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English Literature

This guide provides a general introduction to Library and information resources for the study of literature in English.

About Library databases

The Library uses the term ‘database’ to describe a searchable online resource which forms an increasingly important part of our overall Library collections. Usually, the Library pays for access to copyrighted content within licensed databases, although a small number may be freely avialable to access.

Why use Library databases?
  • Access to information sources far beyond our own Library collections, anytime and anywhere
  • Powerful search facilities for research
  • Databases can be subject specific
  • More importantly, using the databases provided by the Library will help you find reliable information from trusted sources.

You might be able to find references to licensed databases by searching Google, but you'll only be able to access them via UoE login by following the links from Databases A-Z or Databaes by Subject, that is, if we do own or subscribe to the databases you need.

What do databases cover?

A database may be dedicated to a single subject (e.g. Beckett Digital Library) or cover several subjects (e.g. Arts and Humanities Citation Index). Some publishers also provide a single platform which allows you to search across all their databases from one website (e.g. ProQuest).

You can find a variety of resources:

  • full text e-journal articles
  • e-books
  • abstracts
  • citation information
  • newspaper articles - historical and current
  • primary source material, e.g. archives
  • dissertations
  • conference proceedings
  • images
  • audio-visual content including video streaming
Relationship between DiscoverEd and Library databases
  • DiscoverEd is a catalogue of all the Library collections, physical and electronic. The system is maintained by the Library. Databases are maintained and updated by database publishers.
  • Most databases are indexed in DiscoverEd by database name. We aim to keep this indexing as up to date as possible.
  • Most databases are also indexed in DiscoverEd at the item level, such as e-books, e-book chapters, and e-journal articles, but NOT for all the databases. One such exception is The Times Literary Supplement Historical Archive, 1902-2014 : you can find the database name in DiscoverEd, but articles in this database are NOT indexed in DiscoverEd. Therefore, search the database itself if you are looking for TLS articles.
  • You can search full text within full-text databases (e.g. JSTOR), but NOT in DiscoverEd because the latter doesn't index databases at the full-text level.
Tips for accessing databases
  • Access databases via the one of the correct routes below, instead of doing so via Google:
    • Library Databases list
    • DiscoverEd
    • Library channel in MyEd
    • Resource Lists
  • Remember to sign in when using DiscoverEd
  • Remember to use VPN when off-campus
  • Try a different browser
  • Some databases limit the number of simultaneous users - if you are turned away, just wait for a little while and try again.

► More about Library databases...

ProQuest One Literature

Primary texts, criticism (journal articles and dissertations), reference works and contextual literary movements in one place. Author pages also show  criticism over time and audio-visual files if available (e.g. recordings of poets reading their own work)

ProQuest One Literature contains 3 million literature citations from thousands of journals, monographs, dissertations, and more than 500,000 primary works – including rare and obscure texts, multiple versions, and non-traditional sources like comics, theatre performances, and author readings. 

Enhanced by interpretive sources such as book reviews and criticism sourced from wider, interdisciplinary publications in the fields such as humanities and history, it provides diverse, global perspectives with sources from all over the world – Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North and South America - the majority of which are in full-text.

Gale Literature

Gale Literature is an integrated platform that brings together Gale's premier literary databases to allow search across these resoruces. It includes the following databases, all of which are also listed in the Key databases for English Literature section on this page:

Resource guides

Key databases for English Literature. University login required

Databases for other subject areas

The academic field of English Literature crosses over with a number of other disciplines. Depending on your research area it may be worthwhile looking at the databases available in other subject areas e.g.

See a full list of subjects and their recommended databases at:

E-resources trials

The Library regularly arranges trials to new resources, including databases. It's always worthwhile checking the list of current trials as there could be something available for a short period that is just what you are looking for.