Researching Literary Criticism

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionPDF versionPDF version

This research guide lists selected print and electronic library resources and research tools intended to assist students with locating works of literary criticism.

Literature Criticism Online

Literature Criticism Online is a comprehensive, scholarly collection of books and articles pertaining to different periods and types of literature. Contains contemporary and historical analysis derived from books, journals, magazines, broadsheets, pamphlets, diaries, and newspapers.

Bibliographies

A bibliography is a list of the books of an author or publisher, or on a specific subject. A bibliography about a particular author will often list books and articles which discuss his or her work.

Oxford Bibliographies

Oxford Bibliographies is a collection of discipline-based subject guides. Each guide lists annotated citations of books and articles about an author and his or her work. Guides to literary criticism include resources pertaining to American and Victorian literature.

Books: Library Catalogue

Use the library catalogue to find books that discuss an author’s work.

Finding Criticism Regarding a Particular Author

  1. Enter the name of the author (e.g. Jane Austen).
  2. In the drop-down menu, select Subject and click the search button.
  3. On the left-hand side, under Subject, click Criticism and Interpretation.
  4. Under Library, you can limit the results to a specific library.
  5. To find most recently published books, click on Sort and then Publication Date.

Finding Criticism Regarding a Particular Novel

  1. Enter the name of the author as well as the title of the novel (e.g. Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice).
  2. In the drop-down menu, select Subject and click the search button.
  3. Under Library, you can limit the results to a specific library.
  4. To find most recently published books, click on Sort and then Publication Date.

Finding Other Bibliographies

Use the library catalogue to find a bibliography of a specific novel or author.

  1. Enter the name of the author, followed by the term “bibliography” (without the quotation marks): e.g. Jane Austen bibliography.
  2. In the drop-down menu, select Subject and click the search button.
  3. On the left-hand side, under Subject, click Bibliography.
  4. Under Library, you can limit the results to a specific library.
  5. To find most recently published books, click on Sort and then Publication Date.

Articles: Periodical Indexes

Journal articles contain most recently published research and criticism. Use journal databases (also called e-Indexes) to locate most current criticism of an author’s work.

See also:
Using e-Indexes

MLA (Modern Language Association) International Bibliography
The major database for world literature, covering all areas of modern literatures, languages, folklore, and linguistics.

Article Databases and Indexes (Literature—General)
A list of main article databases.

Humanities Abstracts
This resource contains abstracts and bibliographic indexes of the most noted scholarly sources in the humanities.

Printed Periodical Indexes and Abstracts
Periodical indexes identify journals which contain articles on particular topics. This guide lists our library’s collection of printed periodical indexes and abstracts. Use them to locate retrospective publications.

Retrospective Criticism

Retrospective criticism essentially refers to articles published prior to a particular date. They are useful in tracing the historical development of literary analysis of a particular work or author.

Humanities & Social Sciences Index Retrospective: 1907–1984

Humanities & Social Sciences Index Retrospective: 1907–1984 is a database of humanities and social sciences journals dating back to 1907. It contains book reviews and literary criticism.

Explicators

Explicators are another source of retrospective criticism. They list articles and sections of books which interpret the meaning of literary works, often with observations on their symbolism and structure.

When consulting an explicator, start by looking under the name of the author. In some cases, the list will be further divided by the title of the individual work.

The following titles are in the reference collection located in the main reading room on the first floor of the library. Additional titles are shelved in the same section.

  • Articles on Twentieth Century Literature: An Annotated Bibliography, 1954 to 1970
    Z6519 .P66
  • Annotated Bibliography of Canada’s Major Authors
    Z1375 .A66
  • American and British Poetry: A Guide to the Criticism
    Z1231 .P7 A44 1984

updated by: Agatha Barc and Gabbi Zaldin

Last updated: August 14, 2014

Staff Login (library)

Copyright © 2017 Victoria University Library. All Rights Reserved. Also find us on: Facebook logo