Printed Library Materials in Eng and Amer Lit


All call numbers refer to the Research Collections of the Herman B Wells Library, Indiana University.

Guides to General Reference Books

These are two of the guides that librarians use at the Reference Desk. These are guides to reference materials in most fields in the humanities, social sciences and sciences.

  • Balay, Robert, ed. Guide to Reference Books. 11th ed. Chicago: American Library Association, 1996.
    REF Z1035.1 .G89 1996 (Kept at Reference Desk)

  • Walford, A. J. Walford's Guide to Reference Material. 7th ed. London: Library Association, 1996. v. 1. Science and technology -- v. 2. Social and historical sciences, philosophy and religion -- v. 3. Generalia, language & literature, the arts.
    REF Z1035.1 .W33 1996
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Guides to Literary Research

These titles are general guides to literary research, particularly English and American literature. They will lead you to other, more specific reference books, such as bibliographies, handbooks, dictionaries, and other guides. The guide by Harner is particularly useful because it is still relatively current, his annotations are good, and it is available in an inexpensive paperback edition.

  • Harner, James L. Literary Research Guide: a Guide to Reference Sources for the Study of Literatures in English and Related Topics. 4th ed. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2002.
    REF Z2011 .H34 2002 (Kept at Reference Desk).

  • Marcuse, Michael J. A Reference Guide for English Studies. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990.
    REF PR56 .M37 1990.
    This guide lists many detailed reference sources, including bibliographies on individual authors and journals in many different fields.

  • Patterson, Margaret C. Literary Research Guide. 2nd ed. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 1984. Subtitle: An evaluative, annotated bibliography of important reference books and periodicals on English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Commonwealth, American, Afro-American, American Indian, continental, classical, and world literatures, and sixty literature-related subject areas including bibliography, biography, book collecting, film, folklore, linguistics, little magazines, prosody, reviews, teaching resources, textual criticism, women's studies.
    Z6511 .P37 1984.

  • Miller, R. H. Handbook of Literary Research. Metuchen, N.J: Scarecrow Press, 1987.
    PR56 .M54 1987.

  • Bracken, James K. Reference Works in British and American Literature. 2nd ed. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited, 1998.
    v. 1. English and American literature -- v. 2. English and American writers.
    REF Z2011 .B74 1998.

  • Chelsea House Library of Literary Criticism Series
    Bloom, Harold, ed. The Critical Perspective. 11 vols. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1985-1989.
    REF PR85 .C76 1985 

    ---. The New Moulton's Library of Literary Criticism. 11 vols. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1985-1990.
    REF PR85 .N39 1985

    ---. Twentieth-Century American Literature. 8 vols. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1985-1988.
    REF PS221 .T834 1985

    ---. Twentieth-Century British Literature. 6 vols. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1985-1987.
    REF PR473 .T84 1985

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These sources attempt to document every publication printed in either Great Britain or the United States. This is of course an impossible task, and a number of inaccuracies occur in all of these bibliographies, but these are invaluable sources for identifying publications. Three of these bibliographies (Pollard & Redgrave; Wing; and Evans) has a corresponding microfilm set, reproducing the publications described (records for publications from Wing and Evans are in IUCAT, but not Pollard and Redgrave). There are other bibliographies covering different periods, or attempting to supplement these sources, but these are the main national bibliographies.  

  • English Short Title Catalog (ESTC). [Electronic Resource]
    This electronic resource covers works from 1473 to 1800 that were written in English and published in either Great Britain or its colonies. This resource was formerly known as the Eighteenth-Century Short Title Catalogue.

  • Evans, Charles. American Bibliography: a Chronological Dictionary of All Books, Pamphlets, and Periodical Publications Printed in the United States of America from the Genesis of Printing in 1639 down to and Including the Year 1800. Chicago: Blakely Press, 1903-59.
    REF Z1215. S53
    Works from this bibliography are reproduced in the microfilm set Early American Imprints. Also, the works listed in this bibliography are available electronically in Early American Imprints I, also known as Evans Digital Edition.  In continuation of Evans's work, Early American Imprints Series II, or Shaw-Shoemaker, provides a bibliography of American books published between 1801 and 1819.

  • Nineteenth Century Short Title Catalogue. Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Avero, 1984-
    REF Z2013 .N5
    Extracted from the catalogues of the Bodleian Library, the British Library, the Library of Trinity College, Dublin, The National Library of Scotland, and the University Libraries of Cambridge and Newcastle. The information in this resource is also available electronically on a CD-ROM that is available at the Reference Desk.

  • Pollard, A.W. and G.R. Redgrave, comps. A Short-Title Catalogue of Books Printed in England, Scotland, and Ireland, and of English Books Printed Abroad, 1475-1640. 2nd ed. London: Bibliographical Society, 1976.
    REF Z2002 .P7
    Works from this bibliography are reproduced in the microfilm set entitled Early English Books, 1475-1640. Additionally, they are available electronically from Early English Books Online (EEBO), which is linked from the Recommended Resources list.

  • Wing, Donald, comp. Short-Title Catalogue of Books Printed in England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales and British America and of English Books Printed in Other Countries, 1641-1700. New York: MLA, 1972-
    REF Z2002 .W7
    Works from this bibliography are reproduced in the microfilm set entitled Early English Books 1641-1700.

  • Howard-Hill, T.H. Bibliography of British Literary Bibliographies. 2nd ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press; New York: Oxford UP, 1987
    REF PR83 .H565 1987

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Biographical Sources

  • Dictionary of National Biography from the Earliest Times to 1900. Ed. Leslie Stephens and Sidney Lee. London: Oxford UP, 1967-68. 22 vols.
    REF CT 773 .S51
    The original DNB has entries for over 29,000 people, and the editors have published updates to include people otherwise not in the original set.

  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: In Association with the British Academy: From the Earliest Times to the Year 2000. Eds. H.C.G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. 60 vols. Oxford; New York: Oxford UP, 2004.
    REF DA28 .O95 2004
    This series supersedes the Stephens and Lee series listed above. There are over 50,000 entries in this 60 volume series.

  • Dictionary of American Biography. Eds. Allen Johnson and Dumas Malone. New York: Scribner's, 1964.
    REF E176 .D52 1952
    Modelled on the DNB, the DAB contains over 17,000 entries.

  • Dictionary of Literary Biography. Detroit, MI: Gale, 1978-
    There are currently over 250 volumes of the DLB. To locate specific print volumes, search under the volume title in IUCAT. The contents of the DLB are also available electronically through Biography and Genealogy Master Index and Literature Resource Center.

  • Biography and Genealogy Master Index. [electronic database]. Detroit: Gale Research Inc., 19--.
    This database indexes over 13 million biographies. Biographies are drawn from numerous print, including The Dictionary of American Biography, Nineteenth-Century American Women Writers, and The Oxford Companion to English Literature.

  • Contemporary Authors: A Bio-Bibliographical Guide to Current Writers of Fiction, General Nonfiction, Poetry, Journalism, Drama, Motion Pictures, Television, and Other Fields. Detroit, MI: Gale, 1962-.
    REF Z1224 .C763
    Also accessible electronically through the Literature Resource Center.

  • Contemporary Authors. New Revision Series. Detroit, MI: Gale, 1981-.
    REF Z1224 .C763
    A revision of the above series. Also accessible electronically through the Literature Resource Center.

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A Sample of More Specific Literary Research Guides

These guides focus on a specific area, discipline or time period, and they will give you a better idea of the types of indexes, handbooks, encyclopedias, bibliographies, etc. that are available for study in a more specific area. This list is just a small sample of these kinds of works--you can find more of these using the "Guides to Literary Research" listed above, and IUCAT.

  • Bennett, Scott [et al]. Victorian Periodicals: A Guide to Research / edited by J. Don Vann and Rosemary T. VanArsdel. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 1978.
    PN5124.P4 V5.

  • Burgess, Michael. Reference Guide to Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror. 2nd ed. Englewood, Colo: Libraries Unlimited, 2002.
    Z5917.S36 B87 2002.

  • Davis, Nathaniel. Afro-American Reference: An Annotated Bibliography of Selected Resources. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 1985.
    Z1361.N39 D37 1985.

  • Leary, Lewis Gaston and John Auchard. American Literature: A Study and Research Guide. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1976.
    REF Z1225 .L398

  • Lock, Fred, and Alan Lawson. Australian Literature: A Reference Guide. Melbourne; New York: Oxford University Press, 1980.
    Z4011 .L6 1980.

  • Lund, Roger D. Restoration and Early Eighteenth-Century English Literature, 1660-1740 : a Selected Bibliography of Resource Materials. New York, N.Y.: Modern Language Association of America, 1980.
    Z2012 .L88

  • McKenna, Brian. Irish Literature, 1800-1875: A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale Research Co, 1978.
    Z2037 .M235.

  • Powell, James M. Medieval Studies: An Introduction. 2nd ed. Syracuse, N.Y: Syracuse University Press, 1992.
    D116 .M4 1992.

  • Reiman, Donald H. English Romantic Poetry, 1800-1835: A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale Research Co, <1979>.
    Z2014.P7 R46.

  • Searing, Susan E. Introduction to Library Research in Women's Studies. Boulder: Westview Press, 1985.
    Z7961 .S42 1985.

  • Simons, Linda Keir. The Performing Arts: A Guide to the Reference Literature. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited, 1994.
    REF Z6935 .S56 1994.
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Indexes for Literary Research

The indexes listed here are standard sources for research in English and American literature, and some indexes from some outside yet related fields. There are many, many more indexes, and some of the guides to literary research or more specific guides will certainly point you to more.

  • Modern Humanities Research Association. Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature (ABELL). Cambridge: Bowes & Bowes, 1924-.
    Indexes both books and articles.
    REF Z2011 .M6. ABELL is also available as an electronic database.

  • Modern Language Association of America. MLA International Bibliography of Books and Articles on the Modern Languages and Literatures. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 1920-.
    Vols. for 1969-1980 include classified listings and author index; 1981- : classified listings, author index, and subject index.
    REF Z7006 .M7. (Also on CD-ROM in Reference Dept., 1981-; On campus network, 1963-)
    The MLA and ABELL both include research in English and American literature, with surprisingly little overlap. If your topic is in English or American lit, you should consult both. MLA International Bibliography is also available as an electronic database.

  • America, History and Life: a Guide to Periodical Literature. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-Clio, 1964-.
    REF Z1236 .A46 (On CD-ROM in Reference Room, 1987-)
    Indexes articles, book reviews and dissertations dealing with American history. America: History & Life is also available as an electronic database.

  • Historical Abstracts: Bibliography of the World's Historical Literature. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-Clio, 1955-.
    REF D299 .H67 (On CD-ROM in Reference Room, 1987-)
    This indexes articles on history of all areas excluding the U.S. and Canada (see entry above), covering the years 1450-1914, and 1914 to the present. Historical Abstracts is also available as an electronic database.

  • Philosopher's Index. Bowling Green, Ohio: Philosophy Documentation Center, Bowling Green University, 1940-. Vols. for 1969- include a section of abstracts.
    REF Z7127 .P54.
    Philosopher's Index is also available as an electronic database.

  • L'Année philologique; bibliographie critique et analytique de l'antiquité gréco-latine. Paris: Société d'édition "Les Belles Lettres," 1924-
    REF Z7016 .M35.
    This is the major index to classical studies and is also available as an electronic database entitled Année Philologique.

  • American Theological Library Association. Religion Index One: Periodicals. Chicago: American Theological Library Association.
    REF Z7753 .A52.

    ---. Religion Index Two: Multi-author Works. Chicago: American Theological Library Association.
    REF Z7753 .R4. (Also on CD-ROM in Reference Dept., 1949-1991).
    The content of these two indexes is also available as an electronic database entitled ATLA Religion Database.

  • Book Review Index. Detroit: Gale Research Co, 1965-
    REF Z1035.A1 B8

  • Arts and Humanities Citation Index. Philadelphia: Institute for Scientific Information, 1976-.
    REF AI3 .A63. (Also on CD-ROM in Reference Dept., 1980-) Arts & Humanities Citation Index is also available as an electronic database through the Web of Knowledge.

  • Zulauf, Sander. Index of American Periodical Verse. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1971-.
    REF Z1231 .P7 I36
    This resource indexes poetry published and translated in current American periodicals.

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Finding Materials in Other Libraries

Once you've identified materials you're interested in, of course you will want to check IUCAT to see if any IU library owns it. If not, there are a number of catalogs available that will help you find whether any other library, either in the US or beyond, has it. If the material is available at another library, it may be possible to borrow it through Interlibrary Loan. In addition to these print resources, WorldCat and RLIN are a good electronic resources for searching across the holdings of multiple libraries.

  • Library of Congress. The National Union Catalog, Pre-1956 Imprints: a Cumulative Author List Representing Library of Congress Printed Cards and Titles Reported by Other American Libraries. London: Mansell, 1968. 685 v.
    REF Z881.A1 U525.
    The National Union Catalog (NUC) lists books published before 1956 under the "main entry" only--this usually means that you'll find books only under the author's name. At the bottom of each entry is a list of the symbols of American libraries that reported owning the title. This catalog is updated by sets for 1956-1967, 1968-1972 and 1973-1977. After 1977, it is easier to check on OCLC or RLIN.

  • ---. Union List of Serials in Libraries of the United States and Canada / edited by Edna Brown Titus. 3d ed. New York: H.W. Wilson, 1965.
    REF 6945 .U45 1965 (Kept at Books in Print Table in Reference Room)
    This is the equivalent of the NUC for journals. It lists journals which began publication before 1950, and the holdings of various American libraries. It is updated by New Serial Titles 1950-1970 (REF 6945 .U4502 on Books in Print Table).

  • ---. National Register of Microform Masters (compiled and edited by the Catalog Publication Division, Library of Congress). Washington: The Library.
    REF Z1033.M5 N27.
    When a library creates a microfilm copy of a book, they will also create a master negative for preservation from which to make copies.

  • ---. National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections. Washington: Library of Congress.
    REF Z6620.U5 N27.

  • New York Public Library. Research Libraries. Dictionary Catalog of the Research Libraries of the New York Public Library, 1911-1971. (New York, Boston): New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations distributed by G.K. Hall, 1979.
    REF Z881 .N59 1979.
    This 800-volume catalog offers access to this collection by author and subject, and in some cases even indexes journal articles.

  • ---. Catalog of the Theatre and Drama Collections. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1967.
    Includes materials in the Theatre Collection of the General Library and Museum of the Performing Arts, and drama materials in various divisions of the Research Libraries.
    pt. 1. Drama collection: listing by cultural origin. 6 v.-- pt. la. Drama collection: author listing. 6 v.--pt. 2. Theatre Collection: books on the theatre. 9 v.--pt. 3. Non-book collection. 30 v.
    REF Z5785 .N532.
    There are published catalogs to more specialized collections, like the Theatre and Drama Collection of the New York Public Library, that provide a wealth of information.

  • Ash, Lee, [et al]. Subject Collections : a Guide to Special Book Collections and Subject Emphases as Reported by University, College, Public, and Special Libraries and Museums in the United States and Canada. New Providence, NJ: R.R. Bowker Co, 1993.
    REF Z731 .A78 1993.

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last updated: 5/14/2010