Tammy Ann Syrek-Marshall
and Yoshiko Ishii
Librarians
ishii@andromeda.rutgers.edu
May 15, 2009
Learning Tools: Class Guides: Dana Class Guides:
English & American Literature

Encyclopedias & Handbooks

Elliott, Emory. Columbia Literary History of the United States (REF PS 92.C64 1988).
Oxford Companion to American Literature (REF PS 21.H3 1995).
Oxford Companion to English Literature (REF PR 19.D73 1985).
Brief articles on authors, literary works, characters and plots, literary allusions, etc.
Oxford History of English Literature (various titles and call numbers).
Comprehensive multi-volume history of English literature (see Harner, Literary Research Guide, REF PR 83.H37 1993, for list of titles).

Biographical Sources

American Writers (REF PS 129 .A55).
Biography and Genealogy Master Index (REF CT 214 .B56)
This indexes more than 500 biographical dictionaries which contain more than 5,000,000 biographical sketches and is extremely useful if you cannot readily locate information on a particular author.
British Writers (REF PR 85 .B688).
Comtemporary Literary Criticism (REF PN 771 .C59).
The Critical Perspective: Twentieth Century Criticism of British and American Literature to 1904 (REF PR 85 .76 1985).
Critical Survey of Long Fiction (REF PR 821 .C7 1983).
Dictionary of American Biography (REF E 176 .D56).
Authoritative biographical essays on notable American men and women no longer living. Includes major and often minor literary figures.
Dictionary of Literary Biography (REF PS 88 .D57).
On-going series of reference works with extended critical essays on individual authors. To find the entry on a particular author, check the cumulative author index in the back of the last volume of the set.
Dictionary of National Biography (REF DA 28 .D48).
Authoritative biographical essays on notable English men and women no longer living. Includes major and often minor literary figures.
Reference Guide to English Literarure (REF PR 106 .R44 1991).
The Romantics Reviewed: Contemporary Reviews of British Romantic Writers (REF PR 590 .R43).

Bibliographies

A bibliography is a list of writings relating to a particular subject or author. Most scholarly books of criticism will have bibliographies, some quite extensive. One type of bibliography which will lead you to materials more specialized than those in this handout is the literary research guide:

Bracken, James K. Reference Works in British and American Literature; Vol. II: English and American Writers (REF PR 83 .B74 1990 V.2).
For approximately 600 British and American authors, lists the definitive primary and secondary bibliography; dictionaries, encyclopedias, and concordances; and author journals that publish articles and lists of writings about the author.
Marcuse, Michael J. A Reference Guide for English Studies (REF PR 56 .M37 1990).
Guide to reference works published through early 1987. Organized in 24 sections, this complements the above title. One difference is the inclusion of recommended non reference materials and books on individual authors. The entries are annotated with extensive subject, title, and author indexes.
Wortman, William. A Guide to Serial Bibliographies for Modern Literatures (REF PN 695 .W67 1982).
Use this bibliography to locate serial bibliographies on individual authors. For example, The Keats-Shelley Journal has an annual bibliography of writings on Byron, Shelley, Keats and their circles.

To locate book length bibliographies on specific authors, search the author's name as subject in IRIS, the Rutgers Online Catalog; for example, type in MILTON, JOHN - BIBLIOGRAPHY and click on SUBJECT to locate bibliographies of writings by and about John Milton.

Serial Bibliographies & Indexes

MLA International Bibliography (1950 + on Index Table; 1921-1968 in Periodicals, bound with PMLA; RU-ONLINE, 1963+ ).
Comprehensive annual bibliography of books and articles published on modern languages, literatures, folklore, and linguistics. Critical works on literature or language are included, literary works and translations are generally excluded as are book reviews. (http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/indexes/search_guides/mla.shtml)
American Literary Scholarship, 1963+ (REF PS 3 .A47)
This is in the form of a series of bibliographical essays on American literature which are both descriptive and critical.
Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature, 1920+ (REF Z 2011 .M69).
Annual bibliography of English & American literature, including books, pamphlets, periodical articles, and references to reviews of works listed.
Essay and General Literature Index, 1900+ (Index Table).
Indexes collections of essays.
Humanities Full Text (1974+ on Index Table; RU-ONLINE, 1983+ )
Provides current coverage of a selected group of major literary periodicals. From 1907-65 this was titled International Index; from 1965-74, titled Social Sciences and Humanities Index. (http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/indexes/search_guides/humanities_ft.shtml).
Poole's Index to Periodical Literature, 1802-1907 (REF AI 3 .P7).
Ingenta (RU-ONLINE, 1988+ )
Includes information taken from the tables of contents of more than 10,000 journals in many disciplines. The database is updated on a daily basis which makes this valuable to supplement and to update the citations in the MLA International Bibliography. This can be searched by author, keyword, and journal title. (http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/indexes/search_guides/ingenta.shtml)
Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals, 1824-1900 (REF Z 2005 .H6).
Contents of a number of important Victorian periodicals. Author index.
Year's Work in English Studies, 1947-51, 1958-59, 1961+ (REF PE 58 .E6).
Composed of a series of bibliographic essays, which are both descriptive and critical.

Book Review Sources

Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature, 1920+ (REF Z 2011 .M69).
American Reference Books Annual, 1970+. (REF Z 1035.1 .A55).
Book Review Digest, 1905+ (Index Table).
Book Review Index, 1965+ (Index Table).
Combined Retrospective Index to Book Reviews in Humanities Journals, 1802-1974 (REF Z 1035 .A1 C62)
Humanities Index (1974+ on Index Table; RU-ONLINE, 1983+ ).
(http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/indexes/search_guides/humanities_index.shtml)
Index to Book Reviews in the Humanities, 1960-1990 (REF Z 1219 .I5).
Literary Reviews in British Periodicals, 1789-1797 (REF PR 442 .W36 1979).
Literary Reviews in British Periodicals, 1821-1826 (REF PR 453 .W36 1977).
19th Century Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature (REF AI 3 .R496).

Internet Resources

Literary Resources on the Net (http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~jlynch/Lit/)
Literatures in English
(http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/rr_gateway/research_guides/eng_lit/eng_lit.shtml)
Voice of the Shuttle: English Literature Main Page
(http://vos.ucsb.edu/browse-netscape.asp?id=3)

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