Background Information and Reference Works
Literature Resource Center best searched by author, great source of biographical and critical info
Oxford Reference Online Oxford subject encyclopedias; search authors, terms, works
Literature Online (LION) search Reference collection
Cambridge Collections Online subject encyclopedias from Cambridge
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.
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 UK literature database, full text searching
Humanities Abstracts good coverage of literature and other humanities sources
ProQuest click tab at top of results list to limit to scholarly sources
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).
Finding Book Reviews
Book reviews appear immediately after a book's initial publication, and anytime up to several years after that.
Book Review Index (1965-now)
Literature Resource Center reviews in journals, see also "further reading" sections in author entries
Readers Guide Retrospective (1890-1982)
For Reviews of Academic Titles
H-Net Reviews (1995-now)
Web of Science (1975-now for Arts & Humanities)
World Shakespeare Bibliography (1977-1 year ago)