- The MLA International Bibliography - use this database for every project: it's a subject-specific index to worldwide scholarship on literature and media studies back to 1926. Also includes linguistics and folklore. Strongest for Europe, the Americas, and Anglophone scholarship.
- Literature Online - use this database when you need background (reference) information, searchable literary works, or scholarship on British literature.
- The Johns Hopkins Guide to Theory and Criticism - use this encyclopedia when you need to understand literary theories and schools of criticism.
- Literature, “criticism and interpretation,” rhetoric
- genre terms (novel, fiction, poetry, drama)
- geographic terms (United States, American)
- time period terms (19th, "to 1500")
- Terms for region or language (Italian, Asian)
See Search Vocabulary for more details
HOW TO USE THIS GUIDE
Each page of this guide recommends my favorite tools and strategies:
- Get Organized - access, organize, and cite
- Find Background - from simple encyclopedia entries to detailed guides and histories
- Find Scholarship and Criticism - top sources and search strategies
- Find Primary or Archival Material - when you need newspaper articles, first editions, manuscripts...
- Literary Theory - deceptively tricky to search for!
- Foreign Language Literatures - if you're working with languages other than English
- Distant Reading, Close Reading - computational tools (e.g. chart word usage over time), the OED, rhetorical figures
Literature: A Guide for Graduate Students supplements this guide with:
- Get Started - a to-do list for new graduate students
- Find a Database - how to locate the best search engines for your field or project
- Research Dos & Don'ts - tips to help you be productive and efficient
Literary Research in Harvard Libraries was originally written by Sue Gilroy and Laura Farwell Blake, and remains deeply indebted to their work.