James H. Thomason Library

English 329 Course Guide: The Victorian Age   
Reference Books


  Dictionaries & Encyclopedias
  Handbooks, Companions, Guides
  Biographical Sources
  Print Bibliographies
  Style Guides
Locating Books
  PASCAL Catalog
  WorldCat & ILL
Locating Articles & Criticism
  Reference Sources & Criticism
  Journal Articles
  Key Journals
  Journal Finder
Internet Resources
  19th Century Literature
  Web Pages on Specific Authors
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Reference Books   back to top
Dictionaries & Encyclopedias   back to top

Victorian Britain: An Encyclopedia. Sally Mitchell, editor. New York: Garland Pub., 1988.

Main Level, Reference: R 941.0810321 V666v

Continuum Encyclopedia of British Literature [CREDO Reference], Continuum International Publishing Group, Ltd., 2006.
A comprehensive guide to all British literature, including literature in English from the colonial and postcolonial periods.

The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms [Oxford Reference Online] 3rd edition.  Chris Baldick.  Oxford University Press, 2008.

A Dictionary of Literary Symbols [CREDO Reference], Cambridge University Press, 2003.
The first dictionary of symbols to be based on literature, rather than "universal" psychological archetypes, myths, or esoterica. Concentrates on English literature, but its entries range widely from the Bible and classical authors to the twentieth century, taking in American and European literatures.

Also available in print: Main Level, Reference:
R 809.915 F373D [2000]

Encyclopedia of European Social History from 1350 to 2000.  Peter N. Stearns, ed.

Scribner Pub., 2001. 

Main Level, Reference: R 306.094 En19E  

Gale Contextual Encyclopedia of World Literature  Anne Marie Hacht and Dwayne D. Hayes, editors.

Detroit: Gale, 2009. 4 volumes [Gale Virtual Reference Library].

Covers world authors from many periods and genres, building an understanding of the various contexts -- from the biographical to the literary to the historical -- in which literature can be viewed. Identifies the significant literary devices and global themes that define a writer's style and place the author in a larger literary tradition as chronicled and evaluated by critics over time (publisher's description).

Handbooks, Companions, Guides   back to top

The Cambridge Companion to Victorian Poetry. Joseph Bristow, editor. Cambridge University Press, 2000.

Upper Level, CIrculating Collection: 821.809 C144C

Cambridge Guide to Literature in English [CREDO Reference], Cambridge Univ. Press, 2006.
Authoritative and international survey of world literature in English with entries on eras, theses, genres and critical terms, authors, poems, novels, literary journals and plays.

A Companion to the Victorian Novel. Eds. William Baker and Kenneth Womack  Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2002 [ EBSCO eBook Collection].

The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory & Criticism. Johns Hopkins, 2005.
Main Level, Reference: R 801.950904 J62J
This informative, reliable introduction to criticism and literary theory is for those with interest in theoretical issues but without specialized knowledge. Entries contain cross references, see also, and a bibliography with selected primary and secondary sources. Helpful indexes of Names and Topics in back of volume.

The Oxford Companion to English Literature [Oxford Reference Online]
Oxford Univ. Press, 2008.
Also available in print:
Main Level, Reference: R 820.9 Ox2O [2000]

The Stanford Companion to Victorian Fiction. John Sutherland

Stanford University Press, 1989

Main Level Reference  R 823.809 Su84S

The Victorian Poets: A Guide to Research. Frederic E. Faverty, editor. Harvard University Press, 1968.  2nd ed.  

Upper Level, CIrculating Collection: 821.809 F278V 1968

 Biographical Sources  back to top

Gale Biography in Context [Thomson/Gale]
Biography Resource Center includes biographies from Gale reference books and full-text articles from hundreds of periodicals. Search for people by name or personal facts [birth and death year, nationality, ethnicity, occupation or gender] or combine criteria to create a highly-targeted custom search.

British Authors of the Nineteenth Century.
Stanley J. Kunitz, ed. H.W. Wilson Co., 1936.   Main Level, Reference: R 928.2 K96B

A Critical Dictionary of English Literature and British and American Authors : Living and Deceased from the Earliest Accounts to the Latter Half of the Nineteenth Century. Containing Over Forty-Three Thousand Articles (Authors), with Forty Indexes of Subjects. J. B. Lippincott Pub., 1870-1871. 
Main Level, Reference:
R 928.2 Al55c  (3 volumes)

The Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press, 1921-1922. (with supplementary volumes up to 1985).
Main Level, Reference: R 920.042 D56 suppl. 1981- 1985

Provides lengthy biographical essays on prominent historical British figures from a variety of fields.

Literature Resource Center [Thomson Gale]

Online access to Contemporary Authors, Dictionary of Literary Biography, Contemporary Literary Criticism Select, and full-text articles from more than 250 literary journals.

Print Bibliographies back to top

Cumulative Bibliography of Victorian Studies : 1970-1984. Compiled & edited by Brahma Chaudhuri. LITIR Database, 1988.

Main Level, Reference: R 016.8209008 C913C  

Cumulative Bibliography of Victorian Studies: 1985-1989.
Compiled & edited by Brahma Chaudhuri ; associate editor, F. L. Radford.  

Main Level, Reference:  R 016.8209008 C913C 1990

Cumulative Bibliography of Victorian Studies:
1990-1994. Compiled and edited by Brahma Chaudhuri & Fred Radford.  LITIR Database, 1995.

Main Level, Reference:

R 016.8209008 C913C 1995

The New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature.
George Watson, editor.

Main Level, Reference: R 015.42 N42N

v. 1. 600-1660.--v. 2. 1660-1800.--v. 3. 1800-1900.--v. 4. 1900-1950.--v. 5 Index

Victorian Poetry: An Annotated Bibliography.
Laurence W. Mazzeno

Scarecrow Press, 1995. 

Main Level, Reference: R 016.8218 M459v

Bibliographies of Studies in Victorian Literature for the Ten Years 1965-1974. Ronald E. Freeman, editor. AMS Press, 1981.

Main Level, Reference: R 016.8209 B471B 1965-74

Style Guides   back to top

MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 7th ed. Modern Language Association, 2009.   

Main Level, Ready Reference Shelf (located behind Reference Desk) and
R 808.02 M72M [2 copies]

Writing Center, Presbyterian College
Citation styles, writing guides, and scheduling an appointment with a tutor.

Locating Books   back to top

Use THOMCAT, the online catalog, to locate books, movies, and other materials in Thomason Library.  You can search by author, title, keyword, or subject.

  • Search for a person, as AUTHOR or SUBJECT, with last name, first name:              



  Browning, Elizabeth Barrett, 1806-1861      [as AUTHOR]  
  Browning, Elizabeth Barrett, 1806-1861 [as SUBJECT ]  
  Browning, Elizabeth Barrett, 1806-1861 -- Criticism and interpretation   [as SUBJECT/literary criticism]  
  Arnold, Matthew, 1822-1888 [as SUBJECT]  
  Eliot, George, 1819-1880  [as AUTHOR]  
  Eliot, George, 1819-1880 -- Criticism and interpretation [as SUBJECT/literary criticism]  
  Tennyson, Alfred Tennyson, Baron, 1809-1892 [as SUBJECT]  
  Newman, John Henry, 1801-1890  [as SUBJECT]  
  Newman, John Henry, 1801-1890 [as AUTHOR]  
  Newman, John Henry, 1801-1890. Idea of a University [as SUBJECT/ SPECIFIC LITERARY WORK]  
  • SUBJECT searching requires use of Library of Congress subject headings. Subject searching is an effective and precise method of searching the catalog. The terms below are examples of subject headings related to 18th Century Literature

English literature -- 19th century -- History and criticism

  Women and literature -- Great Britain -- History -- 19th century
  English poetry -- 19th century

English poetry -- 19th century -- History and criticism


English poetry -- 19th century -- History and criticism -- Theory, etc

  Literature and society -- Great Britain -- History -- 19th century

Arnold, Matthew, 1822-1888 -- Criticism and interpretation

  Brontë, Charlotte, 1816-1855 -- Criticism and interpretation
  Hopkins, Gerard Manley, 1844-1889 -- Criticism and interpretation

Preraphaelitism in literature

  Great Britain -- Intellectual life -- 19th century
  Great Britain -- History -- Victoria, 1837-1901
  England -- Civilization -- 19th century
  • KEYWORD searching will generally retrieve more hits, although results may not be as precise as with a subject search.
  • Try a KEYWORD search using two or three of the most significant words from the title or subject you are trying to find if you are unsure of the exact title or the correct subject heading to use. Place exact phrases in "quotation marks."

  • Connect words with AND, OR, NOT to focus your search.
  • Try truncation at the end of a word stem to retrieve singular, plural, and other variations of the word.  Use an asterisk (*) to truncate from 1 to 5 characters. Use a double asterisk (**) to include word endings with an unlimited number of characters.
KEYWORD Searching Tips

 Add * to the root of a word to truncate and expand
a term:

poet* = poet, poets, poetry, poetic, poetics, etc.


 Use AND between words to narrow your search:
housman AND skeptic*


Use OR between related or alternate words/phrases
to expand your search.
nineteenth century OR 19th century .

Group OR terms with parentheses ( )when including an AND term.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning AND (social* OR societ*)


Try KEYWORD searching

with THOMCAT, other library catalogs,

and the Library's journal databases


PASCAL Catalog   back to top

If you need books in addition to those found at Thomason Library, try your search here for books in other academic libraries in South Carolina.

Through PASCAL Delivers, you can order books online for delivery within 3-4 working days. This service for current PC students, faculty, and staff is a project of PASCAL- Partnership Among SC Academic Libraries. Borrowers will be notified by e-mail when requested items arrive at Thomason Library.

Click here for searching and ordering tips.

WorldCat & Interlibrary Loan   back to top

WorldCatA catalog of books and other materials at libraries worldwide. Try searching here to find ALL books available on a topic. Materials available at Thomason Library are highlighted and others can be borrowed through ILL or searched in PASCALCAT.

Interlibrary Loan - ILL is available to PC students, faculty and staff in order to share resources between libraries.  This service is used to borrow books or acquire photocopies of articles available from libraries nationwide. Check link for instructions.

Locating Articles & Criticism:   back to top
Reference Sources & Criticism    

British Writers
. Charles Scribner's Sons, 1979-2007.
Main Level, Reference: R 820.9 B777B [8 vols, plus 12 supplements].z

Critical Survey of Poetry. Salem Press, 2002.
Main Level, Reference:
R 809.1 C869C [8 vols]
This eight-volume set presents an essay on each poet included. Each essay contains essential information including: principal poetry, other literary forms, achievements, biography, analysis, and bibliography. Index to set in Volume 8.  

 Literature Resource Center [Thomson Gale]

Biographical, bibliographical and contextual information from the Contemporary Authors and Dictionary of Literary Biography databases, as well as full-text criticism from the Contemporary Literary Criticism Select database, as well as content from British Writers, and thirteen Scribner sources. Contains full-text journal articles from more than 250 literary journals, critical essays, and author biographies.  Literature and its Times covers 300 great works of literature viewed in the context of the times in which they are set and the times at which they were written


Literature Resources from Gale Literature criticism, biographies, work and topic overviews, reviews, and full text of many literary works-all searchable at the same time and returned in lists organized according to the type of research needs they serve.

Journal Articles   back to top

MLA International Bibliography  [EBSCOhost]
Published by the Modern Language Association. Indexes critical literary and language scholarship and provides access to journals and serials published worldwide, as well as books, essay collections, working papers, proceedings, dissertations, and bibliographies. Nearly 45,000 records are added annually.

Academic Search Complete [EBSCOhost]
Scholarly, multi-disciplinary full-text database, with more than 8,500 full-text periodicals, including more than 7,300 peer-reviewed journals.

Arts & Sciences Collections I, II, & III contain an archive of over 350 full-text journals which are searchable through JSTOR or accessible through Journal Finder, which guides the user to full-text articles available at Thomason Library. The collections include journals in economics, history, political science, sociology, and humanities. This archive covers the full run of journals from the first issue of volume one; however, the most current three to five year issues of the journals are not available as specified by the publishers in their agreements with JSTOR.

For best results, use ADVANCED SEARCH screen.  Results can be narrowed by checking "Language and Literature" from the "Disciplines" list.

Project MUSE Basic Undergraduate Collection  
Current and recent volumes of 112 core journals in the humanities and social sciences.

Key Journals   back to top

ELH: English Literary History

Journal of Victorian Culture

Nineteenth-Century Literature

Notes and Queries

Philological Quarterly

Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900

(alternate title: SEL: Studies in English Literature)

Victorian Literature and Culture

Victorian Poetry

Victorian Studies

Journal Finder   back to top

Journal Finder provides access to PC's electronic and print journals, magazines, and newspapers in one convenient location.

Browse Journal Finder by title or subject. When browsing or searching, you can read articles from any journal that is available in the Full-text resources online group of results. Choose a database in this group based on the dates available and the time frame in which you are interested.

Library article databases are inter-connected by Journal Finder, which will lead you to the full-text of an article when available.

Internet Resources   back to top
19th Century Literature    

Victoria Research Web: Scholarly Resources for Victorian Research / created and maintained by Patrick Leary Indiana University, History Dept., 1996-

Victorian Studies Bibliography  Indiana University Press. "Since 1933, the Victorian Bibliography has listed noteworthy publications (including articles, books, and reviews) that have a bearing on the Victorian period. Prepared by the staff of Victorian Studies and a committee of the Victorian Division of the Modern Language Association of America, the Bibliography annually indexes over 400 journals, representing scholarship in a range of disciplines."
The Victorian Web (Brown University)

LiteraryHistory.com   Select poets from this site's Nineteenth-Century Poetry page for bibliographies of literary criticism (with links to full-text in many cases).

Nines: Nineteenth Century Scholarship Online NINES (Networked Infrastructure for Nineteenth-Century Electronic Scholarship) is a scholarly organization devoted to forging links between the material archive of the nineteenth century and the digital research environment of the twenty-first. [from web site]

Web Pages on Specific Authors back to top

The Housman Society

Poetry Foundation   (PoetryFoundation.org)  Search for specific poet (Matthew Arnold, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, etc.) to view the Poetry Foundation's web page on the poet's life, writings, etc.    Example -- see A.E. Housman page

Oscar Wilde page at The Literature Network. Although the free version of this website includes annoying ads, access to a wealth of digitized texts more than makes up for this shortcoming.

Includes full-text of Wilde's short stories, plays, essays, and novel.

Victorian Women Writers Project
  Transcriptions of literary works by British women writers in the late Victorian period, including anthologies, broadsides, and volumes of poetry and verse drama.

Get Help   back to top
Stop by the
Reference Desk

Teresa Inman 833-8313
Dan Lee 833-8437


Hours: 8:30 am - 10 pm

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