Resources for English Literature

Philip Robinson Library

We’ve got a wide range of specialist information resources for English literature students. We know it can be rather overwhelming knowing where to start, so this blog post gives you a whistle stop tour of what you can find.

Library Search and your reading lists are great starting points for finding books, journals and other resources for your modules, but we’ve highlighted below some more specialised resources which you’ll want to explore.

Interdisciplinary academic research databases

Interdisciplinary bibliographic databases, such as Scopus or JSTOR are a great starting point after Library Search, as they enable you to discover secondary literature, irrespective of the subject area, and have really helpful features to help you focus your search. This can be useful if your topic covers more than one subject area, or if you’re trying to scope your topic broadly. Content includes journal articles, conference papers, book chapters and reviews.

Specialist English literature research databases

Literature Online (LION) is an indispensable database for researching English literature. It comprises three main sections:

  • literary criticism: search articles from over 400 journals, together with the Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature
  • primary texts:  350,000 works of poetry, prose and drama from the 8th century to the present
  • reference: encylopedias, topic overviews and author biographies
Screenshot of the Literature Online homepage, showing the basic search options.
LION search screen

You can search all of these information types at once with the All button selected, or focus on a particular section by choosing the appropriate button. 

If you haven’t used LION before, or would like a refresher, a good way to get an insight into the content, and different ways to search, is to try out the sample searches in this LION guide (Links to an external site.).

Film and Television Literature Index

If you’re researching a film or television studies topic, including literary adapations, then you may find Film and Television Literature Index to be useful. It includes articles from academic journals and film magazines, and coverage is focused on film and television theory, writing, production  and reviews.  

Digitised archives

Screen shot of a verse manuscript from Romanticism: Life, Literature and Landscape.
Romanticism: Life, Literature, Landscape

There is a vast range of digitised literary archives available, and it would be impossible to list every one, but we have picked out some major resources on the English Literature subject guide, in the General literary resources > archives section. These include:

Literary Print Culture

Perdita Manuscripts

Romanticism: Life, Literature and Landscape

Click on the links above for blog posts giving more information about these fascinating archives.

We also have a fascinating range of historic and contemporary literary archives in our own Special Collections section: please browse the web site by subject to find out more and read here for how to consult items and get further advice.

Literary texts: historic book collections online

Oxford World’s Classics

As well as the many individual literary print and e-books in our collections, we also have access to several major online collections of literary texts from different historical periods, which feature in-depth contextual information, facsimile images of the original texts, and sophisticated search and analytical features.

From Early English Books Online (EEBO) and Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO), we have access to almost every book published in English from the fifteenth to nineteenth century, complemented by other specialist collections, such as Oxford Scholarly Editions Online.

ECCO screenshot

Our blog post gives an overview of five of the major collections. You can find all the individual books from these collections on Library Search, but we recommend searching and browsing the databases themselves (for example, EEBO) to get the best searching and viewing experience.

Audiovisual resources: Box of Broadcasts and Drama Online

Box of Broadcasts (BoB) contains over two million programmes from over 75 television and radio channels. Coverage mostly dates from 2007 to the present day.  It’s a great resource for finding literary adaptations on television, film and radio, together with documentaries about writers, and arts review broadcasts. Find out how to get the best out of BoB via our BoB blog post.

Drama Online screenshot

The Library has purchased various collections from the Drama Online database, which comprises the text of over 3,000 plays, from ancient Greek drama to contemporary works, together with contextual works relating to drama theory and practice. We have also recently bought several video collections, featuring films of major theatrical productions from the National Theatre, Globe and Royal Shakespeare Company.

Read more about this exciting platform and the very latest content on our blog post.

English Literature Subject Guide

This posting is just a taster of all the great resources available for your subject area. To access them and find out more, visit your Subject Guide and explore the databases and other subject specific resources which we’ve curated for English literature.

There are also subject guides for related subject areas which you may find useful, including English language and linguistics, and Film Studies.

Our Resource Guides point to different types of information, such as newspapers, images and statistics.

Resources for Language and Linguistics

Book and notebook on a desk with a book shelf in the background.

The Library has lots of great collections and resources, so when it comes to finding wider reading for your topic or beginning research for your assignment or dissertation it might all seem a bit overwhelming.  Library Search can be a great place to start looking for information but there are many other resources you might want to try. To help you get the best out of our resources we’ve put together this list of some of the most useful online databases and collections for the study of Language and Linguistics.

Let’s dive in!

Scopus

Scopus is a large, interdisciplinary database of peer-reviewed literature, providing an index of articles, book chapters, conference papers and trade publications. 

One of the main advantages of using Scopus is that it provides a lot of useful information about the articles it indexes. This includes full reference lists for articles and cited reference searching, so you can navigate forward and backward through the literature to uncover all the information relevant to your research.  You can also set up citation alerts, so you can be informed of new, relevant material automatically.

Video guide to expanding your search results in Scopus.

Scopus includes other smart tools that can help you track and visualise the research in your area, including author and affiliation searching, visual analysis of search results, a journal analyser, and author identifier tools. You’ll find tutorials and advice on using these features in the Scopus support centre and on their YouTube Channel.

JSTOR

JSTOR provides access to full-text materials including scholarly journals, books and book chapters in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. It has basic and advanced search options that allow you to search by topic keyword, author, subject area, title or publisher.

Take a look at our Get more out of JSTOR blog post to find tips for advanced searching on this database.

Screenshot showing the JSTOR homepage

Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts (LLBA)

Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts is an excellent resource for those interested in the nature and use of language.  The database focuses on academic resources for the study of language, including phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics, and descriptive, historical, comparative, theoretical and geographical linguistics.

LLBA has the added advantage of including a specialised linguistics thesaurus, which you can use in advanced search to refine and focus your search. The thesaurus provides a searchable list of all the subject terms used in the database and highlights links between broader, narrower and related terms, helping you to select all of the keywords relevant to your topic.

Screen shot showing the thesaurus in LLBA.

ProQuest provide a helpful and detailed guide to LLBA which includes search tips for basic and advanced search as well as some sample searches you can work through to familiarise yourself with the database. 

The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics

The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics is a comprehensive online reference work covering 27 key areas of the field, including Language Learning and Teaching, Bilingual and Multilingual Education, Assessment and Testing, Corpus Linguistics, Conversation Analysis, Discourse and Technology and Language.  You’ll also find over 200 entries on the philosophy and history of applied linguistics and biographies of key applied linguists.

You can browse the Encyclopedia by topic or look for keywords using simple or advanced searches.

Accents and Dialects

Accents and Dialects is a searchable database of English accent recordings from the British Library Sound Archive.  Recordings include early spoken word snippets from the 1890s onwards, Opie’s collection of children’s songs and games, an evolving English word bank, and a survey of English dialects.  Each recording includes a detailed description, and some include additional linguistic descriptions too.   Most recordings can be downloaded for academic use.

You can browse the database by project, county, or date.  You can also use the search box on the top right of the page to look for specific keywords, including dialects or places.

Screen shot of the Accents and Dialects homepage.

The British Library have also developed an interactive timeline showing the evolution of the English language from the 11th Century to the present day.  This requires Adobe Flash to view.

The Cambridge History of the English Language

The Cambridge History of the English Language is a six-volume work providing an authoritative account of the history of English; from Old English through to modern variations in Britain and overseas. Each volume gives a chronological overview of the data, links to scholarship in the area and considers the impact of current and developing linguistic theory on the interpretation of the data.

You can access volumes individually on Library Search or sign in via institutional login at the link above to browse all volumes together.

Historic Newspapers

The Library provides access to several million digitised pages of historic newspapers, dating from the seventeenth century.  We have all UK broadsheet archives online (e.g. The Times, The Guardian, The Telegraph) as well as titles which are strong in arts and culture coverage, such as the Times Literary Supplement.

If you want to search across a range of historic new sources, start with Gale Primary Sources, as this gives access to all our British newspaper archives, except The Guardian and The Observer. Gale also has a useful tool called term frequency that allows you to track the history of particular words and phrases.

Screen shot from Gale showing term frequency for Fake News.

You’ll find an overview of all our News resources on our Newspaper Guide.

Box of Broadcasts (BoB)

Box of Broadcasts allows you to access TV and radio broadcasts from over 65 channels, including most of the UK’s Freeview network, all BBC TV and radio content from 2007, and several foreign language channels. It’s a great resource for finding documentaries or critical opinions.

You can view archived programmes, create clips and playlists, and see transcripts to help with citation and translation. You can also search other user’s public playlists to see curated lists around topics similar to your own. There are lots of helpful tutorial videos on the BoB website.

Unfortunately, Box of Broadcasts is not available outside the UK.

English Language and Linguistics Subject Guide

This list was just a taster of all the great resources available for your subject area, to access these and to find out more visit the English Language and Linguistics Subject Guide and explore the journals, databases and subject specific resources we’ve curated for students interested in this field of study. 

There are also subject guides for specific languages which may be useful for you to explore, including Chinese and Japanese studies, German studies, French studies, Italian studies, and Spanish and Latin American studies.

Resources for Translating and Interpreting Studies

A portion of a map of England can be seen beneath a foreign language dictionary.

The Library has lots of great collections and resources, so when it comes to finding wider reading for your topic or beginning research for your assignment or dissertation it might all seem a bit overwhelming.  Library Search can be a great place to start looking for information but there are many other resources you might want to try. To help you we’ve put together this list of some of the most useful online databases and collections for Translating and Interpreting studies.

Let’s dive in!

Scopus

Scopus is a large, interdisciplinary database of peer-reviewed literature, providing an index of articles, book chapters, conference papers and trade publications. 

One of the main advantages of using Scopus is that it provides a lot of useful information about the articles it indexes. This includes full reference lists for articles and cited reference searching, so you can navigate forward and backward through the literature to uncover all the information relevant to your research.  You can also set up citation alerts, so you can be informed of new, relevant material automatically.

Video guide from Scopus demonstrating how to expand your search results.

Scopus includes other smart tools that can help you track and visualise the research in your area, including author and affiliation searching, visual analysis of search results, a journal analyser, and author identifier tools. You’ll find tutorials and advice on using these features in the Scopus support centre and on their YouTube Channel.

JSTOR

JSTOR provides access to full-text materials including scholarly journals, books and book chapters in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. It has basic and advanced search options that allow you to search by topic keyword, author, subject area, title or publisher.

Take a look at our Get more out of JSTOR blog post to find tips for advanced searching on this database.

Screenshot showing the JSTOR homepage

Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts (LLBA)

Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts is an excellent resource for those interested in the nature and use of language.  The database focuses on academic resources for the study of language, including phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics, and descriptive, historical, comparative, theoretical and geographical linguistics.

LLBA has the added advantage of including a specialised linguistics thesaurus, which you can use in advanced search to refine and focus your search. The thesaurus provides a searchable list of all of the subject terms used in the database and highlights links between broader, narrower and related terms, helping you to select all of the keywords relevant to your topic.

Screen shot showing the thesaurus in LLBA.

ProQuest provide a helpful and detailed guide to LLBA which includes search tips for basic and advanced search as well as some sample searches you can work through to familiarise yourself with the database. 

Bibliography of Interpreting and Translation (BITRA)

BITRA is a bibliographic database containing over 80,000 records, including books, book chapters, journal articles and PhD theses, on topics relating to translation and interpreting. You can search the database precisely by subject, author, publication date and language, or choose from a selection of keywords (controlled vocabulary) to broadly search all records containing those keywords in the subject field.

Item records provide bibliographic information and an abstract to help you decide if the item is relevant to your research but you’ll need to use Library Search or Google Scholar to find full text copies of useful resources.

Nexis – International Newspapers

Newspapers can be a great source of information, with news stories and editorial opinion offering a fascinating angle on your research topic.

The recently updated Nexis Uni database enables you to search over 17,000 news, business and legal sources. This includes most UK national and regional newspapers, together with international sources, including newspapers, newswires and news magazines in multiple languages. Coverage of news titles often dates back to the 1990s and includes today’s news. Coverage is text only, and doesn’t include images, layout, adverts etc.

The simplest way to search is by selecting the News button from the Guided Search section on the database homepage:

Screenshot of the Nexis home page showing Guided Search with News highlighted
Screenshot of the Nexis home page showing Guided Search with News highlighted.

Type in your search term (use ” ” if searching for a phrase), select your date range, and click Search.

If you would like to try more complex searching (e.g. searching in a particular section of the newspaper, or combining terms together in various ways), then click on Advanced search from the home page, and select the ‘News’ tab.

Our Nexis blog post provides more details on how to get the most out of the database and you can explore Nexis Uni Video Trainings via the Help button at the top of the database homepage. You can find out more about the Library’s collection of international news resources in the international section of our Newspapers guide.

Remember to use your critical thinking skills when using newspapers as they may present biased opinion and inaccurate facts – watch out for Fake News!

Box of Broadcasts (BoB)

Box of Broadcasts allows you to access TV and radio broadcasts from over 65 channels, including most of the UK’s Freeview network, all BBC TV and radio content from 2007, and several foreign language channels. It’s a great resource for finding documentaries or critical opinions.

You can view archived programmes, create clips and playlists, and see transcripts to help with citation and translation. You can also search other user’s public playlists to see curated lists around topics similar to your own. There are lots of helpful tutorial videos on the BoB website.

Unfortunately, Box of Broadcasts is not available outside the UK.

Translating and Interpreting Subject Guide

This list was just a taster of all the great resources available for your subject area, to access these and to find out more visit your Subject Guide and explore the journals, databases and subject specific resources we’ve curated for Translating and Interpreting studies. 

There are also subject guides for specific languages which may be useful for you to explore, including Chinese and Japanese studies, German studies, French studies, Italian studies, and Spanish and Latin American studies.

Resource in focus: State Papers Online

The Library has access to the digitised State Papers Online from 1509 to the end of the State Papers series in 1782, providing a fascinating research resource for early modern Britain and Europe.

What are the State Papers?

They are predominantly official papers of the Secretaries of State from the period, and include correspondence, reports, memoranda and civil service drafts, covering a wide range of domestic and international matters, and emanating from the highest levels of power. The collections include letters from popes, diplomats, and rulers of other countries, as well as records such as military and naval registers, and thus provide a fascinating record of the Tudor, Stuart and early Georgian periods in England and beyond.

A selection of entries

It is an major resource for researching themes such as the monarchy, law and order, religious conflict, wars and treaties, international trade and the emergence of party politics.

What’s in this collection?

The digitised collections comprise the papers themselves, digitised from the original manuscripts, as well as the ‘calendars’, which catalogue and briefly describe or summarise the manuscripts, and which have been transcribed into text. The manuscripts themselves are mostly not searchable (except for a few series which have been transcribed). The calendars are searchable, and each calendar entry links to its manuscript, making the research process significantly easier than pre-digitisation.

How to search

You can search or browse the State Papers in various ways. We’d recommend selecting Advanced Search to access all the options for focusing your search. Note useful options such as fuzzy search, which enables you to search for spelling variants, plus the option to limit your search to records with a manuscript, and/or a transcript of the manuscript.

Advanced search screen

The Browse function may be useful if you wish to work through a particular series of State Papers: you can either browse the calendars or manuscripts.

There are various options for saving, downloading and exporting results.

Help and guidance

Help options
Help options

If you are using the State Papers for the first time, we’d recommend reading the relevant About State Papers Online section to get an overview of what each collection contains.

You will also find very helpful contextual information in the Research Tools section.

  • Reference includes glossaries, explanations of dates, weights and measures etc;
  • Links gives links to useful guidance such as paleography courses.
  • Essays gives more detailed insights into each collection, written by experts.
  • Key documents picks out important highlights from the collections.
  • You can also click Help in the top right of the screen for in-depth help with searching and exporting.

Spotlight on Packt ebooks

Woman sitting in a chair reading an ebook on an ereader.

Did you know the Library offers access to over half a million ebooks across a variety of subjects? This includes titles featured on your reading lists, or that have been recommended by staff and students. Ebooks are very useful resources as they’re available 24/7 wherever you are; simply navigate to them through Library Search. If you’re off campus, you’ll need your University ID and password to log in.

Watch our Library Search: eBooks searching video which shows you how to browse for and connect to ebooks.

Packt Publishing ebooks

One of our newest collections is Packt Publishing ebooks. This package provides access to over 700 full-text ebooks on computing subjects. The 4 collections included are:

  • Data
  • Cloud
  • Programming
  • Web Development

You can find individual titles in Library Search by entering the title or your keywords, or access the collection here. If you’re browsing the publisher’s platform, choose Show All Titles or enter your search terms.

Once you have your results, you can use the filters on the left-hand side of the page to narrow your search.

When you’ve found a title, you can read it online, add it to your saved list, search within the text or download a PDF to read later.

Additional Oxford Handbooks Online

We already had bought permanent access to a range of different collections in the Oxford Handbooks Online series.

We decided we like them so much we’ve now added in some more from across humanities, social sciences and science

We now have access to the following :

You can access the content in various ways: for example, you can browse by the broad subject areas, to view individual books, and/or the articles within those books.

Once in a subject area, you can then refine your search to more specific sub-disciplines.

You can also search in various ways, e.g. by author or keyword.

They can be both a great starting point for information as well as providing more in-depth details and content too.

New e-book collections: Bloomsbury and Manchester University Press

We have bought several new e-book collections from Bloomsbury and Manchester University Press, complementing and updating our existing collections from these two publishers.

From Bloomsbury, we have bought new collections in:

architecture

arts and visual culture

classical studies and archaeology

education

history

linguistics

music and sound

politics and international relations

These new modules give us just under 500 new titles in total.


From Manchester University Press, we have bought the latest collections in:

political studies

history of medicine

film and media studies

These give us 136 new titles in total.

All the titles are individually catalogued on Library Search, or if you prefer, you can browse them from the publishers’ platforms via the links above. NB If you are browsing any of the Bloomsbury subject collections, under Access, tick Purchased/Open Access.

New resource now available: JSTOR ebooks collection

The Library now has access to over 59,000 extra ebooks via JSTOR. These books are from nearly a hundred different publishers in 25 countries mainly in Europe, Africa and the USA, and were all published in 2018 or earlier. We also have access to 6,500 Open Access titles.

The content is wide-ranging, encompassing many subject areas across the humanities and social sciences, as well as some natural sciences.

Our access to all the books is for an initial twelve month period, after which we will buy permanent access to certain titles; usually those which have been most heavily used.

Finding JSTOR books

JSTOR search limit

All the books are individually catalogued on Library Search, or you can find them when you search JSTOR (you can limit your search results to find books only).

You can also view a full title list in the Evidence-Based Acquisition section here.

If you would like to find out more about JSTOR’s other collections, and how to get the best out of this resource, please see our blog post.

Resource in focus: OUP Law Trove (revised)

An image of the OUP Law Trove logo.

We’ve subscribed to OUP Law Trove for a little while now. What is it? This Oxford University Press e-resource contains most of the essential, recommended and background reading titles you would normally find listed in your Newcastle Law School module handbooks and on the Law Library shelves.

If you’re asking if you need to buy your course texts for 2021/22 then we can’t answer that question for you, as the answer depends on you. Ask yourself: can you work with e-books? Do you prefer to have your own copy of a book so you can fold pages, write notes in the margins or use a highlighter to annotate the text (*librarians across the world gasp in horror!*). Can the University Library provide a copy of the book you need to use? (We’ll answer that for you! It’s certainly possible but we certainly can’t provide a copy of every single book to every single student even if we wanted to.) We do advise you to try OUP Law Trove to see how easy it is to access, and how versatile it can be (including annotating the text!). It may just save you spending money on books where you don’t need to.

For those students with mobile devices, the OUP Law Trove website has been revised for the new academic year and is now mobile responsive. The updated design offers improved accessibility features and a better experience on phones, small screens and tablets.

An image of the OUP Law Trove homepage: https://www.oxfordlawtrove.com/

Logging in
You can access OUP Law Trove directly via Library Search (log in with your Campus ID & password), via your Reading Lists in your Canvas modules, and directly too. You can also go to OUP Law Trove and use the ‘Sign in via your Institution’ option in the left-hand login box on the homepage, and search for Newcastle University.

An image showing the Sign in via your Institution login option for OUP Law Trove.

Further guidance on logging in is provided by OUP in this video (1:05 mins):

Searching
From the OUP Law Trove home page you can immediately select to view those titles included in our subscription.

An image of the OUP Law Trove home page, with the option of displaying all books included in Newcastle University's subscription highlighted.

You can search OUP Law Trove by subject by using the browse option from the home page, or search by term for any author, title or keyword.

An image of the OUP Law Trove homepage with the Subject and Search options highlighted.

NB The results retrieved from either search will include all chapters and books related to your subject or search term, in alphabetical order.

Using the options in the left hand menu, you can narrow your choices by searching for a term within your results, by selecting the format of the results you want to see, or the availability (it makes sense to select those that are unlocked or free if you have not selected to view those titles included in our subscription) and updating your search.

An image of the refine or narrow your choices options within OUP Law Trove, i.e. by term, book or chapter, or availability (available or free).

Further guidance on accessing and navigating books within Law Trove is provided by OUP in these videos (2:28 mins and 2:41 mins):

Personalisation
You can create a Personal Profile to experience the full functionality of OUP Law Trove, including bookmarking and annotating (without writing on your books!). Click the ‘Sign In or Create’ button on the top menu bar and follow the instructions to set up your profile.

An image of the OUP Law Trove homepage with the Personal Profile option highlighted,

Once active you can access your saved content, searches and annotations quickly and easily.

An image of the OUP Law Trove homepage with the Personal Profile option highlighted,

Further information on the benefits of creating and using the Personal Profiles features is provided by OUP in this video (1:54 mins):

Reading Lists and Handouts
You may find your module teaching staff are using the DOI: for a specific book or chapter from your Reading List or module handout. What’s a DOI? A Digital Object Identifier. It’s a ‘permalink’ (permanent link) to the specific materials you need to read and looks like a weblink (which it is, essentially). If it doesn’t directly link to OUP Law Trove then add https://dx.doi.org/ to create the full DOI link. You will still be asked to login using your Newcastle University Campus ID & password to gain access to the materials.

An image of OUP Law Trove which indicates the availability of DOI: links for both books and chapters.

Tips
Search OUP Law Trove directly for your resources if you can. Library Search and your Reading Lists are linking to most of the books, and some of the chapters available, but not all. You may find more resources by performing a keyword search; the results could show a useful chapter in another book that you would never have thought to search in.

You have access to some great employability and study skills information in OUP Law Trove too. Whether you are wondering what academic writing actually is, how to write a case note, how to prepare for a moot or dealing with an exam, there are materials in Trove to assist you alongside the Academic Skills Kit made available to you by the University, the University Library and the Writing Development Centre.

An image of book covers covering employability and academic skills.

Finally, scroll to the bottom of the contents page of a book to see if there are additional resources available:

An image of an example of external/additional resources available on the OUP website.

Further information on the online resources, including multiple choice questions (MCQs), is provided by OUP in this video (1:47 mins):

We think you will find OUP Law Trove very useful in supporting your studies at Newcastle Law School. If you have any feedback or questions, please leave a comment or contact libraryhelp@ncl.ac.uk.

Business Expert Press eBooks

We are delighted to expand our collection of eBook titles available on a platform called Business Expert Press. We now have titles from 2010 right upto 2021.

If you’re just looking for the most recent publications then Business Expert Press have a flier available.

We’d recommend using our catalogue, Library Search to find them. Click on the advanced search and look for Business Expert Press as the publisher.

This platform also has an agreement with Harvard Business Publishing so we now have access to many titles from this publisher too via this site. See BEP website for a full list.

The platform covers the full breath of subjects for the Business School; from marketing, suppply chain management, operations management, accounting, finance, human resource management and economics to name but a few.