English 2100 Writing About Literature: “Reading True/False”

Instructor: Emily Friedman

Librarian: Anne Barker

Background Resources

  • LION Reference includes a selection of literary reference works, including author biographies and works such as the Encyclopedia of the Novel and the Columbia Dictionary of Modern Literary and Cultural Criticism.
  • The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory & Criticism.
  • The Routledge Encyclopedia of Narrative Theory (Ref. PN212 .R68 2005)
  • The Literary Index will refer you to volumes in several reference series, such as:
    • Literature and Its Times (Ref. PN50 .L574 1997)
    • Contemporary Authors (Ref.Z1224 .C62)
    • The Dictionary of Literary Biography (Ref. PN451 .D43)
  • The Gale Virtual Reference Library provides specialized online encyclopedias for background information.
  • Dictionary of Real People and Places in Fiction (Ref. PN56.4 .R56 1993)
  • The Originals: Who’s Really Who in Fiction (Ref. PN56.4 .A6 1985)

Finding Books

  • The MERLIN catalog shows materials in the MU Libraries.
  • The MOBIUS catalog shows materials from Missouri academic libraries.
  • WorldCat shows materials from many libraries worldwide.
  • Keyword searches can be very specific, but a subject search is sometimes more organized:
    • Try a keyword search on Defoe* and Moll Flanders
    • Now try a subject search on Defoe, Daniel and scroll down to the section on Moll Flanders
  • Some subject headings to try:
    • Literary forgeries and mystifications
    • Truthfulness and falsehood in literature
    • Deception in literature
    • Narration (Rhetoric)
    • Fiction–History and criticism
    • Literature and Society
  • NOTE: Library catalogs search only the briefest descriptions of books, not their full text. Try the following resources to search in the text of books. You may not be able to see the entire text online, but you can identify books to then locate in a library. This is especially helpful for things about recent authors.

Finding scholarly articles, news sources, and other current information.

Databases index sources in greater detail than library catalogs do. Each caters to a different audience and covers different information sources.

  • LION: Literature Online is the main index for literary scholarship
    • Choose Criticism & Reference from the sidebar.
    • Choose Criticism to search both the MLA International Bibliography and ABELL, the Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature.
    • Choose Reference to search a variety of literary encyclopedias and handbooks.
    • Choose Web Sites for a select collection of links.
  • Historical Abstracts covers historical research.
  • Academic Search Premier indexes the core journals in all fields and many popular and news sources.
  • GenderWatch provides access to materials all aspects of gender studies.
  • The Alternative Press Index indexes alternative, radical, and left periodicals, magazines, and newspapers.
  • Lexis Nexis Academic is a major source for the full text of newspapers, many magazines, television and radio transcripts, and a collection of blogs. To find book reviews in Lexis Nexis choose “News”, then under select sources choose “Book, movie, music, play, and video reviews”. Search for the author and title of the book being reviewed.
  • Google Blog Search searches the content of a wide range of blogs.

Click on finditatMU to locate a copy of the article online, in the library, or through ILL@MU. If this icon does not appear in the database go to Find a Specific Article or Journal on the libraries’ gateway page.

To locate older materials, use the following databases and reference tools.

  • Through MERLIN, using the advanced search option
    • limit by date
    • include in your search s: sources
    • include in your search s: sources and nth cent* e.g., s: sources and 16th cent* and marriage
    • include in your search s: early works and nth cent* e.g., s: early works and 16th cent* and marriage
    • include in your search s: personal narratives

      MERLIN lists not only printed books, but also links to electronic books, and many items contained in large microfilm collections. Microforms and the equipment needed to view, print, or scan the materials are found in Special Collections. See the guide to the Microform Collection for detailed information on the microfilm sets, including some that are not analyzed in the MERLIN Catalog.

  • The English Short Title Catalogue (ESTC) lists works of all sorts published prior to 1800 in English, many of which we have on microfilm. The MERLIN Catalog includes records for the titles held by MU (most titles through 1640) and we can borrow others through ILL@MU.
  • The Index to English Literary Periodicals indexes articles published in early English journals and magazines contained in the microfilm set English Literary Periodicals 1681-1914
    Note: This Index is a work in progress, so you may also want to use the guide Accessing English Literary Periodicals ( SPEC-R PN5124.P4 A25 1981). See also the Chronological Listing of Periodicals by Decade.
  • ECCO: Eighteenth Century Collections Online
  • The Google Books project indexes thousands of books and allows viewing of books that are in the public domain, including most books published prior to 1925.
  • Early American Imprints, Series I contains the full text of books published in America 1639-1800.
    Although this covers only American publications, these are often reprints of materials originally published in Britain.
  • The American Periodicals Series Online (1740-1900)
  • C19: The Nineteenth Century Index
  • 19th Century Masterfile (1802-1906)
  • The Reader’s Guide to Periodical Literature (1890-) (Ready Ref. AI3 .R48)
  • International Index to Periodicals (1907-1965) (Ref. AI3.R49)
  • The Literary Index indexes the many Gale literature criticism sets. These books excerpt literary criticism from all periods on individual authors.
    • Contemporary Literary Criticism (Ref. PN779.C6)
    • Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism (Ref. PN94.T88)
    • Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism (Ref. PN761.N5)
    • Literature Criticism, from 1400-1800 (Ref. PN80.L57)
    • Poetry Criticism (Ref. PN1010 .P499)
    • Short Story Criticism (Ref. PN3373 .S386 )
  • LION: Literature Online provides online texts of many English and American literary works with a search mechanism to facilitate text analysis.
    From the main LION menu, choose Search Texts to search for words and phrases within a specific work or group of works. The advanced search feature allows you to define a corpus by period, literary movement, author’s gender or ethnicity, and other criteria.