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Literary Research Resources on the Web

Research Databases | Encyclopedias, Dictionaries and Handbooks | Criticism and Biographical Material | Primary Sources

Research Databases and Library Catalogs

It is always a good idea to begin your research with scholarly resources that are provided by the University Libraries. Below are two core literary research databases and a link to the KentLINK and OhioLINK catalogs.

For a much more complete list of databases go to the English Research Databases Listing.

You need to connect to the Kent State VPN to access the research databases listed on this page. Click this button for instructions. OhioLINK Authentication users can ignore this alert.
Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature (ABELL) (1920 - Current)
Indexes monographs, journal articles, book reviews, and more on the language, literature, bibliography, and culture of English-speaking areas of the world. Coverage includes materials published from the late 19th century to the present.

KentLINK is the library catalog for all 8 campuses of the University. It identifies what books, journals, government publications, and media (computer files, films, CDs, etc.) are owned and indicates their availability.

MLA International Bibliography (1926 - Current)
Provides over a million citations to scholarly publications in literature, modern languages, and linguistics. Updated monthly.

The OhioLINK Library Catalog is the database of all books and other materials owned by the 85 public and private colleges and universities that are OhioLINK member libraries. For any item not available at KSU, it is possible to request the item online and have it sent to any KSU library or another OhioLINK institution for pick up.

Encyclopedias, Dictionaries and Handbooks

You need to connect to the Kent State VPN to access the research databases listed on this page. Click this button for instructions. OhioLINK Authentication users can ignore this alert.
Provides short definitions of common litery terms, characters, phrases, myths and classical allusions.

Provides a list of terms pertaining to eighteenth-century sensibility. Each term links to an introduction and relevant excerpts from the literature using the term. Also provides bibliographies of primary works and secondary critical sources.

A useful glossary of poetic terms by Ian Lancashire, Department of English, University of Toronto.

This free scholarly reference work provides biographical and critical information on thousands of writers and works. Advanced features allow the creation of timelines and searching for groups of works by genre, region and date.

Oxford English Dictionary
Can be searched for both current and historical definitions of a word, as well as provide quotations and the ability to search for the occurrence of a word in any definition. Updated periodically.

Criticism and Biographical Material

You need to connect to the Kent State VPN to access the research databases listed on this page. Click this button for instructions. OhioLINK Authentication users can ignore this alert.
Provides a database of Arthurian texts, images, bibliographies, and basic information, as well as links to other Arthurian sites on the web.

Contains a variety of resources, including essays, syllabi, and bibliographies, for teaching United States literature

An annotated guide to online sources that provide biographical, bibliographical, and critical information on this fourteenth-century author.

Systematic, extensive guide to Humanities web resources for academia. Hosted by the University of Oxford.

Provides biobibliographical information on the author, historical information on the period in which Austen wrote, and the full text of some of her works.

The Labyrinth, sponsored by Georgetown University, provides resources for Medieval Studies, including the full text of literary works, some in translation, others in their original language

Click on the Carroll Studies link for biographical information and critical interpretations of the author's works.

Contains information on the food, fashion, religion, education, and other cultural aspects of England in the time of Queen Elizabeth.

Guide to websites on authors of fiction, poetry, drama, essays and critical theory. Also provides brief biographical material.

Offers primary and secondary bibliographies for the major periods and figures of American literature.

This University of Virginia web site provides an excellent introduction to Gothic literature. It includes a link to the University's Special Collections Department which houses the Sadleir-Black Gothic Novel Collection.

Contains information on the literature, politics, arts, social issues, economics, science and technology of the Victorian Age.

Web site for Humanities Research. This site serves as a meta guide to websites of use to the scholarly community in the arts, humanities and social sciences. "VoS emphasizes both primary and secondary (or theoretical) resources."

Contains the full text of works by Blake and his contemporaries, images of Blake's art work, and a bibliography of over 500 scholarly articles and books.

Primary Sources for Literary Studies

You need to connect to the Kent State VPN to access the research databases listed on this page. Click this button for instructions. OhioLINK Authentication users can ignore this alert.
An online collection of 52 full-text works. Users can browse the books by author, title, or literature type: fiction, poetry, biography and autobiography, and essays.

Provides thousands of humanities texts in twelve languages, with more than 50,000 related images.

An electronic archive of volumes of American poetry prior to 1920.

The Humanities Text Initiative, a unit of the University of Michigan's Digital Library Production Service, provides online access to numerous full text primary and secondary resources in the Humanities.

Systematic, extensive guide to Humanities web resources for academia. Hosted by the University of Oxford.

Provides access, via author or title search, to the locations of printed plays not indexed in the standard printed play indexes. Approximately 17,647 locations are currently cited to plays in many languages.

Find here "scholarly, fully annotated texts of Shakespeare's plays." Also collects materials that deal with the overall structure of the Editions...refereed materials...a database of historical and current "performance records...and less formal texts useful to Shakespeare scholars."

The Labyrinth, sponsored by Georgetown University, provides resources for Medieval Studies, including the full text of literary works, some in translation, others in their original language

Funded by the Arts Council England, this is a digital archive of English 20th and 21st century poetry magazines. Visitors can search or browse the full text publications.

Offers an alphabetically indexed collection of electronic editions of works printed in English from 1477 to 1799. Some editions include links to annotations on the authors and their works.

This University of Virginia web site provides an excellent introduction to Gothic literature. It includes a link to the University's Special Collections Department which houses the Sadleir-Black Gothic Novel Collection.

Web site for Humanities Research. This site serves as a meta guide to websites of use to the scholarly community in the arts, humanities and social sciences. "VoS emphasizes both primary and secondary (or theoretical) resources."

Full-text database of early American fiction. Includes novels, novelettes, short stories and other prose from both famous and obscure writers.