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English and American Literature

Looking for Background Information? Start Here!

Use these to get started, verify facts, consult an author’s biography, or read critical essays about an author’s creative works.

Also try these print sources:

  • Turco, Lewis. The book of literary terms: The genres of fiction, drama, nonfiction, literary criticism, and scholarship. Hanover, NH: UP of New England, 1999. Print (Oregon Tech Library call number: REF PN44.5.T87 1999).
  • Patterson, Michael.  The Oxford dictionary of plays. Oxford; New York: Oxford UP, 2005. Print (Oregon Tech Library call number: REF PN1625.P38 2005).
  • Frankovich, Nicholas, ed. The Columbia Granger’s Index to Poetry in Anthologies. New York: Columbia UP, 1997. Print (Oregon Tech Library call number: REF PN1022.H39 1997).
  • Holstein, Michael E.  Beginning literary criticism. Malabar, Fla.: Krieger Pub. Co., 1987. Print (Oregon Tech Library call number: PE1479.C7. H65 1987).
  • Nineteenth-century literature criticism. Detroit: Gale Research Co., 1981-. Print (Oregon Tech Library call number: PN761 .N5), in 206 vol.  
  • Groden, Michael, and Martin Kreiswirth, eds. The Johns Hopkins guide to literary theory and criticism.  Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1994. Print (Oregon Tech Library call number: REF PN81 .J554 1994).
  • Magill, Frank N., ed. Cyclopedia of world authors. Pasadena, Calif.: Salem Press, 1997. Print (Oregon Tech Library call number: REF PN451 .M36 1997), in 5 vol.

Finding Articles

Article Databases

  • Academic Search Premier – a multidisciplinary database with citations and some full text articles from journals, including those in literary studies. It searches for periodicals, books, and primary source documents.
  • Academic OneFile - use its advanced search option to find criticism about a particular author's works. Select "critical essay" as a document type
  • Literature Resource Center - includes full text biographical, bibliographical, and critical analysis of more than 10,000 authors from every time period and genre; works’ overviews and plot lines; useful websites; and a literary-historical timeline. It allows searching by author, title, keyword, and authors by type (literary movement, genre, gender or ethnicity).

Electronic Journals

Electronic journal titles in American Literature

  • American drama
  • American literature
  • American poetry review
  • Early American literature
  • Southern literary journal  
  • Studies in American fiction

Electronic journal titles in English Literature

  • Early modern literary studies
  • English literary renaissance
  • Medieval & Renaissance drama in England  
  • Review of English studies  
  • Studies in English literature, 1500-1900  
  • Victorian studies

To access these (and more) online journals, Look up the titles in the Library Catalog.

Finding Books

Books and other items are listed in the Library Catalog. Use the Library Catalog to find materials in the Oregon Tech Libraries' collections and through the Summit. Summit provides access to materials from 36 academic libraries in Oregon and Washington for Oregon Tech students, faculty and staff.  See the titles and suggested Library of Congress call number ranges below for pointers to popular items.


EBSCOhost E-Book Collection: use this resource to find books full-text online.  They include Literary Theories: A Reader and Guide, British Women Writing Fiction, Linguistics: A Guide to the Reference Literature, and many others. Search the collection by title or keyword.

E-books can also be found through the library online catalog. Examples: The Cambridge Introduction to American Literary Realism, A Dictionary of Literary Symbols, A History of Feminist Literary Criticism, and many others.


Finding Books on the Shelves

Oregon Tech Library uses Library of Congress Classification System to assign call numbers to books. Your book will probably be located among the following call numbers on the shelves

  • PN 1-6790 Literature (General)
  • PN 80-99 Criticism
  • PN441 – 1009.5 Literary History
  • PN1010-1525 Poetry
  • PN1600-3307 Drama
  • PR1098-1369 English Literature
  • PR 1490-6076 Individual authors by period
  • PS 501-688  American Literature
  • PS 700-3576 Individual authors by period

Books in Literature section are shelved by century, literary period (Romanticism) or language (Romantic Literature, Germanic Literature), and within alphabetically by author. Works by and about an author are shelved together.

Selected Electronic Books

Literary Theories: A Reader and Guide, edited by Julian Wolfreys.

Traditions of Victorian Women’s Autobiography: The Poetics and Politics of Life Writing by Linda H. Peterson.

Linguistics: A Guide to the Reference Literature by Anna L. DeMiller.

Women, Writing, and the Reproduction of Culture in Tudor and Stuart Britain, edited by Mary E. Burke ... [et al.].

Women in Chains: The Legacy of Slavery in Black Women's Fiction by Venetria K. Patton.

British Women Writing Fiction, edited by Abby H.P. Werlock.

Edith Wharton’s Dialogue with Realism and Sentimental Fiction by Hildegard Hoeller

The Boundaries of the Human in Medieval English Literature by Dorothy Yamamoto.

The Emily Dickinson Handbook, edited by Gudrun Grabher, Roland Hagenbüchle, and Cristanne Miller.

Need help citing your sources?  

Use this helpful book: Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2009. Print (Library call number: REF Z253 .G53 2009).  

Or visit Oregon Tech Library’s Citing Your Sources page and select MLA (Modern Language Association) citation style.

Selected Websites

Collections of literary works online

  • Literary Resources on the Net - Jack Lynch, creator of this site, is an associate professor at the English Department of Rutgers University. He offers a very comprehensive and extensive coverage of literary web sites. Provides links to literary criticism, guides, bibliographies, newsgroups, electronic journals, and literary texts.
  • Voice of the Shuttle, English Literature - An excellent comprehensive site for information on general humanities. It provides links to literary criticism, guides, bibliographies, newsgroups, electronic journals, literary texts, and web sites about particular authors and periods.
  • Internet Public Library Literary Criticism - IPL Literary Criticism Collection contains critical and biographical websites about authors and their works that can be browsed by author, by title, or by nationality and literary period.
  • Project Gutenberg - Project Gutenberg is the first and largest single collection of free electronic books, or eBooks. It provides access to 20,000 free online books, fiction and reference. The total number of titles offered is 100,000. The site is updated nightly.
  • The Online Books Page - A collection of online books created by the University of Pennsylvania faculty. The site contains an index of thousands of online books available on the Internet, provides pointers to online directories, archives of online texts, and exhibits of particularly interesting classes of online books (including prize winning and banned books).
  • Project Bartleby Archive - Provides free access to online full text of fiction, nonfiction, verse, and reference sources. Includes links to reputable reference editions such as American Heritage Dictionary, Roget II Thesaurus, Columbia World of Quotations, and many others. 
  • Bibliomania - A very comprehensive site with free online texts of poems, short stories, drama, classic novels by international authors, study guides, reference materials, biographies, and much more.
  • Eighteenth-Century Studies - This collection archives works of the eighteenth century from the perspectives of literary and cultural studies. Novels, plays, memoirs, treatises and poems of the period are kept here (in some cases, influential texts from before 1700 or after 1800 as well), along with modern criticism.
  • Glossary of Literary Terms

Professional Societies and Associations

Alla Powers

Alla Powers, Instruction Services Librarian

OfficeLRC 212
Contact me if you are enrolled in Humanities and Social Sciences classes.

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Last Updated June 2012