Major Research Tools

Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature (ABELL)

Full-Text, Index
Coverage: 1920-present

Index of books, articles, and other publications on literature in English from Anglo-Saxon times to the present. Covers more British publications than MLA International Bibliography. Includes links to some full text. From the Modern Humanities Research Association (MHRA).

Gale Literary Sources


Database for researching authors and their works, literary movements and genres. Contains full text of literary works, journal articles, literary criticism, reviews, and biographical information. Also known as Literature Research Center

Gale Primary Sources


Coverage: 1604-2008

Research environment for finding primary sources mainly from Great Britain and the United States covering the 17th to 20th centuries.

Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory & Criticism

Full-Text, Reference

Guide to literary critics and theorists, critical schools and movements, and the critical and theoretical innovations of specific countries and historical periods.

Literature Online


Searchable archive of literary texts and complementary reference resources.

Merriam-Webster's Unabridged Dictionary Online

Full-Text, Reference

Searchable version of Merriam-Webster's complete and newly updated American dictionary. Includes definitions, example sentences, etymologies, and quotations.

MLA International Bibliography


Coverage: 1884-present.

Index of scholarly articles, edited books, and dissertations on literature, languages, film studies and folklore. Includes MLA Directory of Periodicals, which provides detailed information on periodicals covering literature and languages. For help searching MLA, see our Search Guide.

OED: Oxford English Dictionary

Full-Text, Reference
Searchable version of the Oxford English Dictionary, which traces the origins and usage of English words.

Other Suggested Research Tools

African American Women Writers of the 19th Century


A collection of 41 works providing “access to the thought, perspectives and creative abilities of black women as captured in books and pamphlets published prior to 1920.” A project from the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and Digital Schomburg of the New York Public Library.

American Antiquarian Society (AAS) Historical Periodicals


Provides digital access to a highly comprehensive collection of American periodicals published between 1691 and 1912. Subject coverage includes: advertising, health, women's issues, science, the history of slavery, industry and professions, religious issues, culture and the arts, and more. Produced by a partnership between EBSCO and the American Antiquarian Society (AAS).

American Broadsides & Ephemera, 1749-1900

Full-Text, Visual Resource

Collection of over 30,000 documents, many in full color, fairly evenly split between broadsides (spanning 1749-1900) and ephemera (1820-1900). Contains rare items such as sailing cards, playbills, menus, music programs, advertisements, etc. Built in partnership with the American Antiquarian Society.

American Periodicals Series Online


Digitized images from American magazines and journals that originated between 1741 and 1900. Includes general interest magazines, children's publications, women's magazines, and literary and professional journals.

American Rhetoric

Full-Text, Gateway

Collection of full text, audio and video versions of public speeches, sermons, legal proceedings, lectures, debates, interviews, and other recorded media events. The site also includes sections devoted to rhetorical devices, Christian rhetoric, 9/11 rhetoric, movie speeches, and political speeches.

Arts & Humanities Citation Index

Coverage: 1999-present

Index covering the journal literature of the arts and humanities. Allows you to search for a topic, an author, or for articles that cite a known author or work.

Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature


Digitized collection of children's books published in the United States and Great Britain between 1850 and 1900. From the University of Florida Libraries.

Books of the Century

Coverage: 1900-1999

Lists of bestsellers, Book of the Month Club selections, and "critically acclaimed and historically significant" books for each year of the 20th century.

British Literary Manuscripts Online


Coverage: 1120-1900

Digitized collection of British manuscripts, including poems, plays, novels, diaries, journals, religious writings, and correspondence. Consists of two parts (Medieval and Renaissance, and 1660-1900), which can be searched separately or together. Note that while the full text of the manuscripts is not searchable, a searchable, detailed description is provided for each.

Burney Collection of Newspapers


Digital collection of early English news media from the 17th and 18th centuries. Includes pamphlets, broadsides, periodicals, and an extensive collection of London newspapers.

Dictionary of Irish Biography

Full-Text, Reference

Biographical dictionary covering the "lives of Irish men and women who made a significant contribution in Ireland and abroad, as well as those born overseas who had noteworthy careers in Ireland."

Digital Theatre Plus

Streaming video of British theater productions plus supplementary study and teaching materials.

Drama Online


Digital collection of play scripts "from Aeschylus to the present day." Plays can be searched by a variety of criteria, including theme, genre, setting, and cast size. Also includes streaming versions of performances from Shakespeare's Globe.

Early American Imprints


Includes Series I ("Evans"), nearly every book, pamphlet and broadside published in America from 1639-1800, and Series II ("Shaw-Shoemaker"), American books, pamphlets and broadsides published in the early part of the 19th century. Also includes supplements to the collection from the Library Company of Philadelphia.

Early Americas Digital Archive

Full-Text, Gateway

"Collection of electronic texts and links to texts originally written in or about the Americas from 1492 to approximately 1820."

Early English Books Online


Collection of texts printed in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and British North America and works in English printed elsewhere from 1473 to 1700. Includes literary texts, sermons, legal documents, scientific treatises, and many other types of works.

Eighteenth Century Collections Online I and II


Digital collection of 180,000 English language books, pamphlets, essays, and broadsides published from 1701 to 1800. Titles cover history, fine arts, medicine, science, literature, law, philosophy, and religion.

Electronic Literature Directory


Directory of electronic literature ("poetry, fiction, drama, and nonfiction that make significant use of electronic techniques or enhancements").

Essay and General Literature Index Retrospective


Coverage: 1900-1984

Index of essays published in books and periodicals.

Film & Television Literature Index with Full Text

Full-Text, Index

Index of journal articles and books on film and media studies. Includes some full text.

Gale Literary Index


A master index to reference works, such as Contemporary Authors, Contemporary Literary Criticism, and Dictionary of Literary Biography, published by Gale; these works contain biographical information about authors, excerpts of criticism of their works, and short bibliographies. Most of these series are available in Skillman's reference collection; Literature Resource Center provides online access to some of these works.

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Encyclopedia - Archive

Full-Text, Reference

Encyclopedia of GLBT art, literature, film, music, and popular culture. The encyclopedia was closed and archived in 2015.

Historical Thesaurus of English


Database that organizes all the words in the 1300-year history of English into a vast hierarchy of meanings allowing users to pinpoint the range of meanings of words from Old English to the present.

Humanities and Social Sciences Index Retrospective


Coverage: 1907-1984

Index of major journals in the humanities and social sciences.

Iter: Gateway to the Middle Ages and Renaissance


Collection of databases, including Iter Bibliography, a bibliography and index of articles, books, essays, and book reviews on the Middle Ages and Renaissance (400-1700). Includes coverage of art and literature.

LEME: Lexicons of Early Modern English


Database of word-entries from English dictionaries, bilingual and polyglot dictionaries, and other lexical works published from 1480 to 1700.

Lexicons of Early Modern English


Historical database of monolingual, bilingual, and polyglot dictionaries, lexical encyclopedias, hard-word glossaries, spelling lists, and lexically-valuable treatises from 1480-1755. Useful for the study of the development of the English language.

Loeb Classical Library


"Digital resource that mirrors the renowned Loeb print collection, showcasing more than 520 volumes of Latin, Greek, and English epic and lyric poetry; tragedy and comedy; history, travel, philosophy, and oratory; the great medical writers and mathematicians. The online interface allows readers to browse, search, bookmark, annotate, and share content."

Making of America


Collection of primary sources for the study of American social history, featuring books and journals published primarily between 1850 and 1877. From the University of Michigan and Cornell University.

Map of Early Modern London


Map of London during the late 16th and early 17th centuries with descriptions of streets, sites, and churches. From the University of Victoria.

Middle English Compendium


Online version of Middle English Dictionary, which provides meaning and usage of English words from 1100 to 1500. Includes links to a bibliography of sources as well as texts of Middle English verse and prose.

Motif-Index of Folk Literature


Classification of narrative elements in folktales, ballads, myths, fables, medieval romances, jest-books, and local legends. The above links to the index (Volume 6). To directly access other individual volumes: Vol. 1; Vol. 2; Vol. 3; Vol. 4; Vol. 5.


Provides descriptions of and links to digital projects relating to British Romanticism. Curated by scholars, with subcategories such as individual artists, women's writing and history, political history, diaries and letters, etc.

New Chaucer Society

Full-Text, Gateway, Index

A gateway to Chaucer texts and the Chaucer Bibliography Online, which indexes Chaucer research from 1975 to the present. Also includes Studies in the Age of Chaucer, the journal published annually by the Society,

New Oxford Shakespeare Online


Combines the Oxford Modern Critical Editions, Critical Reference Editions, and Authorship Companions for all of Shakespeare's works, including sonnets and other verse. Each work is accompanied by extensive notes and critical commentary, and can be read in the original or modern spelling.

Open Source Shakespeare


Shakespeare's complete works online, including the plays, sonnets, and longer poems. Advanced search functions include a character search, concordance search, and full-text search. Hosted by George Mason University.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

Full-Text, Reference

Scholarly, biographical articles on noteworthy people who inhabited or were connected with the British Isles. (Does not include information on people still living.)

Paris Review Interview Archive

Full-Text, Index

An index to hundreds of interviews of famous authors published in the Paris Review since its founding in 1953, plus many full-text interviews.

Periodicals Index Online


Electronic index to millions of articles published in over 6,000 periodicals in the arts, humanities, and social sciences, covering more than 300 years.

Play Index


Index of plays written from antiquity to the present and published from 1949 to the present. Searchable by title, author, subject, style, genre, cast type, and more.

Poetry Archive

An online collection of recordings of poets reading their work. For each poet represented, a biography and select bibliography is also included.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Database

Coverage: 1878-present

Online version of Science Fiction and Fantasy Reference Index. Contains references to articles, books, news reports, and motion picture reviews, including both scholarly and fan writings. Covers horror as well as science fiction and fantasy.

SFE: The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction

Full-Text, Reference

Encyclopedia of English-language science fiction, with entries covering authors, themes, awards, etc.

Shakespeare Survey Online



Online collection of scholarly essays in Shakespeare studies and production. This resource is fully searchable across volumes or can be browsed by theme, volume, author, etc

Speech Accent Archive

Data, Reference

Intended for people who wish to compare and analyze the accents of different native and non-native English speakers, this site offers a large set of speech samples from a variety of language backgrounds. Sound clips and phonetic transcriptions are typically available. Useful for actors who need to learn an accent.

State Papers Online, 18th Century 1714-1782


Coverage: 1714-1782

Collection of digitized British government records from the National Archives of the UK. These full-color manuscript scans cover the reigns of George I and George II, and part of the reign of George III. The content details the inner workings of the government during such major events as the Jacobite rebellions of 1715 and 1745, the Seven Years' War, and the majority of the American Revolutionary War.

TLS Historical Archive

Full-Text, Index
Coverage: 1902-2009

Index and full text of the Times Literary Supplement (London), an important source of reviews of books, plays, and films.

Uncle Tom's Cabin & American Culture


Collection of primary sources that provide a context for understanding the place of Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852) in American culture. Includes representative antebellum texts related to Christianity, sentimental culture, anti-slavery, and minstrel shows as well as responses to the novel.

Victorian Web


Information on the politics, culture, and society of the Victorian era (1837-1901). Originating from materials from English literature courses at Brown University; additional contributions from scholars, graduate students, and undergraduates from institutions around the world.

Women Writers Online


Full-text editions of texts by English and American women published between 1400 and 1850. From Northeastern University.

World Cinema Collection

Visual Resource

Streaming collection of feature films spanning the silent era through contemporary international cinema. Covers classic and contemporary cinema from Africa, Asia (primarily China, Japan, and India), Europe (including Soviet films), Latin America, and the Middle East.

World Shakespeare Bibliography


Coverage: 1972-present

Searchable bibliography with annotated entries for books, articles, reviews, and other materials related to Shakespeare.

Wright American Fiction, 1851-1875


Searchable collection of 19th century American fiction. Works are available as images and as text. Provided by Indiana University.