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Comparative Literature

This guide provides a general introduction to Library resources relating to Comparative Literature.

Library Services Update

The web link below takes you to the up-to-date information about access to the Library collections, facilities and services, and how to get further help.

About this guide

This guide serves as a starting point to find Library and information resources for the study of Comparative Literature in Edinburgh.

Table of Contents:

Related subject guides

Subject Guides from other disciplines may offer useful information, depending on the area of your research interest.

Non-discipline specific guides:


Edinburgh University Library has rich collections of primary and secondary sources in various physical and electronic formats to support the teaching, learning and research in Comparative Literature. The Library is pround to have supported the learning, teaching and research of the oldest department of English Literature in the world for nearly 250 years. We also have tens of thousands of literary works created in major European, East Asian and Middle Eastern languages which are supplemented a significant amount of secondary resources such as reference works, bibliographies, dissertations, newspapers, audio-visual materials, as well as literary translations.

Most of these physical collections are located in the Main Library, George Square. Electronic resources can be accessed by University staff and students at any time on and off campus.

The cross-national and interdisciplinary nature of Comparative Literature means that you may also want to visit other library subject guides suggested in the Related Subject Guides section.

Top resources for Comparative Literature

How to find items in your reading list

Use DiscoverEd to search for books, journals, journal articles, DVDs and other physical and electronic items. Use your University Login to sign into your account and manage loans and requests.


Use Resource Lists to find your course reading lists. Lookup reading lists by list title, course title, course code, course instructors. Use the 'Subject' dropdown selection list to browse all the Resource Lists in your subject area such as 'English Literature' (displaying only the first 100 matching lists).

     Resource lists

     Information for Students

Please note that not all the courses at the University use Resource Lists.

Accessing material beyond the Library collections

If the library does not have what you want then there are several ways of getting access to the material:

The National Library of Scotland

Conveniently located within ten minutes' walk of the University's Main Library, the National Library of Scotland (NLS) holds huge collections of primary and secondary source matierials relating to literature.

The Inter-Library Loan (ILL) Service

This allows you to request material either held at distant university library sites including the  University Collections Facility, or material not held by the university. 

Book Recommendations

If you are unable to find the book that you need for your studies then use the Student Request a Book (RaB) service to recommend a purchase.

Visit another library

It may be possible (and sometimes quicker) to visit another library in the UK to get access to the item you require. Some reciprocal schemes and agreements allow our staff and students access to some other libraries.


Highlights of Library collections on English Literature

Romeo and Juliet. Second quarto, 1599

published during Shakespeare's lifetime - which was presented to the University by the poet William Drummond in 1626. Special Collections   De.3.73*