David & Lorraine Cheng Library

William Paterson University of New Jersey

English & Literature Resources

Authors: About Their Lives and Their Work

A Celebration of Women Writers
This site is designed to recognize the contributions of women writers throughout history. Women have written almost every imaginable type of work: novels, poems, letters, biographies, travel books, religious commentaries, histories, economic and scientific works. A goal of the site is to promote awareness of the breadth and variety of women's writing.
Center for Faulkner Studies
The Center for Faulkner Studies, based at Southeast Missouri State University, sponsors and supports educational, scholarly and public service projects related to William Faulkner, the South and American and world literatures. Its web site includes information about the Center, an online inventory of Faulkner manuscripts, a full-text archive of articles from the Center's Teaching Faulkner Newsletter, and a collection of links to other online Faulkner materials.
The Dickens Project
Portal to scholarly resources on Dickens features links to news, conferences, teaching aids, organizations, bibliographies, a searchable edition of Bleak House, and other information.
Dickinson Electronic Archives
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. Access to some portions of the site require a password (available on request from the editors).
Edgar Allan Poe: A Commemoration of the Sesquicentennial of His Death
This site, launched in 1999, includes resources about Poe's life and work, and an electronic archive of his letters and fiction. Poetry, however, is not included.
The Edgar Allen Poe Digital Collection
Faulkner Consolidated Search
Part of the William Faulkner on the Web, this search feature locates articles on a number of Faulkner-related websites, including: The search box appears on the first page, at http://www.mcsr.olemiss.edu/~egjbp/faulkner/faulkner.html, and on the individual novel commentary pages. I will likely be adding the search box to other pages as I find the time.
Geoffrey Chaucer Website Homepage
Created for Harvard University's Chaucer classes, this site "provides a wide range of glossed Middle English texts and translations of analogues relevant to Chaucer's works, as well as selections from relevant works by earlier and later writers, critical articles from a variety of perspectives, graphics, and general information on life in the Middle Ages. At the moment the site concentrates on the Canterbury Tales, but the longer-term goal is to create a more general Chaucer page."
Mark Twain in His Times
Interpretive archive, drawn largely from the resources of the Barrett Collection, focuses on how "Mark Twain" and his works were created and defined, marketed and performed, reviewed and appreciated. The goal is to allow readers, scholars, students and teachers to see what Mark Twain and His Times said about each other, in a way that can speak to us today. The site features dozens of texts and manuscripts, including six full-length novels; scores of contemporary reviews and articles; hundreds of images; and many different kinds of interactive exhibits.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge Archive
Wonderful online resource created by Marjorie A. Tiefert contains a generous selection of Coleridge's work, including poetry, literary criticism, political commentary and journalism, and letters. Other resources include a timeline for Coleridge's era and a useful glossary.
The Walt Whitman Hypertext Archive
This major work-in-progress offers information on Whitman's life, works, and critical reception. The site intends to offer a complete online collection of all eight editions of Leaves of Grass and of Whitman's prose works, and some of this material is already available for use. Well-organized, with helpful supporting materials to enhance study of the texts.
World Shakespeare Bibliography
This bibliographic database provides annotated entries for all important books, articles, book reviews, dissertations, theatrical productions, reviews of productions, audiovisual materials, electronic media, and other scholarly and popular materials related to Shakespeare and published or produced between 1964 and the present. The scope is international, with coverage extending to more than 118 languages and representing every country in North America, South America, and Europe, and nearly every country in Asia, Africa, and Australasia. The more than 103,000 records cite several hundred thousand additional reviews of books, productions, films, and audio recordings. Please note that access to this database is restricted to currently enrolled students, faculty and staff.

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English Language, Grammar and Composition

Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr.
Classic text on language and writing (First edition, 1918). Searchable index and clear examples of grammar, punctuation, usage, style, etc. A book that every writer (and college student) should read and own.
Guide to Grammar and Writing
Guide to Writing a Basic Essay
The Nuts and Bolts of College Writing
Excellent primer to writing across the curriculum. Covers all aspects of college essay writing, including the structure of essays, the mechanics of writing, recommendations for developing a strong writing style, the use and presentation of evidence, common style formats for documentation, and more. Created and maintained by Professor Michael Harvey, Washington College, Maryland.
World Wide Words
This site focuses on the history of the English language and the development of new words, offering definitions and histories of words and phrases, as well as numerous short articles on various aspects of the language, book reviews, usage notes, and a phonetic key.

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Literary Criticism Resources: Finding Literary Criticism

The web is a great place to find information about authors, full-text literary works, bibliographies, and background material on literature. For the most part, however, literary criticism is difficult to find on the web. Scholars who write literary criticism tend to publish their work in books and book chapters, in scholarly journals, in professional conference proceedings, and as book reviews in magazines. To locate these materials, the best place to start looking is in online catalogs and databases:


Use the Cheng Library Catalog, the JerseyCat union catalog of New Jersey libraries, and the WorldCat union catalog to locate criticism published in books and book chapters.

One of the easiest ways to locate literary criticism in a library catalog is to search for the author as a subject and use the terms "criticism" and "interpretation" in your search. A Subject search for a literary author will usually bring up a category of items representing criticism, e.g., Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616 Criticism and interpretation


For journal articles and other criticism not published in books, use the Literature Resource Center or the MLA International Bibliography. Both of these databases focus on literature and are the best first places to search. You can supplement searches in these databases with searches in Academic Search Premier and Proquest Complete, which include articles from literary journals.

The Library also provides browsable and searchable lists of journals in language and literature in its Journals and Periodicals Directory. The Directory is most useful for checking the availability of a specific journal when you have a citation. The following links will take you to the directory's lists of journals in subject areas relevant to English language and literary studies:

Web Sites

Heath Anthology of American Literature
From Houghton Mifflin, this annotated list of sites on American literature and culture is organized according to the Heath Anthology's Table of Contents.
The Most Frequently Banned Books of the 1990s
This list is taken from the table of contents of Banned in the U.S.A.: A Reference Guide to Book Censorship in Schools and Public Libraries by Herbert N. Foerstel (Call Number Z658.U5F64). It shows the fifty books that were most frequently challenged in schools and public libraries in the United States between 1990 and 1992.
Norton Anthology of American Literature and Norton Anthology of English Literature
Quick reference timelines with historical-literary outlines. Hundreds of annotated web links of quality, author resource pages and period topics providing generative questions and projects that help students to draw connections, close-read texts, and link texts to contexts.
Online Literary Criticism Collection (Internet Public Library)
This site contains links to almost 4,000 critical and biographical web sites about authors and their works that can be browsed by author, by title, or by nationality and literary period. Also see the related Online Literary Criticism Guide and Literary Criticism Pathfinder for additional resources and help.
Unrestricted Online Literary Criticism and Language Journals (New York Public Library)
Maintained by the New York Public Library, this is a highly selective directory of "portions of the increasing body of unrestricted electronic language and literary criticism journals. We aim to choose only the most reliable journals, i.e., associated with a university or college and which are peer-reviewed. They must also be maintained regularly and show some signs of being around for a while longer. We have avoided personal pages and commercial sites, and have not listed any of the numerous periodicals that publish works of the imagination."

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Literary Works Online: Electronic Text Archives

American Verse Project (University of Michigan Humanities Text Initiative)
This ongoing project to build an electronic archive of American poetry originally published prior to 1920 has already made over 160 volumes available for full-text seraching and browsing. The site also includes a useful bibliographic guide to both print and online editions of American poets who began publishing before 1921.
London-based text archive contains hundreds of searchable full-text works of classic fiction, popular fiction, short stories, drama, poetry, dictionaries, research and religious texts. Over 120 novels, over 700 short stories from 170 authors, and more.
British Poetry 1780-1910: A Hypertext Archive of Scholarly Editions
Includes works by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lewis Carroll, Ann Batten Cristall, Alfred Edward Housman, Richard Polwhele, Mary Robinson, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and Alfred, Lord Tennyson, among others. From the University of Virginia's Electronic Text Center: English Language Resources.
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare
Full-text index to Shakespeare's works based at MIT. Rated 4-Stars by Magellan.
Early American Fiction
A publicly-available collection of 70 works by 16 authors. Includes works by Lydia Maria Child, James Fenimore Cooper, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Washington Irving, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Edgar Allan Poe, William Gilmore Simms, and others. Sponsored by the University of Virginia Library with the support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation..
The EServer (formerly The English Server)
Based at the University of Washington, the EServer is a progressive student-run cooperative which has been publishing humanities texts to millions of readers online since 1990. The site attempts to provide an alternative niche for quality work. It currently offers 42 collections on such diverse topics as contemporary art, race, 18th century literary criticism, internet studies, sexuality, drama, design, gender studies and current political and social issues. Over 30,000 title now available.
Modern English Collection (1500-Present)
This collection, provided through the University of Virginia's Electronic Text Center, contains fiction, non-fiction, poetry, drama, letters, newspapers, manuscripts and illustrations from 1500 to the present, arranged for browsing by author's last name or by category of interest. Each text is encoded in SGML and includes a bibliographic header with details about the creation of the electronic text and its print source. Some of the material is not publicly accessible, but most of it is.
The On-Line Books Page
The On-Line Books Page is a directory of books that can be freely read right on the Internet. It includes: an index of thousands of on-line books on the Internet, pointers to significant directories and archives of on-line texts, special exhibits ...and more.
Project Gutenberg
The oldest and (perhaps) largest free electronic text archive, Project Gutenberg provides all of its documents in "Plain Vanilla ASCII" to maximize ease of access and use. As of August 2000, almost 3,000 titles were available, including hundreds of classic works of literature.
Renascence Editions: An Online Repository of Works Printed in English Between the Years 1477 and 1799
The dual mission of the Renascence Editions is to provide readable Web editions of early modern English works and translations to the general public and to provide a site for publication of such works. Here you can find works by Francis Bacon, Daniel Defoe, Henry Fielding, John Milton, William Shakespeare, Edmund Spenser, Jonathan Swift, and many others. The publisher and general editor is Richard Bear at the University of Oregon.
Wright American Fiction, 1851-1875
Full-text digital archive based on Lyle H. Wright's American Fiction, 1851-1875: A Contribution Toward a Bibliography (Call Number: REF Z1231.F4W92). Wright's volume contains entries for over 2,900 titles and almost all of them are now available in this database for searching and browsing. The collection is a comprehensive storehouse of American adult fiction, including "novels, novelettes, romances, short stories, tall tales, tract-like tales, allegories, and fictitious biographies and travels, in prose." As the site's editors note, "most of the authors contained in the bibliography are little known. This period, a momentous one in American history, provides the foundation of later American literature, and a searchable electronic collection will allow insight into American literature, culture, and history otherwise unattainable."

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Reference Materials for Literary Study

Bibliographies & Guides

African-American Literature: An Overview and Bibliography
Paul Q. Tilden
Call Number: REF PS153.N5T55
Includes bibliographical references and index.
American Women Writers, 1900-1945: A Bio-Bibliographical Critical Sourcebook
Laurie Champion and Emmanuel S. Nelson
Call Number: REF PS151.A45
Includes bibliographical references (p. [389]-393) and index.
American Women Writers: A Critical Reference Guide: From Colonial Times to the Present
Taryn Benbow-Pfalzgraf
Call Number: REF PS147.A42
Includes bibliographical references and index.
The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism
Michael Groden, Martin Kreiswirth, and Imre Szeman
Call Number: REF PN81.J554
Includes bibliographical references and indexes.
Multicultural Writers since 1945: An A-to-Z Guide
Alba della Fazia Amoia, and Bettina Liebowitz Knapp
Call Number: REF PN452.M88
Includes bibliographical references (p. [549]-561) and index.
Reference Works in British and American Literature
James K. Bracken
[electronic resource] / Includes bibliographical references and indexes. Available via World Wide Web. Access is limited to NetLibrary affiliated libraries.
A Research Guide for Undergraduate Students: English and American Literature
Nancy L. Baker, and Nancy Huling
Call Number: PR56.B34
Includes bibliographical references (p. 85-99) and index.
World Writers in English
Jay Parini
Call Number: REF PR9080.5.W67
Includes bibliographical references and index.; v. 1. Chinua Achebe to V.S. Naipaul -- v. 2. R.K. Narayan to Patrick White.
Writers of the American Renaissance: An A-to-Z Guide
Denise D. Knight
Call Number: REF PS201.W75
Includes bibliographical references (p. [433]-436) and index.

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Dictionaries of Literary Terms

A Dictionary of Literary and Thematic Terms
Edward Quinn
Call Number: REF PN44.5.Q56
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Glossary of Contemporary Literary Theory
Jeremy Hawthorn
Call Number: REF PN44.5.H37
Includes bibliographical references (p. 375-400).
The Longman Dictionary of Literary Terms: Vocabulary for the Informed Reader
X. J. Kennedy, Dana Gioia, and Mark Bauerlein
Call Number: REF PN44.5.K46
A Multicultural Dictionary of Literary Terms
Gary Carey, and Mary Ellen Snodgrass
Call Number: REF PN41.C28
Includes bibliographical references (p. 177-178) and index.

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Compiled by Bill Duffy
Library Liaison to the English Department
Last Updated: