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English Literature- British, American, and World: Getting Started

Library resources for literature written in English.


Desk with chained books in the Library of Cesena, Italy.
I hope that you find this guide useful in your studies and research. You will find most core resources listed on this "Home" page, more specialized tools and resources are listed under the appropriate tab. Let me know if you have suggestions, needs, or complaints by leaving a comment here or, alternately, contacting me directly.

Quick Links

Core Journals

Database Help Sheets

Search Language and Literature Resources

Articles and Literary Criticism

Generally, the first step in researching an author or literary topic is to do a preliminary (or more thorough) search in the following databases:


When searching for books about a specific writer, start by searching one or more of the following library catalogs using the author's name as a subject heading e.g. Melville, Herman.  

When searching for books by an author, conduct an author search in the catalog. This same search is useful when looking for editors, translators, and film directors.

For Books From the UNC Libraries:

For Books From Other Libraries:

  • Prospector is a catalog of many academic, public, and special libraries in Colorado and Wyoming. With a single search you can identify and borrow materials from the collections and have them delivered to your local library. (more about Prospector).
  • lets you search the collections of libraries around the world.

For Online Books:

  • NetLibrary A collection of over 7,000 online reference, scholarly, and professional books. To take advantage of some features, users must set up an account (at no charge) under the "Create an Account" link.
  • Google Book Search Search for books to find basic publication data and information about borrowing through a library or purchasing. In addition, you can see sample pages from certain books, and the full text of books that are out of copyright or for which Google has permission from the publisher.

Additional Resources

MLA Style

MLA Handbook


Jessica Hayden
James A. Michener Library
Room 132