Western Literature I,II

Welcome to the research guide for your course in Western Literature

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Welcome to the research guide for your course in Western Literature!

In the PHC Library catalog, you can search a variety of resources by title, author, keyword, or phrase, linking you to journal articles, ebooks, and print books in the on-campus collection. The more specific your search terms, the more specific the results will be.  For our Distance Learning (DL) students, excerpts from print items held in the on campus library can be provided on request.

If you are accessing electronic resources from off-campus and are required to log in, use your student portal user name and password to gain access. If you have difficulty with the website or accessing any resources, please let library staff know by email at askalibrarian@phc.edu or  library@phc.edu. 

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

Reference Works


  • 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.
  • 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 information, 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.
  • 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.


You can search for any of the following Library of Congress subject term tags by limiting the search by "Subject":

Classical literature
Classical literature - dictionaries
Classical literature - History and criticism
English literature
English literature - dictionaries
English literature - History and criticism

French literature
French literature - dictionaries
French literature - History and criticism
Russian literature
Russian literature - dictionaries
Russian literature - History and criticism

Selected Journals

You can search journal articles by title, keyword, or author, or browse the following journals through the library's Periodical Listing.

  • 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 literaure (Online 3/1/2001-Present)
  • Studies in English Literature (Online 1975-2009)

Research Tips

  • Citation help needed? Try OWL (Online Writing Lab) for Chicago/TurabianMLA, and APA styling formats. 
  • Search by subject: Once you have located one item in the catalog, you can click on the search term within the record to find other items on the same or similar subjects. Once you have located a helpful source, additional potential sources may be found in the item's bibliography.
  • Can't find what you need in the PHC collection? If you are unable to locate an item in the PHC collection, you may request resources through Interlibrary loan. ILL requests may be made directly in the library catalog.
  • Research assistance is available in the library or by email at askalibrarian@phc.edu

Created: Dr. Steven Hake/Thornhill, 2011. Last update: Thornhill, 2022.

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