Research Guide to American Literature
Starting Research in American Literature
The following is a selected list of resources for starting research in American literature. For further assistance, contact Elizabeth Peterson, Librarian for Literature and Cinema Studies, at email@example.com.
Background, Overviews, and Terms
- Oxford Reference Premium - Select -- > Literature Many of the best reference tools for literature all together and searchable at once, including The Oxford Companion to American Literature, The Oxford to African American Literature, The Oxford Companion to Women's Writing in the United States, and many more. Use this to find information about authors, movements, periods, genres, theories, terms, historical context, and plot summaries.
- Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory & Criticism Provides encyclopedia-like entries of critical trends and theories. Also includes overviews of particular critics' publications and influence. Also available in print: KNIGHT REFERENCE PN81 .J554 2005.
- Literary Research Guide: An Annotated Listing of Reference Sources in English Literary Studies KNIGHT REFERENCE PR83 .H37. James Harner's excellent guide lists and evaluates important reference materials in English studies. Annotations describe the type of work, its scope, its major limitations, and its organization, and explain the work's uses in research.
- Oxford English Dictionary Use this for comprehensive histories and definitions of words in the English language.
- A Research Guide for Undergraduate Students : English and American Literature | PR56 .B34 2000
- Research Methods for English Studies | PR56 .R43 2005
- Literary Research and the Era of American Nationalism and Romanticism : Strategies and Sources | PS217.R6 C68 2008
- Literary Research and the American Modernist Era : Strategies and Sources | PS228.M63 M38 2008
- Literary Research and the American Realism and Naturalism Period : Strategies and Sources | PS217.R4 S74 2009
- Library Catalog
- Search for the author as a subject (e.g., shakespeare, william). Works by and about the author will be shelved together.
- Literature Resource Center
Provides easy access to scholarly research on authors and literary works. Includes criticism, biographies, bibliographies, work overviews and explications, and journal articles.
- The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Latino Literature | KNIGHT REFERENCE PS153.H56 G74 2008
- Asian American Writers | KNIGHT REFERENCE PS153.A84 A845 2005
- Encyclopedia of American Indian Literature | KNIGHT REFERENCE PS153.I52 E53 2007
- UO Local Catalog | Search just the UO Libraries' holdings.
- Browse the shelves in Knight Library
The American literature section is arranged chronologically and thematically on the 4th floor of Knight Library. Books about authors are shelved with their works.
- 17th-18th century - PS 185 through PS 195
- 19th century - PS 201 through PS 217
- 20th century - PS 221 through PS 228
- 21st century - PS 229 through PS 231
- Authors writing 17th and 18th century - PS 700 through PS 893
- Authors writing 19th century - PS 991 through PS 3390
- Authors writing 1900-1960 - PS 3500 through PS 3549
- Authors writing 1961-2000 - PS 3550 through PS 3576
- Authors writing 2001--> - PS 3600 through PS 3626
- Browse the shelves in Knight Library
- UO WorldCat | Search the UO Libraries, the Summit system (Northwest libraries), and libraries worldwide. Use this system to request items not owned by UO Libraries.
- Early English Books Online (EEBO) Contains digitized facsimiles of all printed materials published in Great Britain between 1473 and 1700, and materials published elsewhere in the world in English during the same period. Materials include books, tracts, pamphlets, advertisements, ballads, rhymes, and other ephemera.
- Eighteenth-Century Collections Online (ECCO) Claims to include every significant English-language and foreign-language title printed in Great Britain during the eighteenth century (1701-1800), along with thousands of important works from the Americas. Includes a variety of materials from books and directories, Bibles, sheet music and sermons to advertisements and works by many well-known and lesser-known authors.
- Online Books Over one million online books provided by the University of Pennsylvania.
Literary Criticism & Articles
- Academic Search Premier Indexes more than 8,000 publications, with full text for approximately 4,600. ASP focuses on academic, social sciences, humanities, general science, education and multi-cultural journals, with over 3,500 peer-reviewed titles. Full text coverage goes as far back as 1965.
- American Periodical Series Consists of digitized reproductions of more than 1,100 18th- and 19th-century newspapers and periodicals.
- JSTOR A full-text database that contains the scanned images of hundreds of major research journals in a variety of academic disciplines, some of which began publication as early as the 1870s.
- MLA International Bibliography The essential index for critical materials about all literatures (except classical Greek and Roman), languages, folklore and film. The database provides access to over 1.3 million entries gleaned from essay collections, dissertations, monographs and over 6,000 journals. Covers 1926-present.
- 19th-Century Masterfile An online index to articles and stories published in magazines from 1786-1922.
- Project Muse Searches the full text in over 300 academic journals in the arts, humanities, and social sciences, journals.
This database aids in locating manuscript collections, personal papers, and historical documents held in archives and archival collections.
- Northwest Digital Archives
Online finding aids for manuscript collections held by libraries and historical societies in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska.
- UO Libraries Manuscript Collections
Manuscripts and personal papers held by UO Libraries.
- UO WorldCat
Search for archival materials in libraries worldwide. In advanced search, select "archival material" as the format you want to search.
Surveys of Research
What are the current trends in English Studies? What are the gaps in the research? Use these guides to stay abreast of your discipline. Current copies are located in the Reference Collection.
- American Literary Scholarship | also in print PS3 .A47
- Annual Bibliography of English Language & Literature | PE1 .A56
- Year's Work in English Studies | PE58 .E6
- Yearbook of Research in English and American Literature | PR13 .Y42
- Yearbook of English Studies | PR3 .Y4
Free Digital Collections
- American Memory Project Primary sources from the vast collections at the Library Congress.
- Emily Dickinson Electronic Archive A scholarly website devoted to the study of Emily Dickinson, her writing practices, writings directly influencing her work, and critical and creative writings generated by her work.
- NINES Provides peer-reviewed digitized materials from the 19th century.
- Walt Whitman Archive An online collection of Whitman's poetry as well as his many notebooks, manuscript fragments, prose essays, letters, and voluminous journalistic articles. The Archive sets out to incorporate as much of this material as possible, drawing on the resources of libraries and collections from around the United States and around the world.