cambridge history of Irish literature, Vol. 2, 1890-2000, licensed resource

Encyclopedia Mythica, M.F. Lindemans, public access

Concise Oxford companion to Irish literature, 5 simultaneous users, licensed access


Literary Criticism

Literature Criticism Online, includes: Twentieth-century literary criticism, Nineteenth-century literature criticism, Literature criticism 1400-1800, Shakespeare criticism, Contemporary literary criticism, and Children's literature review, licensed resource

Cambridge Histories Online, including Cambridge history of literary criticism, vols. 1-9, licensed resource

Literary Index, Gale, public access

Books / Book-Length Works

UNB WorldCat searches the WorldCat database and offers up-to-date availability information for material held by UNB Libraries. WorldCat contains more than 130,000,000 bibliographic records (including books, journals, videos, music ...) referring to the holdings of libraries world wide. Many of these items may be retrieved for UNB users through the Libraries' Document Delivery Service. WorldCat also catalogues selected journal articles, often available through document delivery, and internet-based resources.

Mobile users should note that although UNB Libraries has moved to a responsive web design, mobile interfaces and apps may NOT yet provide all the functionality of other types of web-based access.

Search UNB WorldCat:     

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

For members of the UNB/STU community of users, the Library provides access to individual electronic books, through UNB WorldCat. Among these are:

A Blake Dictionary: the Ideas and Symbols of William Blake, licensed access

But the Irish Sea betwixt us : Ireland, colonialism, and Renaissance literature, Andrew Murphy, licensed access

Decolonisation and criticism: the construction of Irish literature, Gerry Smyth, licensed access

Irish impressions, G K Chesterton, licensed access

The politics of language in Ireland, 1366-1922: a sourcebook, Tony Crowley, licensed access


As well, the University community may access several collections of electronic books.


Some internet sites offer full-text, public access books, and book-length works either as collections or as individual linked titles. Some full-text titles are free to view / access, others may not be. Examples of such sites of interest include:

Catalog, Hathi Trust, limit to full-text

CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts, University College Cork

Google Books, limit to free full-text

PR: Literature: English (non-American), Online Books Page, University of Pennsylvania


Article / Research Databases

For those interested in Irish (and Anglo-Irish) literature and related fields, several of the available licensed bibliographic databases are listed in Key and Additional Resources below. These databases will be especially useful when you are beginning a research project and looking for information on a topic.

For all of the Libraries' licensed databases, please see the Article Databases page.

Key Resources

  • Modern Language Association (MLA) International Bibliography & Directory of Periodicals (ProQuest)
    "The MLA International Bibliography is a subject index for books, articles and websites published on modern languages, literatures, folklore, and linguistics. It is produced by the Modern Language Association (MLA), an organization dedicated to the study and teaching of language and literature. The electronic version of the Bibliography dates back to 1925 and contains over 2.2 million citations from more than 4,400 periodicals (including peer-reviewed e-journals) and 1,000 book publishers. It is compiled by the staff of the MLA Department of Bibliographic Information Services with the cooperation of more than 100 contributing bibliographers in the United States and abroad. Such international coverage is represented by literature from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North and South America, and while the majority of records are from English-language publications, at least sixty other languages are represented including French, Spanish, German, Russian, Portuguese, Norwegian, and Swedish.

    The database also has an identifiable subset of more than 100,000 records that constitute the JSTOR subfile. This consists of citation records for documents in JSTOR's Language and Literature Collection as well as relevant articles from their Asian Studies collection. The documents date back as far as 1881 and contain direct links to the full-text articles on the JSTOR website, available to subscribers of JSTOR.

    Your subscription to the MLA International Bibliography also includes access to the MLA Directory of Periodicals database. Full text links to Project Muse journal and ProQuest Digital Dissertations are also included in this database.

    The MLA Directory of Periodicals contains all information available on the journals and series on the bibliography's Master List of Periodicals."
    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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Additional Resources

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • JSTOR Current Collection
    In addition to being an archive, JSTOR offers current access to a range of titles from various publishers. UNB has access to current and archival content for almost 50 of these journals.
    Unlimited simultaneous users.

UNB/STU users should take particular note that the JSTOR Archival Collection includes the Ireland Collection.

Other textual databases, bibliographic databases and citation indexers for Irish (and Anglo-Irish) literature  include:

Literary Index, Gale, public access

JSTOR, freely searchable and offers some free access to selected material. Search and then choose "Content I can access"

Sources: database for Irish research, National Library of Ireland


There is also a wide variety of individual periodical titles available to UNB/STU users. You can locate these by searching UNB WorldCat or through the UNB Libraries' Journals & Newspapers list. These include:

Canadian Journal of Irish Studies, licensed resource

Érui, licensed resource

Irish Studies Review, licensed resource


Some periodicals may be publicly accessible via the internet offering complete or selected full-text , including:

Early Modern Literary Studies, public access

English Language and Literature Studies, public access

Estudios Irlandeses : Journal of Irish Studies, public access

Hypermedia Joyce Studies, public access

Irish Quarterly Review, selected volumes, public access

James Joyce Online Notes, public access

Journal of the Society for Musicology in Ireland, public access on free registration

Studi Irlandesi : a Journal of Irish Studies, English / Italian, public access

Studies in Bibliography, public access


Internet / Multimedia

Collective Resources

National Library of Ireland

Literature: Arts in Ireland, Arts Council

Digital Repository of Ireland

Digital Humanities Observatory, "Ireland's window on humanities e-scholarship"

Irish Literary Collections Portal, Emory University

Folklore, Folktales, and Fairy Tales from Ireland, D. L. Ashliman


Associations, Organizations ...

American Conference for Irish Studies

Canadian Association for Irish Studies

Comparative Literature Association of Ireland

Eighteenth Century Literature Research Network in Ireland

International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures

Poetry Ireland

Irish Writers Centre


Authors / Works

CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts, University College Cork

A Celebration of Women Writers: Writers from Ireland, University of Pennsylvania

Irish Texts Society, broken run [v. 1-24]

"irish literature"subject search of

"irish poetry"subject search of

Poetry: Study Ireland, BBC

Belfast Group Poetry: Networks, Emory

The Writer's Passage, Voices from Ireland,, Arts Council of Ireland

Samuel Beckett Endpage, University of Antwerp

James Joyce Collection, University of Buffalo

[Works of Sheridan Le Fanu],

J. M. Synge, a critical study, P. P. Howe, 1912

J. M. Synge and the Irish dramatic movement, Francis Bickley, 1912

Oscar Wilde, chronology and texts, CELT

Love and Death: W.B. Yeats, Boston College


Citing / Writing

Citations are a natural by-product of a good literature or bibliographic search -- they come from the results your search produces. They may be found, collectively, in bibliographic databases and citation indexes. They may be derived from statistical databases and other data collections. They may make reference to individual books, periodicals (journals, magazines and newspapers), working papers, and technical reports. They may be gathered from compilations such as bibliographies or appear in lists of works cited and references. Citations may also be produced in reference to material you read or heard, to images you discover, and to all kinds of electronic files which are displayed, read, played, or otherwise accessed.

To structure citations appropriately it helps to have a good guide. There are several standard guides from which you may choose. In university, choosing the "best" one will depend on the requirements of the assignment, the nature of the contents and the preferences of the individual professor. Some guides emphasize a particular discipline, some are cross-discipline and some may emphasize a particular form of material.


Style Guides

Chicago Manual of Style, HWK-REF Z253 .U7 2010

MLA handbook, HWK-REF LB2369 .G52 2016

MLA Formatting and Style Guide, Purdue, public access

APA Style Guide to Electronic References, 2012 edition, licensed resource

APA Style, American Psychological Association, public access


Citation Management Software

Zotero, public access

UNB Libraries' Guide to Zotero, public access


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