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Literature Criticism Online
14-Aug-2013 Newsletter article

Many of the titles in the Library's Reference Collection that provide the foundation for research done by students in English Literature classes (and literature in other languages) have recently been made available online in a fully searchable format, in a resource called Literature Criticism Online. Complementary series of titles published by Gale - each of which go back many years and hundreds of volumes deep - contain essay length articles on authors, major works, and other concepts such as literary movements, genres, and literary histories of different nations, have all been made accessible in one place in the e-Library's Article Indexes and Databases section.*

The major titles included in this resource are Literature Criticism from 1400 to 1800, Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism, Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism, Contemporary Literature Criticism, and Shakespearean Criticism. For the first time, students are able to search more than one series at a time, giving them the capability to see what criticism has been published concerning poetry and feminism throughout the centuries, instead of having to repeat the search over and over in each series while pulling volumes from the Reference Collection shelves.

As with many online reference resources, this can be browsed by author, title, or topic. The student has the option of searching only for articles written specifically about an author, or searching the full-text of all articles for the appearance of an author's name - important when one wants to study a certain author in light of another author's influence.

Literature Criticism Online is a formidable resource with great potential for providing students with vetted scholarly criticism on authors or works they will, in turn, need to write about, and the Library is pleased to be able to offer it along with the Modern Language Association International Bibliography and Literature Resource Center.

*Another very important reference resource published by Gale has also been made available online in full-text, searchable format - the Dictionary of Literary Biography - but for contractual reasons it couldn't be included with the other titles in Literature Criticism Online and thus needs to be accessed and searched separately. It is located under "D" in the Articles Indexes and Databases section. The DLB is a little bit different than the other series found in the LCO; the essays are much longer and, as the title indicates, give a picture of an author's life as well as his or her works and show the connection between the two. Students should be encouraged to think of this resource as part of the LCO, and to use the LCO when researching authors and literary works.

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