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Home > Library > Western Literature I, II

Western Literature I, II

Welcome to the research guide for your course in Western Literature. The suggested electronic resources are available linked from here and from the Electronic Resources section of the library home page.  Print resources are available in the PHC on-campus collection or by mail to distance learning members of the PHC community.  You may check out the location and availability of an item in the on-campus collection through the online catalog, Voyager, accessed here and on the library home page.

This course requires several carefully crafted research projects for which library assistance may be invaluable. Professional librarians are available on campus, by phone at 540-441-8400, or by email at askalibrarian@phc.edu .


Reference Works


The PHC Library holds a number of authoritative items relating to Western Literature in the on-campus collection.  The following is a sample of items found in the PHC reference collection:

Critical Survey of Long Fiction - Ref PN 3321 .C7 2001, 2003

Critical Survey of Short Fiction - Ref PN 3451 .C75, 201, 2012

Moutlon's Library of Literary Criticism - Ref PR 83 .M73 1989

Notable British Novelists - Ref PR 821 .N57 2001, vols. 1-3.

Oxford companion to British Literature - Ref PR 19 .O95 2006, vols. 1-5.

Oxford companion to Classical Literature - Ref PA 31 .H69 1991

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

Oxford companion to Shakespeare - Ref PR 19 .O94 2001




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 Short Fiction provides access to scholarly essays with each one containing ready reference informaiton, biographical information, and substantial listings of literary work by 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 collection 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.



Search the catalog using the following Library of Congress subject headings:

Classical literature 
French literature
Classical literature - dictionaries
French literature - dictionaries
Classical literature - History and criticism
French literature - History and criticism

 English literature

Russian literature 

 English literature - dictionaries

Russian literature - dictionaries 

 English literature - History and criticism

Russian literature - History and criticism







Selected Journals


American literature (Online 1929-2009)

Christianity & literature (Print 2000-Present, Online 9/1/2003-Present)

Classical and modern literature (Print 2001-2007)

English Literature in transition, 1880-1920 (Online 1/1/2004 to Present)

Nineteenth-century literature (Online 1986-Present)

Russian studies in literature (Online 3/1/2001-Present)

Studies in English literature (Online 1975-2009)


Research Tips


  • Search by subject: Once you have located one item in the catalog, you may click on the subject term within the record to find other items on the same or similar subjects. 
  • Once you locate an a helpful book or article or may find additional valuable resources in the item's bibliography.
  • Interlibrary loan (ILL):  If you are unable to locate an item in the PHC online or on-campus collection, you may request resources through Interlibrary loan.  ILL requests may be made directly into the library database WorldCat.  If you have difficulty requesting an ILL in WorldCat, you may use the form on the website or request assistance from any of the library staff. Once you locate an appropriate resource, potential valuable resources may be listed in the item's bibliography. 
  • 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.

Turabian (Chicago Manual of Style) is the approved citation format for this course.  Information on proper Turabian citation is available in the PHC collection or online at  OWL (Online Writing Lab). 

Created: Dr. Steven Hake/Thornhill, 2011. Revised: Dr. Steven Hake/Thornhill, 2013. Reviewed: Hake/Thornhill, 2014.