The Emmanuel College Learning Commons offers a resource and technology-rich environment where you can discover, create, innovate, explore, study and reflect. Our team of caring professionals offers the expertise and support to help you learn and grow.

Library | ARC | ATIG | DiscoveryLab | IT Helpdesk

Learning Commons | Cardinal Cushing Library


Book Cover: Literary Theory: An Introduction Book cover: American Road Narratives  Book Cover: Deaf American Prose 1830-1930  Book Cover: Shakespeare In Japan Book Cover: Encyclopedia of Catholic Literature  Book Cover: The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature
Article Databases
     Restricted Resource = Emmanuel Faculty, Staff & Students only

Article Databases: Ranked by Relevance
  • Ebsco search for English/Literature Restricted Resource
    Search across the following databases:
    • Academic Search Premier
    • MLA International Bibliography
      Offers detailed bibliography of journal articles, books, dissertations.  Produced by the Modern Language Association and coverage dates back to the 1920s.
    • Humanities International Complete
      Features are literary critique content and inclusion of original works of poetry, short fiction, photography, illustrations, and artwork. This database was originally funded by a gift from the Emmanuel College Class of 2006.
  • JSTOR Restricted Resource
    A total of more than 900 full-text scholarly journal titles in an online archive beginning with the first issue of each title. The archive includes nine JSTOR Arts and Sciences Collections. In JSTOR, there is usually a time lag in full-text content. Use JSTOR in conjunction with our current online databases and print holdings. (See also Example of a Search in JSTOR )
    • At the bottom of the page, select Language & Literature under the Journal Filter list to narrow by discipline and/or journal.
  • Project MUSE® Restricted Resource
    Offers over 400 quality journal titles from nearly 100 not-for-profit publishers. Project MUSE® covers the fields of literature and criticism, history, the visual and performing arts, cultural studies, education, political science, gender studies, economics, and many others.
    • Select  Literature from the Research Area search options to limit your search.
  • Literature Online (ProQuest) Restricted Resource
    Texts of over 355,000 literary works with searchable, full-text criticism and reference resources for the study of literature in English.  Literature Online also provides searchable indexes of literary criticism, including ABELL (Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature) and the full text of over 330 literature journals
    • Select Criticism from the menu and then select All Criticism from the Search options. Enter the author’s name and/or the work title in the Keyword(s) search box.
  • Literature Resource Center - LRC Restricted Resource
    Find up-to-date biographical information, overviews, full-text literary criticism and reviews on more than 130,000 writers in all disciplines, from all time periods and from around the world. The optional MLA International Bibliography module adds citations for hundreds of thousands of books, articles and dissertations from 1926 to the present, linked to full text where available.
  • Persuasions: The Jane Austen Journal On-Line
    Persuasions On-Line is the digital, peer-reviewed publication of the Jane Austen Society of North America. It offers essays on Jane Austen's writing, her world, and her legacy in literature and other media.
Additionally, search in Google Scholar .
  • Search for the journal title using the  A-Z Journals by Title list to verify the journals peer-reviewed status.
Need Help?
Text Message Icon
Phone Icon
Search for Books
Reference Books (print and e-books)
Literary criticism overview
Literary Criticism “is the overall term for studies concerned with defining, classifying, analyzing, interpreting, and evaluating works of literature” (Abrams, 1993, p. 39).

Works of literary criticism may focus on:
  • an individual author,
  • a group of authors, a genre,
  • a time frame or historical period,
  • an individual work (e.g. a poem, novel, short story, etc.),
  • or a particular literary theory.
Works Cited

Abrams, Meyer Howard. A glossary of literary terms, 6th ed., Fort Worth, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich College Publishers, 1993.
General sources
  • Folger Shakespeare Library
    View the Library’s collection of images by clicking The Collection in the navigation bar, then on the collection page find Digital Image Collection on Luna . To read and search some of Shakespeare’s plays, hover over Shakespear in the navigation bar, and then select the title of your text under A-Z. Amherst College.
  • Horace Howard Furness Shakespeare Library
    “A collection of primary and secondary texts that illuminate the theater, literature, and history of Shakespeare, Shakespearean texts, theatrical production and criticism”. The University of Pennsylvania Libraries.
Literary Collections
  • Ernest Hemingway Collection
    The Ernest Hemingway Collection at the JFK Presidential Library is "the world's principal center for research on the life and work of the author."
  • The Mark Twain Papers & Project
    Select to search for letters, writings and images. Also, explore the Online Exhibitions in the left drop down menu. The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
  • Michel Foucault Audio Archive
    Comprehensive online audio collection of lectures and courses spanning two decades by French philosopher and historian, Michel Foucault. Made available by the Media Resources Center at the University of California, Berkeley.
  • The Morgan Library & Museum
    To find Literary & Historical Manuscripts, select the drop down menu from the top right corner. Click Collection, and then Collection Highlights. New York, New York
  • The Paris Review Full-text of Its Author Interviews (1953-Present)

    The Paris Review has placed its complete archive of authors’ interviews beginning in 1953 with "E. M. Forster, The Art of Fiction No. 1" through "Michel Houellebecq, The Art of Fiction No. 206."  The collection can be browsed by Name or by Decade.

  • The Perseus Digital Library Project
    Select Collections/Texts  in the top menu to access and explore literature, visual resources, and reference sources for the study of the ancient world. Department of Classics, Tufts University.
  • Robbins Library Digital Projects
    Projects include The Camelot Project, TEAMS Middle English Texts, The Robin Hood Project, The Crusades Project, The Cinderella Bibliography, and Visualizing Chaucer. University of Rochester.
  • Victorian Women Writers Project
    Full-text collection of writing in various genres by British women of the late 19th century. Searchable, or browse by author. Some files are in SGML and require the Panorama viewer. Maintained at Indiana University.
Literary Criticism
Introductory Guide to Critical Theory
"A resource for both undergraduate and graduate students who are beginning to learn critical theory, including guides to terms. The site includes sample applications, annotated links to existing web sites, and also more-in-depth modules on specific authors." In-depth attention is given to the following critical approaches: Gender & Sex, Marxism, Narratology, New Historicism, Postmodernism, and Psychoanalysis. Created by Dino Franco Felluga of Purdue University.

Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL)
Purdue Online Writing Lab’s Literary Theory and Schools of Criticism literature subject-specific writing guide provides a background on literary theory and descriptions of the major movements in literary criticism. To access the Literary Theory and Schools of Criticism guide, select Subject Specific Writing from the left menu. Next, select Writing in Literature and, then, Literary Theory and Schools of Criticism.

Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Literary Theory
Detailed overview of several schools of literary criticism, with suggestions for further reading. Written by Vince Brewton.
  • American Verse Project
    Search or browse poetry in full text. Mostly minor authors from the 19th century, some major figures. Search for single words, phrases, or combinations of words (Boolean). University of Michigan Humanities Text Initiative (HTI) and the University of Michigan Press.
  • Favorite Poem Project
    Favorite Poem Project's video archive. Boston University, the Library of Congress, and others.
  • First World War Digital Poetry Archive
    "An online repository of over 7000 items of text, images, audio, and video for teaching, learning, and research. The heart of the archive consists of collections of highly valued primary material from major poets of the period, including Wilfred Owen, Isaac Rosenberg, Robert Graves, Vera Brittain, and Edward Thomas." University of Oxford.
  • Modern American Poetry
    Poems, historical background, analysis, and more, focused on modern American poetry. University of Illinois.
  • Poems Out Loud
    “The site features columns and recorded readings by well-known and award-winning poets as well as general poetry news and ephemera.” Audio and video content available. Sponsored by W. W. Norton & Company.
  • The Poetry Archive
    The Poetry Archive collects recordings of English-language poets reading their own work, accompanied by short biographies of the authors. 
  • Poetry Foundation
    "[A]n independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture." Publisher of Poetry magazine.
  • Poetry Society of America
    Web site includes a blog, information on awards and programs, audio recordings, and features such as Birds and Bards.
  • Poetry Translation Center
    Translation into English of contemporary works from living African, Asian, and Latin American poets. Browse by poet or poem. Podcasts of original and translated work are available.
  • From the Academy of American Poets
    Search poetry database by poet, to find biographies and works, or poem. Audio and video recordings, as well as essays and interviews. Academy of American Poets.