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This is the "Getting Started" page of the "Literature in English" guide.
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Last Updated: Mar 3, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Background Information and Reference Works

Literature Resource Center best searched by author, great source of biographical and critical info

Oxford Reference Online and  Cambridge Collections Online brief articles/quick lookup for terms, people, works, theory, etc.

Cambridge Histories Online excellent references on American history, British history, economic history,  history of science, history of the book, and language and linguistics

Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory & Criticism definitions of terms, theoretical approaches, and more

Oxford English Dictionary (OED) THE dictionary of English

Columbia Granger's World of Poetry locate a poem by author, title, first line, last line, subject


New Literature Titles

For current fiction titles, see
the New & Noteworthy Collection.

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Finding Literary Criticism: Articles

Literature Criticism Online a compendium of critical essays from classical to contemporary periods, good coverage of "canonical" works and authors

MLA International Bibliography core literature database, indexes articles and books

ABELL (Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature  UK literature database, full text searching

Humanities International Complete good coverage of literature and other humanities sources

ProQuest click tab at top of results list to limit to scholarly sources

Project Muse (current) and JSTOR (historical issues) full-text collections of core scholarly journals in all fields

Periodicals Index Online particularly good coverage of 19th century criticism

FRANCIS European and world literature


Finding Literary Criticism: Books

In the catalog, try a subject heading search for "author's name and criticism" without the quotes.  (See for example Subject Heading morrison criticism.)  Books written on specific works will have their own subheading (Subject Heading Faulkner, William, 1897-1962. Light in August.). 

You might also check to see if a bibliography has been published on the author you're researching.  To find these, try "author's name and bibliography" as a keyword search (james joyce bibliography).

The MLA Bibliography and ABELL also include listings for book-length critical works. Use the get it @ duke button to search our catalog for these titles.


Finding Book Reviews

Book reviews appear immediately after a book's initial publication, and anytime up to several years after that.

For Reviews of Trade/Popular and Academic Publications

Proquest, Academic Search Complete, and Academic OneFile current coverage of multidisciplinary journals, magazines and newspapers

Book Review Index (1965-now)

Book Review Digest (1983-now) and Book Review Digest Retrospective (1905-1982)

Public Books

America's Newspapers and Lexis/Nexis Academic current newspaper reviews and author interviews

Literature Resource Center reviews in journals, see also "further reading" sections in author entries

Readers Guide Retrospective (1890-1982) scholarly and general interest periodicals

For Reviews of Academic Publications

ABELL (Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature (1920-now)

Project Muse (current) and JSTOR (historical issues)

H-Net Reviews (1995-now)

Web of Science (1975-now for Arts & Humanities)

World Shakespeare Bibliography (1977-1 year ago)

Librarian for Literature and Theater Studies

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Arianne Hartsell-Gundy
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William R. Perkins Library, 233G
Duke University, Box 90195
Durham, NC 27708
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