English Resources

English specific databases

Humanities International Index

Humanities International Index provides citations and abstracts to articles, essays, reviews and other reference sources in the humanities. You can limit your search results to only full text items by checking the "Linked Full Text" box on the advanced search screen. All other articles can be requested through interlibrary loan. This database can be searched in conjunction with Academic Search Premier or other databases by clicking "Choose Databases."


JSTOR is a multidisciplinary database that aims to make the archives of scholarly work from all disciplines accessible. It is a good place to start your research; your search results will most likely contain materials from sources you wouldn't have thought to search on your own. Using the advanced search option to limit your results is especially important in JSTOR as it is a multilingual database. You can also limit your search by subject or journal title.

MLA International Bibliography 

MLA International Bibliography gives citations and abstracts for journals, series, and books, many also include links to articles in full text. MLAIB is one of the largest databases you can use when researching language and linguistics, literature, literary theory and criticism. Use the options under "Limit your search," especially the language and full text options, for more relevant results. This database can be searched in conjunction with Academic Search Premier and Humanities International Index by clicking "Choose Databases."

Oxford English Dictionary

The Oxford English Dictionary provides current and historical definitions of words from across the English-speaking world, not just in the United States. For most entries, variant spellings, etymology, quotations and a date chart are available.

English reference ebooks

The Encyclopedia of Literary and Cultural Theory

Covering Literary Theory from 1900 to 1966, Literary Theory from 1966 to the present, and Cultural Theory, this encyclopedia provides accessible entries on the important concepts, theorists and trends in post-1900 literary and cultural theory.   With explanations of complex terms and important theoretical concepts, and summaries of the work and ideas of key figures.

The Encyclopedia of the Novel

Entries explore the history and tradition of the novel in different areas of the world; formal elements of the novel (story, plot, character, narrator); technical aspects of the genre (such as realism, narrative structure and style); subgenres, including the bildungsroman and the graphic novel; theoretical problems, such as definitions of the novel; book history; and the novel's relationship to other arts and disciplines.

The Encyclopedia of Twentieth-Century Fiction

Presents the most comprehensive and authoritative reference guide to twentieth-century fiction in the English language. Entries cover major writers and their works; the genres and sub-genres of fiction; and the major movements, debates, and rubrics within the field.

General/related databases

Academic Search Complete

This multidisciplinary database is a good place to start your research. For extra search capabilities, click "Choose Databases" and select more subject specific databases to simultaneously search.

ACLS Humanities E-Book

Search here for e-books by keyword or author. You can also browse by title, author or subject.

ebrary Academic Complete(electronic books)

This collection of e-books includes approximately 47,000 titles in all academic subject areas. Search by title or author for specific books, or search by subject or keyword to find books on a specific topic. All of the e-books in this collection are available in full text.


Use WorldCat to find books about a research topic that are not available at Holy Spirit Library. Search by title or author if you are looking for something specific, or search by keyword or subject to find something new. Click "Borrow this item from another library" to request a book from another library.

English websites

British Women Romantic Poet, 1789-1832

This website from UC Davis’ General Library provides information about and the works of female British poets from the Romantic era, as well as links to related websites.

Literary Resources on the Net

This collection of links, maintained by Jack Lynch of Rutgers University, included categories such as Women’s Literature and Feminism, History of the Book, Classical & Biblical, and more. Links are also searchable by keyword.

Online Resources for Writers

Online Resources for Writers, from Amherst College, provides links to websites and essays about the structure and form of writing. Resources that are only available to Amherst students are few and noted.

Outline of American Literature

This government publication, offered here as a free .pdf, gives broad overviews of the different periods and movements in the American literary tradition.

The Rossetti Archives: The Complete Writings and Pictures of Dante Gabriel Rossetti

The Rossetti Archives provides biographical information and a life chronology of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, as well as providing the full-text of all of his writings for free online. Related texts, contemporary studies, and visual works are also provided.

The Walt Whitman Archive

The Walt Whitman Archive, housed at the University of Nebraska’s Center for Digital Research in the Humanities, provides the full text of every edition of Leaves of Grass published in Walt Whitman’s lifetime, in addition to poems published in periodicals, manuscripts, biographies and letters. Contemporary reviews and bibliographies of Whitman criticism and scholarship from 1975 to the present are also available.

WordNet: A Lexical Database for the English Language

WordNet is a dictionary/thesaurus for nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs. Words are grouped into synsets, or by their synonymous definitions. This makes the synonym results and example sentences you retrieve from a search more meaningful and more likely to sound natural when written or spoken.