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English Literature: Key resources

A guide to finding information in English literature. Includes links to key resources and sources of help.


Use the resources listed on this page to find relevant information on topics in English Literature. They will give you access to both primary and secondary sources of information.

  • Primary sources - these could be the novels, poems, plays or other literary works. Sometimes you get reproductions with a scholarly introduction. Sometimes you can access a facsimile of the original manuscript.
  • Secondary sources - these offer criticism and context for literary works, and may summarise scholarly debate around one or more works by the same author, or be based on a theme explored in works by different authors.

Key resources

Resources grouped by time period

Other useful websites

In addition to EEBO (Early English Books Online) and ECCO (Eighteenth Century Collections Online), which are available only to members of the University, the following sites provide free access to texts online:

Videos: doing your literature search

This playlist of two videos shows you how to prepare for and perform a literature search. The first video introduces literature searches and their role. The second video covers using the search operators AND and OR to create a search statement, and explains the role of wildcards and truncation in constructing a comprehensive search. This information is also available in written guides - see the links below. 

If you are unable to view these videos on YouTube they are also available on YuJa or Stream (University username and password required):

Related guides

Create your search

Getting items not held at Reading

Map of the south of the UKOur Inter-Library Loans service can get articles, books and other publications not held at Reading from other libraries (usually from the British Library).

For more information see our webpages: