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Syracuse University Libraries

English & Literature Resources: Databases & Indexes to Scholarly Literature

A subject guide to assist your research of topics in English and Literature assembled and maintained by the English subject specialist librarian.

On this list...

Use the databases on these lists to locate full-text articles and references for articles for your research. These databases have been selected to assist you in identifying literature and criticism resources.

More databases, on a wide variety of subjects are also available from the Database Main Menu.

Full-Text Databases of Articles & Book Chapters


  • The MLA International Bibliography is a subject index for books, articles and websites published on modern languages, literatures, folklore, and linguistics. It is produced by the Modern Language Association (MLA), an organization dedicated to the study and teaching of language and literature. The electronic version of the Bibliography dates back to 1925 and contains over 2 million citations from more than 4,400 periodicals (including peer-reviewed e-journals) and 1,000 book publishers

    Full-text articles from over 1,300 journals in Language and Literature, African American Studies, Film Studies, British Studies, and Folklore and many other areas. Titles include Contemporary Literature, Early American Literature, The Journal of American Folklore, Journal of Modern Literature, NOVEL: A Forum on Fiction, and Twentieth Century Literature.

    Project Muse
    Full-text online access to all journals published by the Johns Hopkins University Press, with many, many Literature titles.

    Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature: ABELL (some full text)
    Bibliographic records for books, journal articles, critical editions of literary works, book reviews, collections of essays and doctoral dissertations published anywhere in the world from 1920 onwards. ABELL now includes links to the full text of 71 journals.

    Contemporary Literary Criticism
    Critical and biographical essays on authors currently living or who died after 1959. Initial release features 50 authors derived from CLC print volumes 95-99 and 50 retrospective entries. Updates of 10-12 new authors will be added about 6 times a year as print volumes are published and 10-20 retrospective entries will be added each time. CLC Select may be searched separately or simultaneously with Contemporary Authors and the Dictionary of Literary Biography.

    Essay and General Literature Index
    Contains 65,000 from over 5,300 anthologies and collections from 1985 to the present. Coverage spans the entire range of the humanities and social sciences; relevant topics include literary criticism and history.

    Humanities Full Text
    Full-text access to articles in journals covering Communications, Folklore, Gender Studies, Journalism, Literary & Social Criticism, and Literature. Titles include American Literary Realism, Folklore Forum, Frontiers: A Journal of Women's Studies, Narrative, Public Culture, StoryQuarterly, and Transition: An International Review.
  • Gale Literary Databases
    Combined search of Contemporary Authors, Contemporary Literary Criticism Select and Dictionary of Literary Biography. These databases contain in-depth information on the lives and writings of nearly 100,000 authors along with critical reaction to their works. Includes integrated indexes to both the DLB and CLC print series.
  • Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism
    Presents a comprehensive historical survey of the most important figures, schools, and movements in English-language literature and criticism with entries on critics and theorists, critical schools and movements, and the critical and theoretical innovations of specific countries and historical periods.
  • Literature Online (LION)
    Full-text of more than 350,000 works of creative writing, literary nonfiction, and literary criticism. Searchable by author, title, genre, movement, school, and period.  Includes original texts, criticism, and multimedia content.


Citation Indexes and Bibliographies

The resources in this list provide detailed citations of articles in journals, magazines, newspapers, books, and other reference works. To gain access to these materials, check to see if SU holds a copy electronically or in print.

  • MLA Bibliography
    Over one million citations for items from journals, books, essay collections, working papers, proceedings, dissertations, bibliographies, and websites from over 4,000 sources.Covers literature, film, linguistics, and folklore.

  • 19th Century Masterfile
    An "Index of Indexes", 19th Century Masterfile offers citations to materials in literature and history written prior to 1925. Comprised of 60 subject indexes, the database provides references for documents including periodicals, newspapers, books, the US Congressional Record, many US and UK Government Documents, and US Patents. Index titles include Poole's Index to Periodical Literature, 1802-1907, the Index to Legal Periodical Literature, 1786-1922, indices to the New York Daily Tribune (1875-1906), the New York Times (1863-1906), and Palmer's Index to the Times (London) 1880-1890. In addition, there are in indices with full text links to Harper's Magazine Index (1850-1892), Atlantic Monthly Index (1857-1901), and the North American Review Index (1815-1877).

    Bibliography of American literature
    The Bibliography of American Literature (9 vols, Yale University Press, 1955-1991) provides nearly 40,000 records of literary works of approximately 300 American writers from the period of the Revolution to 1930."

  • British Humanities Index
    References for articles in over 370 journals and newspapers from the UK and other English-speaking countries. Topics covered include Current Events, Cinema, Literature, Poetry, and Gender Studies. Titles include Atlantic Studies: Literary, Cultural and Historical Perspectives, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Literature and Theology, Literature Compass, Theatre Notebook, and Year's Work in English Studies.

  • Offers peer-reviewed annotated bibliographies on specific topics in a range of subject areas. Bibliographies are browseable by subject area and keyword searchable. Contains a "My OBO" function that allows users to create personalized bibliographies of individual citations from different bibliographies.

    The Bibliography of English Women Writers 1500-1640
    A still-growing list of scholarship about 738 recovered writers and located texts, canonical and non-canonical. It identifies many hitherto unknown writers, including among them not only already familiar figures, but also women refugees such as the recusants, women in the colonies, Marrano women (Anusot), women translators, and English women writers in French, Greek, Latin, Spanish, Irish Gaelic, Scottish Gaelic and Welsh.

    Annotated entries for all important books, articles, book reviews, dissertations, theatrical productions, reviews of productions, audiovisual materials, electronic media, and other scholarly and popular materials related to Shakespeare and published or produced between 1965 and early 2004.
  • International Medieval Bibliography
    References for 300,000 articles in  journals and collections.  Updated quarterly the IMB-Online covers publications from 1967-present and provides support for searching based on many different characteristics.

    Contains electronic resources for researchers in the study and teaching of the Middle Ages and Renaissance (400-1700). Enables users to access citations in journal, book, and reviews databases; provides online access to Paul Oskar Kristeller's Iter Italicum (a finding list of Renaissance humanistic manuscripts); provides access to the International directory of scholars (a comprehensive directory of contact information, and information on the research and teaching careers of scholars around the world).