Literature Online


Key Facts
Format: Indexing, SGML text, Links
Media: Electronic/Online
Coverage: 600-present
Total Sources Covered: 357,250+ works of poetry, prose, drama; over 320 journals; 8 complete reference books; 899 poetry video clips; 38 Shakespeare audio plays; 230 KnowledgeNotes student guides; 5,250 selected web sites
MARC Records: YES |

Literature Online is the leading online resource for the study and teaching of literature in English. It is a fully integrated service that combines the texts of over 357,250 works of literature with huge resources of criticism and reference.

Literature Online contains a full library of up-to-date, fully searchable criticism and reference resources in addition to the full text of poetry, drama, and prose fiction from the seventh century to the present day. It not only provides the materials for the historical study of almost every period and genre of literature in English but also features increasing numbers of works by the major authors of the twentieth century. Contemporary criticism is available through the full text of over 320 current literature journals that can be accessed through the renowned literary index, Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature (ABELL), which contains over 950,000 records of literary criticism from 1920 to current.

Undergraduates can also find explanations, definitions, and contextual material by cross-searching the extensive reference resources including key academic textbooks such as The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms and The New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics. Further bibliographic, biographical, and secondary information sources provide lists of works, author information, and narrative biographies. Literature Online makes rare and inaccessible works available alongside the established corpus, assists in undergraduate study and the design of courses, answers questions from the elementary to the sophisticated, and creates opportunities for new forms of study, analysis, and teaching.

Every work in Literature Online is provided in fully searchable SGML format, and can be searched in its own right or in combination with hundreds of other works from the same or from different genres. You can refine searches by adding elements from a range of criteria, including author's name, nationality, keyword, publication date, literary movement, literary period, and gender. You can also search the author information to find answers to questions such as: Who wrote The Lord of the Rings? Which authors were in Virginia Woolf's literary circle, The Bloomsbury Group? What African writers were influential in the 20th century? Which women authors were part of the Harlem Renaissance? What is the latest literary criticism on Hispanic American writers?
Literature Online expands coverage by offering over 5,250 hyperlinks to other sites on the Web that are relevant to the study of literature. These sites contain a broad range of useful materials--from further texts of literary works, to information on individual authors, to scholarly discussion groups devoted to literary topics.

Literature Online is dynamic, growing regularly as new texts are converted to electronic form, as new reference resources are added, and as further websites are identified and integrated within the service. The content of the service is developed with the advice of internationally known scholars, making Literature Online a complete environment for research, teaching, and undergraduate study.
Literature Online now includes multimedia to support poetry study. Poets On Screen offers a growing collection of video clips which currently includes 899 filmed poetry readings of contemporary poets reading their poems and classic poems. Additionally, the complete plays of Shakespeare are available in full, unabridged dramatic audio recordings performed by many noted RSC actors.
Literature Online brings together the contents of the following individual databases:
Poetry Collections:

Prose Collections:

Drama Collections:

  • American Drama, 1714-1915 – Over 1,500 plays from the beginning of American theater to the early twentieth century
  • English Drama, 1280-1915 – Combination of English Prose Drama and English Verse Drama, which offers 4,000 plays by 1,200 authors from the late 13th century to the early 20th century

Premium Collections:

  • MLA International Bibliography
  • Twentieth- Century Drama – A substantial collection of plays written in English from the most significant dramatists of the 20th century. Fully inclusive, it offers a comprehensive collection of women and men writers, all ethnicities and many nationalities
  • Twentieth-Century American Poetry, Second Edition – Combining two existing Chadwyck-Healey Literature Collections with over 500 volumes of newly licensed material, this essential collection brings together the most important and influential poems representing the full range of movements and traditions in American poetry from 1900 to the present day

Other Collections:

  • Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature (ABELL) – Includes over 950,000 bibliographic records from 1920 to current
  • King James Bible – This version of the Bible was the standard edition of the Bible for nearly three centuries and offers a Bible for reference
  • Bible In English – 20 different versions of the English Bible from the 10th to the 20th centuries
  • Editions and Adaptations of Shakespeare – The complete text of 11 major editions, 24 separate contemporary printings of individual plays, more than 100 adaptations from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries
  • W.B. Yeats Collection – Yeats's complete works in electronic form
  • Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged – This 1993 edition offers 450,000 vocabulary entries
  • Bibliography of American Literature (BAL) – Bibliographic information on almost 40,000 American literary works by 300 American writers from the period of the Revolution to 1930, recorded in the BAL's nine volumes

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