English 4996 Senior Honors Seminar
Background Resources and Research Guides
- LION Reference includes a selection of literary reference works.
- The Gale Virtual Reference Library provides specialized online encyclopedias for background information.
- Oxford Reference Online Premier provides concise reference sources.
- Check the Oxford English Dictionary for etymologies and history of words.
- The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory & Criticism.
- The Literary Research Guide (Harner) (Ready Ref. PR83.H34 2008)
- The MERLIN catalog shows materials in the MU Libraries.
- The MOBIUS catalog shows materials from Missouri academic libraries.
- WorldCat shows materials from many libraries worldwide.
- Google Books provides access to Google's massive book scanning project. Books in the public domain (usually pre-1923) can be downloaded. For others Google Books acts as a detailed index to books that can be obtained through a library.
- The Center for Research Libraries
- NUCMC: The National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections
Use these databases to identify articles on your topic:
- MLA International Bibliography
- LION: Literature Online
- Choose Criticism & Reference from the sidebar.
- Choose Criticism to search both the complete contents of 250+ research journals and ABELL, the Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature.
- Choose Reference to search a variety of literary encyclopedias and handbooks.
- Choose Web Sites for a select collection of links.
- The World Shakespeare Bibliography Online covers Shakespeare scholarship in detail.
- The International Medieval Bibliography (IMB) covers all aspects of medieval studies.
- Use additional databases to explore publications from different disciplines or interest groups:
- Academic Search Premier provides the core journals in all fields.
- Alternative Press Index
- The Art Index
- ATLA Religion Database
- FIAF covers film and media studies.
- Gender Watch
- Historical Abstracts
- Index to Black Periodicals (Ref. AI3 .I552 -- Earlier volumes, including title changes, are in the circulating stacks.)
- International Bibliography of Theatre and Dance
- The Music Index
- Philosopher's Index
- Women Studies Abstracts (Ref. Z7962 .W65)
- A& H Search is a citation index. A cited reference search allows you to trace citations to a known work.
- The following databases are not subject-specific, but allow you to search the full text of a broad range of journals. Helpful for finding elusively specific bits of information.
Click on to locate a copy of the article online, in the library, or through ILL@MU. You may also access this service from the Libraries gateway under Find a Specific Journal or Article.
To locate older critical materials, use the following databases and reference tools.
- C19: The Nineteenth Century Index
- The American Periodicals Series Online (1740-1900)
- ECCO: Eighteenth Century Collections Online
- The Index to English Literary Periodicals indexes articles published in early English journals and magazines contained in the microfilm set English Literary Periodicals 1681-1914.
- The Reader's Guide Retrospective (1890-1982)
- International Index to Periodicals (1907-1965) (Ref. AI3.R49)
- The Literary Index indexes the many Gale literature criticism sets. These books excerpt literary criticism from all periods on individual authors.
- Contemporary Literary Criticism (Ref. PN779.C6)
- Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism (Ref. PN94.T88)
- Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism (Ref. PN761.N5)
- Literature Criticism, from 1400-1800 (Ref. PN80.L57)
- Poetry Criticism (Ref. PN1010 .P499)
- Short Story Criticism (Ref. PN3373 .S386 )
Finding Book Reviews
Book reviews may not be as analytical or scholarly as criticism, but reflect more immediate reaction to a book upon publication.
- Academic Search Premier
Choose Advanced Search mode and select Book Review from the Document Type drop-down menu.
- Lexis-Nexis Academic
Full text of newspapers and magazines from the mid-1980s on. Choose the News category and select Book, Movie, Music, Play and Video Reviews in the Select Sources menu. Search for the author and title of the book being reviewed.
Carries reviews from 1917 on. Search your author's name in the author slot (not subject!) and limit to reviews in the drop-down menu at the bottom.
- Book Review Digest (Ready Ref. Z1219 .C96 1905-2003)
- Book Review Index (Ready Ref. Z1035.A1 B62 1965-present)
- Readers' Guide Retrospective (1890-1982)
Look under the author of the book being reviewed, last name first.
Finding Primary Sources
- LION: Literature Online provides online texts of many English and American literary works with a search mechanism to facilitate text analysis.
From the main LION menu, choose Search Texts to search for words and phrases within a specific work or group of works. The advanced search feature allows you to define a corpus by period, literary movement, author's gender or ethnicity, and other criteria.
- The Corpus of Middle English Verse, part of the Middle English Compendium, provides the full text of about 146 medieval works.
- The Internet Medieval Sourcebook provides a variety of medieval texts in several languages.
- The Online Medieval Sources Bibliography identifies many medieval texts in collections.
- The English Short Title Catalogue (ESTC) lists works of all sorts published prior to 1800 in English, many of which we have on microfilm. The MERLIN Catalog includes records for the titles held by MU and we can borrow others through ILL@MU.
- The Index to English Literary Periodicals indexes articles published in early English journals and magazines contained in the microfilm set English Literary Periodicals 1681-1914
Note: This Index is a work in progress, so you may also want to use the guide Accessing English Literary Periodicals ( SPEC-R PN5124.P4 A25 1981). See also the Chronological Listing of Periodicals by Decade.
- The American Periodicals Series Online (1740-1900) contains the full text of journals and magazines published in the American colonies and United States, 1740-1900, and into the beginning of the 20th century.
- Early American Imprints, Series I contains the full text of books published in America 1639-1800.
Although this covers only American publications, these are often reprints of materials originally published in Britain.
- Early American Imprints, Series II contains the full text of books published in America 1801-1819
- ECCO: Eighteenth Century Collections Online provides the full text of works published in England in the 18th century.
- C19: The Nineteenth Century Index
- The Google Books project indexes thousands of books and allows viewing of books that are in the public domain, including most books published prior to 1925.
- The Internet Archive provides access to many texts, among other things.
- Through MERLIN, using the advanced search option
- limit by date
- include in your search s: sources
- include in your search s: sources and nth cent* e.g., s: sources and 16th cent* and marriage
- include in your search s: early works and nth cent* e.g., s: early works and 16th cent* and marriage
- include in your search s: personal narratives
MERLIN lists not only printed books, but also links to electronic books, and many items contained in large microfilm collections. Microforms and the equipment needed to view, print, or scan the materials are found in Special Collections. See the guide to the Microform Collection for detailed information on the microfilm sets, including some that are not analyzed in the MERLIN Catalog.
- For visual resources, try ARTStor, a collection of 550,000 images in all areas.
- CAMIO is the Catalog of Art Museum Images Online.
- The British Library Images Online shows images from the British Library Collections.
- Google Images can also be useful, although not as precise.