Basic Sources for Literary Study  Roberta Tipton
Library Resources
   Find Books
   Find Journal Articles
   Find News Articles
   Four Ways ...
Web Resources
Searching and Evaluating ...
MLA Citation Style

compiled by
Roberta Tipton

Library Resources

Rutgers University Libraries []

This web site gives access to all the print and electronic holdings purchased by the Rutgers University Libraries, plus resource lists and pathfinders constructed by information professionals across the system. You need to obtain a BARCODE
RU Connection Card
and a PIN number from a circulation desk in order to borrow or request any materials from the Rutgers system.

Connect from Off-Campus []

Click on this link on the Rutgers University Libraries homepage to find out how to reach our resources from your home using your NetID.

Becoming an 'Expert' User

Want to maximize your use of Library resources? Check out Searchpath, the Libraries' interactive tutorial.

Find Books


The online catalog of the Rutgers University Libraries, IRIS, gives students and faculty ready access to over 3 million print volumes in 22 Rutgers collections, plus multimedia and many full-text electronic journals. You may limit searches to DANA. Use the DELIVER/RECALL BOOK button to intralibrary loan books or use the REQUEST ARTICLE/OTHER to obtain articles and non-circulating books from other Rutgers libraries.

Here are some sample searches:
Sculptor$ and American -- WORDS anywhere (This is a keyword search.)

Hawthorne Nathaniel -- AUTHOR (last name first) (This finds books by the author.)

Shelley Mary -- SUBJECT begins with (Note that this is the author's name as a subject. That way you find items about the author.)

Nineteenth-Century Literature -- PERIODICAL TITLE begins with

Find Journal Articles

Click on FIND ARTICLES, then click on Indexes and Databases.
Literature Resource Center (Gale)
The Literature Resource Center contains full text articles about authors and literary classics from many countries plus Web links to even more information. You may search by author, title, or genre (type of literature).
Academic Search Premier (EBSCOhost)
This multidisciplinary database indexes periodicals in many different fields and on many different levels, from general interest to scholarly. Students find it a handy place to begin searches because it is partly full text and because it covers so many different subjects. However, you might find that you need something more. Rutgers offers you more than 180 periodical indexes and databases in many subject areas. Don't stop here if you need additional information.
Humanities Full Text
Humanities Full Text indexes core scholarly periodicals and specialized magazines in literature, history, film studies, mass media, philosophy, archaeology, music, folklore, art and photography, and journalism.
MLA International Bibliography (EBSCOhost)
The premier literary database from the Modern Language Association with coverage from 1963 to the present. International in scope; offers the broadest and deepest treatment of world literature in one database. Can be overwhelming because of its depth and complexity of source material.
Literature Online (LION)
"Searchable full-text of more than 350,000 literary works in the English language-poetry, drama, and prose; 175 full-text literary journals; the Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature; and reference sources including bibliographies, biographies, and dictionaries."--from the Rutgers website.
America: History and Life
Professional historian's database covering U.S. and Canada only. Wide variety of materials, including many items about literary figures.
American Periodicals Series Online 1740-1900
Full text of articles, advertisements, and illustrations from American periodicals from 1740 to 1900.

Find Newspaper Articles

ProQuest Historical Newspapers: the New York Times
Provides the full image of articles published in the New York Times from its first issue in 1851 until two years ago.
Access World News
Contains the full text of recent New York Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, and many New Jersey newspapers, including the Star-Ledger. Over 840 U.S. and 1080 international newspapers in all.
Find recent articles in major metropolitan and international newspapers in Factiva or LexisNexis Academic. For items you cannot locate in full text from these sources, we own the following newspapers on microfilm on the Lower Level:
New York Times
Wall Street Journal
Christian Science Monitor
Los Angeles Times
Washington Post
Newark Star Ledger
Times of London
Subject Research Guide: Newspapers (Natalie Borisovets and Ka-Neng Au, Dana Library, Rutgers)
A guide to newspapers online throughout the world; cost of access noted if known. []

Four Ways to Find Articles

  1. The article is linked to full text in your database.

  2. Click on Article Linker to search for the article in IRIS, the Rutgers catalog, automatically.

  3. Consult the list of Electronic Journals []

  4. Search IRIS, the Rutgers catalog, to find all owned copies of an article in a periodical in electronic, paper, or microform.
    • Go to the Rutgers University Libraries homepage.

    • Click on Search IRIS and Other Catalogs to find the periodicals owned by the Rutgers Libraries. Search PERIODICAL TITLE begins with; this title is often found in periodical indexes under "Source".

    • Look at the periodical record. (The online record for a given periodical title may be separate from the print record, but is usually found within the non-microform record as electronic access.)

Web Resources

Here are two excellent places to begin Web research on writers and literature. These professors have tried to cut through the endless publisher announcements and student papers to find some really valuable and interesting Web sites on literature.
Jack Lynch's Literary Resources on the Net
Alan Liu's Voice of the Shuttle
Brief Timeline of American Literature and Events, 1620-1920
Excellent introduction to American history and literature decade by decade.

Searching and Evaluating the Internet

Internet Search Strategies (Rice University)
Information about search engines, Web page evaluation, and citation of electronic resources.
Evaluation of Internet Resources (Ka-Neng Au, Rutgers University)
Clear and to the point, with great links to other evaluation pages. Emphasizes the evaluation of the whole web site, not just an individual page.
Evaluate Web Pages (Widener University)
Tate and Alexander, librarians at Widener University, were pioneers in the art of formal Web page evaluation. They advocated five basic criteria (accuracy, authority, objectivity, coverage, currency) with variations in approach for different types of Web pages. This is an updated version of their work.
[ Wolfgram_Memorial_Library/Evaluate_Web_Pages/659/]
Thinking Critically about World Wide Web Resources (Esther Grassian, UCLA College Library)
Presents an excellent checklist of criteria and questions relevant to Web page evaluation.

MLA Citation Style

MLA Formatting and Style Guide (Purdue University Online Writing Laboratory)
Based on the print MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing, 2nd edition [Dana Reference Desk #276] and the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 6th edition
[DANA REF LB2369.G53 2003] from the Modern Language Association. [] (Website to accompany Bedford St. Martin's guides)
Excellent, clear information about MLA style.
Frequently Asked Questions about MLA Style
Up-to-date information from the Modern Language Association itself.
This page was last updated 8 February 2007 by Roberta Tipton.
Questions? Comments?