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English and American Literature

How to find library resources on English and American Literature

Getting started: the librarians are here to help you

Need help locating articles, books, primary sources, and videos?

Get in touch with the Research Librarian on-call and on-duty in the Library.

A Research Librarian is here to help you seven days and five nights each week when classes are in session:

  • Monday-Thursday:  10:00 am - 10:00 pm;   
  • Friday:  10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Saturday:  11:00 am - 6:00 pm        
  • Sunday:  2:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Call or text 386-747-9028, or send an email at the link below:

At all other times when the Library is open, call our Information and Circulation Desk:  386-822-7183

Selected subject headings

These and related subject headings can be used to search for books and ebooks in the Library Catalog, and for books in the international library database, WorldCat, as well as in the Library's periodical databases.

American drama

American fiction 19th century

American literature African American authors

English drama 19th century

English fiction 20th century

Feminist literary criticism

Gothic fiction

Literature and history

Literature modern history and criticism

Browsing the stacks

Scholars point out that often one of the best ways to locate useful--and sometimes quite surprising--books in a library is to physically browse the shelves.  The Library Catalog has a "shelf browse" feature which enables you to do this electronically.

However, it is recommended that you take a look at the sequence of books on the shelf, for a particular subject area, to get an overview of the collection and to take advantage of the "serendipity" factor.

Discovery "One-Search" : a powerful research tool

A great place to begin your research for all kinds of resources, including books, articles, primary sources, and videos is the Library's Discovery "One-Search."

On the Library homepage, under the heading "Search Almost Everything," enter your search term or phrase.

Discovery is a Google-type search of the majority of the Library's databases and certain other sources.

After you use the Discovery search, you can try some of our other databases and utilize more focused subject term searching.

Searching the Library Catalog

You can locate both hardcopy books and e-books by using the Library Catalog.

For the most effective searching in the Library Catalog, use the Advanced Search feature.

You can search by subject, keywords, or a combination of these access points in the Catalog.

This sample search combines a subject heading and a keyword.

For a video tutorial on searching the Library Catalog, click below.

Call number ranges for English and American Literature and related subjects

The Library's literature collections are located on the mezzanine level, north side.

  • PN 1 - 1551  Literature (General) 
  • PN 1560 - 3307  Performing Arts, Drama, Motion Pictures, Theater 
  • PN 3311-4500  Prose, Oratory
  • PN 4699 - 5660  Journalism
  • PN 6010 - 6790  Collections of General Literature
  • PR  English Literature
  • PS  American Literature

Within the English Literature (PR) and American Literature (PS) sections, you'll find that the sections begin with historical overviews, followed by separate chronological periods.  Within each period, books by and about the authors are arranged alphabetically by the author's last name.  Accordingly, critical commentaries about a writer are shelved following books by that writer.

Research Guides online

Several Research and Subject Guides have been written by the librarians to assist you in finding the information you're looking for.

For a list of these online guides, which include video tutorials, click below:

Of particular importance for research in literature are these Guides:

Locating books in WorldCat

WorldCat, produced by the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC), is the world's largest catalog of library catalogs.  Featuring more than 300 million bibliographic records for books, scores, periodicals, videos, maps, recordings, and other items, WorldCat includes holdings records of more than 70,000 libraries worldwide.

WorldCat / OCLC is the backbone of the Library's interlibrary loan service:

Have a question? Ask a librarian! Call or text 386-747-9028.