James H. Thomason Library

English 111 Course Guide: Jane Austen
Background Information Sources

"In Love."  Marcus Stone, 1907. Oil on canvas.

Bridgeman Art Library. CREDO Reference database.

  Dictionaries & Encyclopedias
  Handbooks, Companions, Guides
  Style Guides
Locating Books
  PASCAL catalog
  WorldCat & Interlibrary Loan
Locating Articles & Criticism
  Reference Sources & Criticism
  Journal Article Databases
  Journal Finder
  Key Journals
Internet Resources
Get Help

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Background Information Sources    

Dictionaries & Encyclopedias

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For background information and definitions refer to the following library reference works and online reference collections:

All Things Austen: An Encyclopedia of Austen's WorldKirstin Olsen. Greenwood Press, 2005. 

Main Level, Reference:  R 823.7 Ol8A  [2 vols]

More than 150 alphabetically arranged entries provide rich and fascinating historical details on the form and function of everyday and obscure objects that are mentioned in Austen's novels. Numerous illustrations accompany the lively and often humorous essays

that bring these works of fiction to life. Students and devotees of Jane Austen will become familiar with what her characters ate, wore, and did for recreation. Well-researched information is presented about domestic items, the social scene, the workplace, the church, special events and rituals, and everyday customs that constituted life in Jane Austen's England.

(from publisher's description)


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. 

Encyclopedia of the Romantic Era, 1760-1850 [CREDO Reference], Routledge, 2004.
Explores the developments that influenced the profound changes in thought and sensibility during the second half of the eighteenth century and the first half of the nineteenth century. The Encyclopedia provides readers with a clear, detailed, and accurate reference source on the literature, thought, music, and art of the period, demonstrating the rich interplay of international influences and cross-currents at work; and to explore the many issues raised by the very concepts of Romantic and Romanticism.

  Book Cover

Modern Women Writers. Continuum, 1996. [4 vols]
Main Level, Reference: R 809.8928709 M72M

The Oxford Companion to English Literature [Oxford Reference Online] Oxford Univ. Press, 2006.  Also available in print:  Main Level, Reference: R 820.9 Ox2O [2000]

 Handbooks, Companions, Guides   back to top

The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English [CREDO Reference]. 

Ian Ousby, editor. Cambridge U.Press, 2000, c1993.  

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.  

The Jane Austen Companion.   J. David Grey, managing editor; A. Walton Litz and Brian Southam, consulting editors; with A Dictionary of Jane Austen's Life and Works by H. Abigail Bok. Macmillan, 1986.

Upper Level, Circulating Collection: 823.709 J253J3

A Jane Austen Companion: A Critical Survey and Reference Book, F. B. Pinion. St. Martin's Press, 1973.

Upper Level, Circulating Collection823.7 P655J

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.

Biography   back to top

Literature Resource Center [Thomson Gale]
Search here for your author or use advanced search criteria to compile a list of authors by type. Contains biographical information from Contemporary Authors and Dictionary of Literary Biography databases, as well as British Writers [Main Level Reference: R 820.9 B777B] and thirteen Scribner print sources.

Dictionary of Literary Biography, Gale, 1990.        
Main Level, Reference:
R 809 D561D [18 vols]
DLB provides career biographies of literary figures from a vast range of cultural backgrounds and historical periods. In addition to biographical information, DLB also provides an overview of authors’ major works. 
Also searchable in Literature Resource Center
.  Access Note: Select “Advanced Search” select search field from pull-down menu options (author, keyword, title, etc.), and type in appropriate search terms for field. To limit search to DLB, from “limit the current search” go to “database” and select Dictionary of Literary Biography.

Encyclopedia of British Women Writers. Paul and June Schlueter, eds. Rutgers University Press, 1998. Main Level, Reference: R 820.99287 En19E

Encyclopedia of World Biography
, Gale, 1998.
Main Level, Reference: R 920.02 En19E [17 vols]
Alphabetically arranged long essays on reputable personalities who have made great contributions to human culture and society.

Style Guides   back to top

Humanities: Documenting Sources [Research and Documentation Online], Bedford/St. Martins, 2003.

MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, Modern Language Association, 2009.
Main Level, Ready Reference Shelf or Reference Collection: R 808.02 M72M

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

Locating Books   back to top

Use the online catalog to locate books in Thomason Library. You can search by author, title, word, or subject.

  • Search for a person, as AUTHOR or SUBJECT, with last name, first name:              
  Austen, Jane    [as AUTHOR]  
  Austen, Jane    [as SUBJECT]  
  • SUBJECT searching requires use of Library of Congress subject headings. The terms below are examples of subject headings related to Jane Austen:
  Austen, Jane, 1775-1817 -- Contemporary England
  Austen, Jane, 1775-1817 -- Film and video adaptations
  Austen, Jane, 1775-1817 -- Knowledge -- Literature
  Austen, Jane, 1775-1817 -- Political and social views
  Austen, Jane, 1775-1817. Pride and prejudice
  England -- Social life and customs -- 19th century
  Women and literature -- England -- History -- 19th century

Subject searching is an effective and precise method of searching the catalog, however, KEYWORD searching has benefits, also.

  • If you are unsure of the exact title or the correct subject heading to use, try a KEYWORD 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:
moral* = moral, morals, morality, moralist,

& moralists  (but would also retrieve " morale")

· Use AND between words to narrow your search:
Mansfield Park AND
Fanny Price

· Use OR between words to expand your search and
group words with parentheses:
(societ* OR social) AND mansfield park

Try KEYWORD searching with ThomCat, other library catalogs & the Library's journal databases

 PASCALCAT    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 SC. 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    

WorldCatA 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
- ILL is available to PC students, faculty and staff in order to share resources between libraries. Check link for instructions.

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

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. Contains full-text journal articles from more than 250 literary journals, critical essays, author biographies, and definitions of literary terms from Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature.

Oxford Reference Online - Premium Collection
This collection brings together language and subject reference works from one of theworld'slargest reference publishers into a single cross-searchable resource. It is a fully-indexed, cross-searchable database of over 100 dictionary, language reference, and subject reference works published by Oxford University Press, giving subscribers unprecedented access to a comprehensive information resource plus added functionality and more detailed information from titles in the world-renowned Oxford Companions Series.

Scribner Writer's Series
Full-text articles on writers and literary genres drawn from 13 acclaimed Scribner print series. Each signed article was written by a noted scholar and concludes with a bibliography of primary and secondary sources for further study.

Journal Article Databases back to top

Academic Search Premier - Humanities[EBSCOhost]
Search this subset of full text peer-reviewed humanities journals indexed in Academic Search Premier.

 MLA International Bibliography  [EBSCOhost]
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.

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.

Project MUSE Basic Undergraduate Collection  
Current and recent volumes of 112 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.

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

Key Journals   back to top


College Literature 

ELH (English Literary History)

English Language Notes

English Studies

Nineteenth-Century Fiction

Nineteenth-Century Literature

Novel-A Forum on Fiction

Persuasions: The Jane Austen Journal On-line  

Published by the Jane Austen Society of North America, Contain essays and articles on Jane Austen’s writing and her world—its literature, music, visual arts, science, politics, religion. While some essays may examine Austen’s literary forebears, others may explore her impact on later writers and other media in an effort to understand Jane Austen’s role in the world today. Includes perspectives on Austen shared at the Annual General Meetings and essays by other prominent Austen scholars.

Review of English Studies  

SEL: Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900

Studies in the Novel

Internet Resources   back to top

Jane Austen. Victorian Web. Topics include Biography, Works, Political History, Economic Context, Setting, Literary Relations, Gender Matters, Characterization, Themes, etc.

JaneAusten.org  Includes full text of Austen's novels, as well as a timeline, Regency glossary, and rank & class guide.

The Voice of the Shuttle: Jane Austen  Alan Liu, English Dept, Univerity of California, Santa Barbara. Provides links to a variety of information sources on Austen's life, times, and writings.


Get Help   back to top
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