James H. Thomason Library

English 213

Research Methods

Reference/Background Information



  Selected Print Sources
  eReference Sources
  Literary Theory
  Style Manuals and Guides
Locating Books
  PASCAL Catalog
  WorldCat & I.L.L.
Locating Articles
  Article Databases
  Journal Finder
Literary Criticism Collections
  Literature Resource Center
  Print Literary Criticism Collections
Web Sites
  General Sites

back to Library Guides

Reference/Background Information  
Selected Print Sources   back to top


American Women Writers: A Critical Reference Guide from Colonial Times to the Present, Ungar, c1979-c1982. 

Main Level, Reference: R 016.8109 Am35A [2 vols]

Dictionary of Classical, Biblical, and Literary Allusions, Facts on File, c1987.

Main Level, Reference: R 803 L336F

A Dictionary of Literary Symbols, Cambridge University Press, 2000.

Main Level, Reference: R 809.915 F373D

Also available online [2007 ed] through CREDO Reference subscription

Dictionary of Literary Themes and Motifs.  Jean-Charles Seigneuret, editor. Greenwood Press, 1988.

Main Level, Reference: R 809.933 D561D [2 vols]

Encyclopedia of American Literature. Facts on File, 2002. (3 volumes).

Main Level, Reference:  R 810.3 En19E2

v. 1. The colonial and revolutionary era, 1607-1814. Carol Ruth Berkin, editor. -- v. 2. The age of romanticism and realism, 1815-1914. Lisa Paddock, editor.-- v. 3. The modern and post-modern period, from 1915. Carl Rollyson, editor.

Encyclopedia of American Literature. Steven R. Serafin, editor. Continuum, 2000.

Main Level, Reference:  R 810.3 En19E

Encyclopedia of Folklore and Literature, ABC-CLIO, c1998.

Main Level, Reference: R 803 En19E2

Encyclopedia of Medieval Literature, Greenwood Press, 2000. 

Main Level, Reference: R 809.02 En19E

Also available online (click here) through CREDO Reference subscription

Entries are written by scholars and each entry concludes with a brief bibliography.

*The Feminist Companion to Literature in English: Women Writers from the Middle Ages to the Present, Yale University Press, 1990.
Main Level, Reference: R 820.90003 B573F 

A Glossary of Contemporary Literary Theory. Jeremy Hawthorn. E. Arnold Pub.(distributed in the USA by Routledge, Chapman and Hall, 1994.

Main Level, Reference: R 801.95014 H318G

Literature (The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture; v. 9).  M. Thomas Inge, volume editor. University of North Carolina Press, 2008. 
Main Level, Reference: R 975.00321 N42N v.9

Modern Women Writers: A Library of Literary Criticism, Continuum Publishing, 1996.

Main Level, Reference: R 809.8928709 M72M [4 vols]

Includes thousands of excerpts of criticism on 20th century women writers from around the world.


Oxford Companion to Women's Writing in the United States, Oxford, 1995.

Main Level, Reference: R 810.99287 Ox24O 


eReference Sources   back to top


Bronte's Wuthering Heights: A Reader's Guide. Ian Brinton. New York: Continuum, 2010. EBSCO eBook Academic Collection.



Notable British Novelists. Carl E. Rollyson. Pasadena, CA: Salem Press, 2001. EBSCO eBook Academic Collection.

   Three-volume set. Volume 1 contains extensive entry for

  Emily Bronte.



Cambridge Histories Online


click icon to search collections


The Cambridge History of American Literature

The Cambridge History of English Literature, 1660–1780

Cambridge History of Literary Criticism : including complete volumes covering The Middle Ages [2], The Renaissance [3], Romanticism [4], to the present

The Cambridge History of Twentieth-Century English Literature

CREDO Reference                                                                                     back to top



Continuum Encyclopedia of American Literature [CREDO Reference]

Steven R. Serafin, editor. Continuum, 2005.

Continuum Encyclopedia of British Literature Steven R. Serafin and Valerie Grosvenor Myer, editors.  Continuum, 2006. 

A Dictionary of Literary Symbols [CREDO Reference], Cambridge University Press, 2000.

also a print version shelved at R 809.915 F373D

Encyclopedia of American Poetry. The Twentieth Century  [CREDO Reference], Eric L. Haralson, editor. Fitzroy Dearborn/Routledge, 2001

Encyclopedia of Medieval Literature [CREDO Reference], Greenwood Press, 2000.

also a print version shelved at R 809.02 En19E

The Encyclopaedia of the Renaissance [CREDO Reference], Batsford, c1988.


Gale Virtual Reference Library   



Gale Contextual Encyclopedia of World Literature [GVRL], Anne Marie Hacht and Dwayne D. Hayes, editors.  Gale Pub., 2009.

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).


Gothic Literature: A Gale Critical Companion [GVRL], Gale, 2006

Spans all facets of gothic literature, including visual and performing arts, society and culture, themes, and settings. Includes primary source documents and critical material to provide a contextual perspective, a related chronology of key events, full-text commentaries, and lists of further reading.


Oxford Reference Online  



Search Companions, Encyclopedias, Dictionaries, & Guides in Oxford's Literature Collection





African American Writers, Charles Scribner's Sons, 2001.

Main Level, Reference: R 810.9896073 Af83A

American Women Writers, 1900-1945: A Bio-bibliographical Critical Sourcebook. Greenwood Press, 2000.

Main Level, Reference: R 810.99287 Am35A

Provides biographical information on nearly 60 American women authors who wrote or published their most significant work between 1900-45. Included for each author in addition to bios: discussion of major works and themes, critical reception, and bibliographies of the author's works and of studies on the author's works.

American Women Writers: A Biographical Dictionary. Checkmark, 2001.

Main Level, Reference: R 810.99287 K845A

American Writers: A Collection Of Literary Biographies, Scribner, 1974-2007. [20 volume set].

Main Level, Reference:  R 810.9 Am35A

Includes critical analysis of writers' major works, in addition to biographical information.

British Writers, Scribner, 1979-2007.  [18 volume set].

Main Level, Reference: R 820.9 B777B

Includes critical analysis of writers' major works, in addition to biographical information.

Contemporary Southern Writers. Roger Matuz, editor. St. James Press, c1999.

Main Level, Reference:  R 810.9975 C767C2

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

Literature Resource Center [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. Contains more than 415,000 full-text journal articles from more than 250 literary journals, nearly 44,000 critical essays, more than 122,000 author biographies, and 10,000 definitions of literary terms from Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature.

Southern Writers: A New Biographical Dictionary, Lousiana State University Press, 2006

Literary Theory   back to top

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.

Cambridge Histories Online : Literary Criticism Series

The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism.. Vol. 1, Classical Criticism. George A. Kennedy, editor.   Cambridge University Press, c2008

The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism. Vol. 2, The Middle Ages   Alastair Minnis and Ian Johnson, editors. Cambridge University Press, c2008

The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism. Vol. 3, Renaissance Glyn P. Norton, editor. Cambridge University Press, c2008

The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism. Vol. 4, Eighteenth Century H.B. Nisbet and Claude Rawson, editors. Cambridge University Press, c2008 

The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism. Vol. 5, Romanticism Marshall Brown, editor. Cambridge University Press, c2008

The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism. Vol. 7, Modernism and the New Criticism A. Walton Litz, Louis Menand, and Lawrence Rainey, editors. Cambridge University Press, c2008

The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism. Vol. 8, From Formalism to Poststructuralism Raman Selden, editor. Cambridge University Press, c2008

The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism. Vol. 9, Twentieth-Century Historical, Philosophical and Psychological Perspectives Christa Knellwolf and Christopher Norris, editors. Cambridge University Press, c2008

The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism, W.W. Norton, 2010.

Main Level, Reference:  R 801.95 N829N


Charlotte and Emily Brontë: A Reference Guide, G.K. Hall, 1982-1985 (2 volumes).

Main Level, Reference: R 016.823809 C888C  v. 1  

Contemporary Fiction Writers of the South: A Bio-Bibliographical Sourcebook, Greenwood Press, 1993.

Main Level, Reference:  R 813.5409 C767C

The Contemporary Novel: A Checklist of Critical Literature on the English Language Novel Since 1945, Scarecrow Press, 1996.

Main Level, Reference: R 016.823914 Ad33C

Emily Brontë Criticism, 1900-1982: An Annotated Check List. Meckler Pub., 1984.

Main Level, Reference: R 016.8238 B235E  

The Victorian Novel: An Annotated Bibliography, Salem Press, 1989.

Main Level, Reference:  R 016.8238 M459V


Citation Style Manuals and Guides

  back to top


MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th ed., Modern Language Association, 2009.
Main Level, Reference: Ready Reference Shelf or

R 808.027 M72M


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

Locating Books  
THOMCAT   back to top

Use THOMCAT, the library's online catalog, to locate print books and eBooks available through Thomason Library. You can search by author, title, keyword, or subject.

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

Brontë, Emily [as AUTHOR, books written by her]


Brontë, Emily, 1818-1848 [as SUBJECT, books about her]



  • SUBJECT searching requires use of Library of Congress subject headings. The terms below are examples of Library of Congress Subject Headings for literature.
  Literature -- History and criticism -- Theory, etc  

English literature -- Women authors

  English fiction -- 19th century -- History and criticism  
  • Materials relevant to literature may also be found by specifying the era or dates, geographic area, or the material type in which you are interested:
THOMCAT/ PASCAL Subject comparison
Brontë, Emily, 1818-1848 -- Criticism and interpretation
 Brontë, Emily, 1818-1848 -- Criticism and interpretation.
  Brontë, Emily, 1818-1848. Wuthering Heights
Brontë, Emily, 1818-1848. Wuthering Heights.

PASCAL always has additional items on your topic.

See section on PASCAL or click here for more information.


Subject searching is an effective and precise method of searching the catalog,

however, KEYWORD searching has benefits, also.

  • Try a KEYWORD search if you are unsure of the exact title or the correct subject heading to use. Search using two or three of the most significant words from the title or subject you are trying to find. Place 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 or expand a term:
feminis* = feminist
, feminists, feminism

alienat* = alienation, alienated, alienate

· Use "quotation marks" around an exact phrase:
"Thrushcross Grange"

· Use AND between words to narrow your search:
ghost*  AND  Wuthering Heights

· Use OR between related terms, alternate terms, or synonyms to BROADEN your search

                  ghost* OR supernatural*  

... · Group "OR" terms with parentheses.( )
when  combined with an "AND" statement

 Wuthering Heights AND (ghost* OR supernatural *)


Try KEYWORD searching with THOMCAT, other library catalogs & library databases


PASCAL Catalog   back to top

When you need books in that are not available at Thomason Library, try your search here for books in other academic libraries in SC.


PASCAL Catalog searching is similar to searching in THOMCAT. An added BONUS in THOMCAT is a pass-through from search results in THOMCAT to the same search results in PASCAL with one click on the PASCAL icon.

The pass through is available on any search at any level.

  • A PC book you need is checked out? Click the PASCAL icon for other copies available in SC.

  • Need more info on a subject? PASCAL items on that subject are just a click away.

PASCAL Delivers SC's virtual academic library

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 & I.L.L.   back to top

WorldCat [FirstSearch, OCLC]
A catalog of books and 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 (I.L.L.)

ILL is available to PC students, faculty and staff in order to share resources between libraries. If you are unable to find a book you need at Thomason Library or through the PASCAL Catalog, you can order through I.L.L. Click link for instructions.

Locating Articles  
Article Databases   back to top

The following journal databases are available to PC students, faculty, and staff from on- and off-campus locations.  When passworded from off-campus locations, supply your PC e-mail account username [i.e. tinman] and password. Search databases using terms dealing with your topic.

MLA International Bibliography

Indexes literature, language, linguistics, and folklore journals.

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. The collections include journals in art, architecture, economics, film, folklore, history, performing arts, political science, religion, sociology, humanities, mathematics, and statistics. JSTOR is a journal archive with complete runs of journals up to three years ago. Current issues are not available in JSTOR, but may be in other databases.

Project Muse

Contains current and recent volumes of 111 core journals in the humanities and social sciences.


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.

Literary Criticism Collections    

Literature Resource Center [Gale]

Full-text of articles from journals, reprints from print reference book series, and other sources. Search results are broken down into categories Literature Criticism; Biographies; Topic & Work Overviews; Primary Sources & Literary Works; and Multimedia.

Print Literary Criticism Collections   back to top

Contemporary Literary Criticism (194 volumes), Gale Research.

Main Level, Reference: R 809.04 C767C

Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism (154 volumes), Gale Research.

Main Level, Reference: R 809.04 T918T

Black Literature Criticism: Excerpts from Criticism of the Most Significant Works of Black Authors over the Past 200 Years, Gale Research. 
Main Level, Reference: R 809.8896 B561B  

Web Sites  
General Sites   back to top

A Celebration of Women Writers  [University of Pennsylvania Libraries]

Electronic versions of books, browsable by author, century, and country. Included are links to available on-line works by or about the authors.


Emory Women Writers Resource Project [Emory University]

Includes hypertext versions of works by numerous women writers from the 17th through the 20th century. The project includes genre fiction; early modern works, through the 18th century; World War I poetry; Native American works; works on abolition, freedom and rights; and women's advocacy.

LiteraryHistory.com   Jan Pridmore, Editor.  

A survey of 19th- & 20th-Century Literature.

Online Archive of Nineteenth-Century U.S. Women's Writings [Bucknell University]

A collection of new scholarly editions of nineteenth-century U.S. women's writings and resources for continued research about them. Some of the primary texts reproduced here are well-known classics, while others have been out of print since their original publication in the 19th century. The major purpose of The Archive was to provide students an opportunity to work on projects in literary publishing and web design while, hopefully, providing a service to the general reader and to teachers of literature and history who wish to use these pages for study and classroom use.


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

Voice of the Shuttle:Literature in English   Provides resources listed under various categories, including  General English Lit. Resources; Anglo-Saxon & Medieval Lit,;  Renaissance & 17th Century; Restoration & Eighteenth Century; Romantics, Victoria, Modern (British & American); Contemporary (British & American); American Lit.; Minority Literatures.


Get Help   back to top
Stop by the
Reference Desk

Sara Rowe 833-8313
Dan Lee 833-8437



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Sunday: 1:30 pm - 10 pm

Personal appointments also available.

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