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English Literature information resources: Books & articles

If you need help, please contact Ivana Niseteo, Liaison Librarian for English, French, French Programs (FASS), Humanities, Linguistics, and World Literature at 778.782.6838 or or Ask a librarian.


Use keyword searches in the Library Catalogue to find books on your topic and use the subject headings for that books to find similar materials.

Subject headings are standard terms that have been assigned to each book. They are extremely useful for locating books on the same subject regardless of the terminology used by the author. Using subject headings in your search can lead to more accurate results but it's almost always easier to start with keyword searching first.

For more tips and tricks on searching within the catalogue, please check our Library Catalog search guide for help.

Ebook collections

The following are several ebook collections that are strong in the area of English Literature:

SFU Contemporary Literature Collection Manuscripts
This online manuscript catalogue includes over 4500 entries covering 25,000 items of unique materials.

ebrary Academic Complete
24,000+ electronic books spanning a wide variety of disciplines. Best viewed in the Internet Explorer browser.

Access to e-books published by Springer in all disciplines. Access begins with those published in 2005 and onwards.

eBook Collection (EBSCOhost)
Full text of over 5,100 electronic books (ebooks). Includes contemporary books and classic works of literature and history.

Journal articles

Journal articles can be found through a search of a subject-specific database OR by searching a particular e-journal title. You may also be interested in exploring the databases for History, Sociology, Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies, Children's Literature and World Literature depending on your research topic.

Use the "Get@SFU" link to check to see if SFU owns that article. If not, fill out an Interlibrary loan (ILL) form to borrow the article from another library.

What does peer-reviewed mean? 

A journal is refereed or peer-reviewed if its articles have been evaluated by experts before publication. The experts advise the journal's editor for or against publication of the articles. Peer review ensures that the research described in a journal's articles is sound and of high quality. Many databases have an option to limit to peer-reviewed or scholarly articles on the main search page (usually it is a box that you need to check mark).

Check out the What is a scholarly (or peer-reviewed) journal? for more information and a set of evaluation criteria.

Key Databases

MLA International Bibliography
Contains citations to scholarly literature in linguistics, modern languages, folklore, literary theory & criticism, and dramatic arts; as well as historical aspects of printing and publishing, rhetoric and composition and the theory and practice of teaching language and literature.

Literature Online
More than 350,000 works of English and American poetry, drama and prose, in full-text literature journals, and other key criticism and reference resources.

Project MUSE Search
A full-text collection of over 110 humanities and social science journals. Strong in Literature.

Full-text access to the backfiles of Humanities and Social Science Journals; Good English Literature content. Note content in JSTOR is 3-5 years old.

Gale Literary and Critical Databases Combined Search
Includes both the Dictionary of Literary Biography Complete Online and 6 of the Gale Literary Criticism series.

CBCA Reference and Current Events
Provides comprehensive coverage of Canadian topics, including business, politics, literature, history and news events. References both popular and scholarly material.

Iter: Gateway to the Middle Ages and Renaissance
A bibliography of approximately 230,000 articles and reviews drawn from the complete runs of over 500 medieval and renaissance journal titles. It also indexes books. Covers the time period 400-1700.

International Medieval Bibliography
Provides a comprehensive, current bibliography of articles in journals and miscellany volumes (conference proceedings, essay collections or Festschriften) worldwide. 

These databases cover the major areas of English Literature research, however, there are more databases specific to geographic regions, time periods or relevant to a specific themes/topics.

Literary indexes and abstracts