- The MLA International Bibliography tracks scholarship on literature, language, linguistics, and folklore back to 1926. It is both international and multilingual, making it a great general tool for preliminary searching. (As the index is produced in the U.S., there is a natural bias toward anglophone literature and toward works by American scholars.)
- Literature Online (for Anglophone literature) includes a large corpus of literary texts, author biographies, an excellent selection of specialized encyclopedias, and an index to scholarship.
- The Johns Hopkins Guide to Theory and Criticism offers in-depth encyclopedia entries on literary theorists and critical movements.
- 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)
- Odile Harter, the library liaison to English and Comparative Literature, is available to support researchers via email or in-person consultation.
- The remaining pages of Literary Research in Harvard Libraries recommend 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
- Literary Theory - deceptively tricky to search for!
- Foreign Language Literatures - if you're working with languages other than English
- Use the graduate supplement to this page, Literature: A Guide for Graduate Students, for additional search tips, and tool & database recommendations.
Literary Research in Harvard Libraries was originally written by Sue Gilroy and Laura Farwell Blake, and remains deeply indebted to their work.