Worcester State University
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Databases in Literature


  • M L A International Bibliography.  A citation subject index for books and articles published on modern languages, literatures, folklore, and linguistics. The electronic version of the Bibliography dates back to 1925 and contains over 1.7 million citations from more than 4,400 periodicals. While the majority of records are from English-language publications, at least sixty other languages are represented including French, Spanish, German, Russian, etc. 
  • Literature Resource Center Biographies, bibliographies and critical analyses of authors from every age and literary discipline in a single, searchable database. Full text from Contemporary Authors, Dictionary of Literary Biography, and Contemporary Literary Criticism Select. Also has 258 full text journals.
  • Essay and General Literature Index - This unique reference offers precise access to nearly essays contained in books rather than journal articles. Spanning  1985 to present, coverage is across the entire range of the humanities and social sciences, but particularly useful for criticism of literary works, drama, and film
  • [ProQuest] Research Library: Literature and Language  Covers English, American literature, world literatures and linguistics. Designed for researchers at all levels.
  • Gale Virtual Reference Library. Available through InfoTrac Web (Gale Group). Contains full text of standard reference works previously only found in print on library shelves: Funded by the Massachusetts Regional Library System. 
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    Contemporary Novelists - 7th ed. (2001) Contains biographical/critical essays on the most important living novelists writing in English worldwide.   
  • Contemporary Authors.
    Profiles of contemporary writers worldwide; search is through the Biography in Context resource which also combines over 432,000 biographies from over 980 volumes of 135 respected Gale sources such as Encyclopedia of World Biography (26 vols.), Newsmakers, Dictionary of American Biography (20 vols.) and the Writers Directory. Vols. 1-249. (Gale, 1962-2007).Updated profiles on prominent contemporary writers Vols. 1-155. (Gale, 1980-2007) through the new revision Series. Funded by the Massachusetts Regional Library System 
  • Contemporary Literary Criticism Select. an extensive full text collection of more than 11,000 critical essays on contemporary authors. Each entry contains a biographical/critical introduction, a list of principal works, critical essays, and sources for further study. Updated monthly;  users can search by author name, title of work, nationality, subject/genre, ethnicity, critic name, and more. Funded by the Massachusetts Regional Library System. 
  • Oxford English Dictionary (OED) - updated quarterly with new words. Contains over half a million entries with multiple corollary word forms, extensive etymology, date of first recorded use of a word, usage and status of a word. The OED is the accepted authority of international English.
  • Oxford Reference Online.  From one of the world's most respected reference publishers, the Premium  collection brings together 170 well-known and trusted sources such as the complete Dictionaries series, Oxford Companion (to American Literature and English Literature) plus the complete Oxford Dictionary of Quotations. Specialized subject sources in foreign languages, mythology, bilingual dictionaries, and more.

Also Useful: 

  • Academic One File has good general coverage of popular topics and many full text articles for literary criticism. Indexes peer-reviewed, full text articles available in HTML or PDF formats from the world's leading journals and reference sources. Funded by the Massachusetts Regional Library System. 
  • Academic Search Complete Good general coverage of popular topics and many full text articles for literary criticism. Indexes peer-reviewed, full text articles available in HTML or PDF formats from the world's leading journals and reference sources  
  • Twaynes Authors Online  Covers authors, their works and literary movements from all time periods, but mainly from 17th - 20th century. Nearly 900 books full text containing 175-200 pages each. Excellent starting point for an author, or multidisciplinary study through literature such as history, society, and culture.
  • Oxford English Dictionary (OED) - updated quarterly with new words. Contains over half a million entries with multiple corollary word forms, extensive etymology, date of first recorded use of a word, usage and status of a word. The OED is the accepted authority of international English.
  • Oxford Reference Online. From one of the world's most respected reference publishers, the Premium collection brings together 170 well-known and trusted sources such as the complete Dictionaries series, Oxford Companion (to American Literature and English Literature) plus the complete Oxford Dictionary of Quotations. Specialized subject sources in foreign languages, mythology, bilingual dictionaries, and more.
  • Book Index with Reviews - Information on 5 million book titles, plus 800,000 full-text searchable book reviews from sources you trust. Easy to use; generally short reviews.

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