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Home > Library > English Literature I, II

English Literature I, II

Welcome to the Research Guide for English Literature I and II.  The following databases are available linked from here and from the Electronic Resources section found on the library home page.  Print resources are available in the PHC on-campus collection or by mail to the distance learning members of our community.  You may check the location and availability of any item in the on-campus collection through the online catalog, Voyager, accessed here and through the library home page.

Professional library assistance is available on campus in the library, by phone at 540-441-8400 or by email at askalibrarian@phc.edu.


Reference works


Contemporary Authors - Ref Z 1224 .C58 E156 and Ref Z 1224 .C6

Contemporary Literary Criticism - Ref PN 771 .C59

Critical Survey of Poetry - Ref PN 1021 .C7 2011

Oxford Companion to English Literature - Ref PR 19 .O94 2000

Oxford Encyclopedia of British Literature - Ref PR 19 .O95 2006

Literary Criticism of Long Fction - Ref PN 1625 .C68 2003

Literary Criticism of Short Fiction - Ref PN 3321 .C7 2001, 2012

Moulton’s Library of Literary Criticism - PR 83 .M73 1989




OED - The Oxford English Dictionary is the definitive work on the English language and a great place to start for general information if you are unfamiliar with an author or term. OED includes the first use of the word and changes in meaning over time.

MLA is a resource for researching literature and language topics, including literary criticism. The site provides essay collections, working papers, proceedings, dissertations, and bibliographies. 

Masterplots database provides reference data, plot synopses, and critical evaluations of a comprehensive selection of English language and world literature.

Literary Reference Center is an extensive, full text reference database with information combined from literary reference works, journals, and books.  A search here is sure to bring results on any of a variety of literary topics.  

Critical Survey of Long Fiction offers 678 profiles of major writers of long fiction throughout history and the world, including analyses of their significant novels and novellas. Overview essays examine works within their context by time period, country, ethnicity, and genre.

Critical Survey of Poetry provides access to essays covering over 800 poets from 40 countries.

Early English Books Online offers access to full-text books printed in English from 1473-1700.

JSTOR contains complete back issues of 241 scholarly journals in a wide range of disciplines. Issues from the most recent three to five years for each title may not be included in the collection. If you locate an article that is not available in full-text, check to see if the journal is available on any of PHC's other databases.

ProQuest contains the citations and abstracts of over 1,000 titles in the broad areas of social sciences and law. Of those 1,000 titles, 710 provide users with full-text, images and graphics online. Indexing and full-text coverage begins in the early 1990s for most titles.

eBooks provides access to over 65,000 academic, full-text, electronic books that can be accessed immediately on your computer.  On first use, patrons are prompted to create a userID and password for future access.


Internet resources


Norton Topics Online contains background information, illustrations, and additional text, complimenting the print version of The Norton anthology of English literature.

Literary History is a highly recommended, open access forum which was chosen by the New York Public Library as one of the best 25 sources of academic articles and literary criticism for  English and American authors of the 18th, 19th, and 20th century.

Academy of American Poets features biographies of more than 500 poets with full-text poems, interviews, and audio/video options. Some poems are recorded performances by their authors.


Selected Journals


English Literature in Transition, 1880-1920 (Online, 2004-Present)

Studies in English Literature, 1550-1900 (Online, 1975-One year ago)



Research Tips


  • Search by Subject: Click on a subject term in the record of a book to search for other books on the same or similar subjects.
  • Once you locate a helpful book or article, you may find other helpful resources listed in the item’s bibliography. 
  • If you cannot find what you need in the on-campus collection, you may request the item by Interlibrary Loan.  Information on placing an Interlibary loan request is available from the library home page.
  • Zotero is a citation management system that will help you collect and organize your resources and then seamlessly create footnotes, endnotes, in-text citations, and bibliographies.  You can download and watch online tutorials, but you may benefit from a librarian’s help in quickly learning how to use Zotero.

All citations must be in Turabian or MLA.  Information on proper citation in Turabian is available in the library collection and online at OWL (Online Writing Lab).


Created: Thornhill 2010. Revised: Dr. Bonnie Libby/Thornhill 2011. Revised: Thornhill, 2013. Reviewed: Hake, 2013, 2014.