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English Literature Resources: E-Reference

Use this guide to find critical resources on the literature of Great Britain, North America, and the English-Speaking World

Literary Reference Works - Electronic

Literary Reference Collections

The following are not single electronic reference works, but collections of literary reference works presented online. Instead of needing to know the name of a particular reference work, these products permit researchers to search across multiple works at one time. These are good for literary biography and literary criticism. Also included are the full text of many literary journal articles.

All of these resources can be accessed from off-campus, but you will need to enter your Multipass username and password in order to use them.

Gale Literature Resource Center

This database provides information on thousands of authors and literary works. It includes biographies, reviews and news, literary criticism, and topic and work overviews.

LION (Literature Online)

Along with the full text of of 350,000 English and American works of literature, this database provides articles from 200 full-text literary journals and other key critical and reference resources.

ProQuest One Literature

An updated and enhanced version of LION. For literature scholars who need an exhaustive set of scholarly resources around a literary topic for research and course planning. 500,000 primary works and millions of records from journals, monographs, and dissertations.


General Electronic Reference Collections

Gumberg Library subscribes to a number of collections of electronic reference works. These cover all subject areas, and in most cases, you are able to search all the titles in a collection at once. This means you do not have to have in mind a particular book to search.


Man Reading. Public Domain. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Dictionary of Literary Biography

The Dictionary of Literary Biography (DLB) is the standard resource for very detailed biographical articles on writers of all types, in many genres. Each volume is devoted to authors from a particular time, country, or genre. There are well over 200 volumes to the set. The Gumberg Library no longer owns the print version of this valuable reference work, but we can access its contents online through the Literature Resource Center.

Do a search for an author's name in the Literature Resource Center, then go to the "Content Types" menu on the upper right of the screen. Click on "Biographies." DLB content will be found in the resulting list.

Literature Resource Center