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Selected Resources for Literature Studies: Dictionaries & Indexes

A guide to online and print resources that support the study of British and American literature.


Dictionary of Literary Biography Complete

Provides biographical and critical essays on the lives, works, and careers of selected authors, critics, screenwriters, journalists.  Begin coverage in 2009.  Can be searched by author, title of work, year of birth and death, nationality, genre, essay topic, full text, ethnicity and gender.

Oxford English Dictionary

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is the authority on the evolution of the English language over the last millennium.  It is a guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation of over half a million words, both present and past.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

Allows users to explore the lives of 50,000 individuals who have shaped British history over the last 2,400 years.


Access--The Supplementary Index to Periodicals

Provides a unique indexing resource for popular periodicals such as New York Review of Books and Rolling Stone.  Uses a Web interface.

The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry

Use this database to locate poetry about a particular subject or to identify lines from a poem.  Finds poems in collections.  Incorporates the 8th to 12th editions of Granger's Index to Poetry in Collected & Selected Works, and The Columbia Granger's Index to African-American Poetry.  Uses the EBSCO interface.

Essay & General Literature Index

Provides access to nearly 65,000 essays found in more than 5,300 printed anthologies and collections, with coverage dating as far back as 1985.  Subjects covered in the database include archaeology, architecture, art, children's literature, and more.  Uses the EBSCO interface.

Gale Literary Index

A free online index to forty of Gale's printed sources.  A quick and easy way to locate biographies of authors and critical essays on their writings.  Uses a Web interface.