British Literature

Online and Print Encyclopedias

The following links will take you to online encyclopedias and reference manuals to help you get started on your research. Here you can find general background information, definitions, and history on many literary terms and concepts specific to British literature. The library also has a number of print encyclopedias that can be found in the reference section on the second floor of the library. 




The English language has changed dramatically over time. Below are dictionaries to help you understand the history of the language, as well as look up definitions and spelling.


HintReference books cannot be checked out of the library but there are scanners available on the second floor that can be used to scan information from these texts into a PDF which you can email to yourself. 

Finding Articles

Use databases to find academic articles to continue your research. Below are the most helpful databases for finding relevant articles for literature and literary topics. The MLA International Bibliography is the most popular, as it indexes most published works in literature. Make sure to click the "full text" option when searching if you are looking for the full article PDF. 

Good Starting Journals for British Literature

The following are links to specific academic journals which are published and peer-reviewed by experts in the field. If you want to narrow your search to a specific time period or genre, finding a journal that publishes in that area can help. For example, if you are writing a paper about Othello, a journal like Shakespeare Quarterly might be a good place to search.

Historical Resources

Literature and history are, and have always been, closely related. These online and print resources covering various topics on British history can help you understand not only the literature, but also its times.


Internet Resources

Search the entire library catalog here.

Materials on Literature topics are found under the "P" category more generally, while subclass PR features British literature specifically. These books are found on the third floor of the Chester Fritz Library.  

PR1-9680 English literature 
PR1-56 Literary history and criticism 
PR111-116  Women authors 
PR171-236  Anglo-Saxon (Beginnings through 1066) 
PR251-369  Medieval. Middle English (1066-1500) 
PR401-488 Modern 
PR500-614  Poetry
PR621-744  Drama
PR750-890  Prose
PR1098-1369  Collections of English literature
Featured Books 

Looking for an interesting research topic? Currently, the featured books section holds some of the newest additions to the library's collection of research-worthy, literary texts on British literature.

Movie/TV Adaptations

The library has a DVD collection which includes many film and television adaptations of some of British literature's most popular and impactful works. The following are some of our featured DVD editions. The DVD's are on the third floor of the library and can be checked out with your student ID just like books! (Make sure to check out the popular releases when you're there, too!).