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English Literature: Home

English Literature

This guide is meant to help you get oriented to the VIU Library and guide you with doing research in English literature.

For information about VIU English courses and programs, as well as information on students and English faculty, go to the VIU English Department website.

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Major Resources for English Literature

These are the most important resources to consult when doing research in English literature at VIU:

LibrarySearch: The white search box found on the Library homepage, this is the primary finding tool at VIU. It searches many of VIU's databases simultaneously, audio and video resources, as well as VIU's electronic and print book collection. Within LibrarySearch, you can refine searches in the following ways:

  • By specific content types (e.g., books, journal articles, magazine articles)
  • Isolating results that are scholarly, peer-reviewed, or in full text (i.e., fully available electronically)
  • By discipline (e.g. limiting results pertaining to English literature as opposed to other subject areas)
  • By date
  • By language
  • You can also sort search results by either relevance or by date (newest materials first or oldest materials first)

Databases: You can also search databases one by one for information in English literature studies.

Recommended databases at VIU for English literature include the following:

  • MLA International Bibliography
    • This is the database most known and used by scholars in English literature. It tracks journal articles, books, and dissertations (theses). Its collection goes back to the 1920s and is worldwide in scope (i.e., not only Canadian, English, or American literature).
  • Literature Online (LION)
    • Consult LION for primary texts (excerpts and texts in poetry, drama, and prose) as well as literary criticism from more than 400 full-text journals.
    • LION contains numerous types of reference resources such as author biographies, bibliographies of an author's work, Penguin Classics Introductions essays, and KnowledgeNotes Student Guides, which are a type of 'Cliff's Notes' or 'Coles Notes' source to help understand literary texts.
    • LION also incorporates another important database, the Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature 1920- (ABELL), which references articles, books, chapters (or essays) in books, dissertations, and book reviews.
  • Project Muse
    • Contains scholarly, peer-reviewed journals from 1993 onwards, in full text.
    • JSTOR stands for "Journal Storage" and it's a significant go-to source for retrospective coverage of many academic journals. A solid, multidisciplinary, full-text scholarly archive.
  • CBCA Complete
    • Primarily a source for Canadian journals and sources, from 1982 onward. Not all results are in full-text.
  • Dissertations and Theses Global
    • This includes nearly 3 million searchable citations to dissertations and theses. International in scope. The archive goes back to 1861. Within this database are links to 1.2 million full-text dissertations and theses that are available in a downloadable PDF format.



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