Resources for Literature

Databases and Search Tools



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Literature (General)

Internet for English

An online tutorial for students of literature who would like to use the internet effectively in research.


A database of electronic texts across the internet, with a simple but effective search engine.


Publishes the classics of literature, non-fiction, and reference on the Internet

British Fiction 1800-1829

Allows users to examine bibliographical records of 2,272 works of fiction written by approximately 900 authors, along with a large number of contemporary materials (including anecdotal records, circulating-library catalogues, newspaper advertisements, reviews, and subscription lists). Early reviews of Jane Austen’s novels and Byron’s comments on Shelley’s Frankenstein are among the useful texts available.

CELT: corpus of electronic texts from University College Cork

"The online resource for contemporary and historical Irish documents in literature, history and politics". The texts can be searched, read on-screen, downloaded for later use, or printed out

Internet Poetry Archive

Selections from the works of Seamus Heaney, Yusef Komunyakaa, Philip Levine, Czeslaw Milosz, Robert Pinsky, Margaret Walker and Richard Wilbur.

Intute: Humanities

Directory of online humanities resources, including sections on English and Classical literature. This service closed in July 2011 so no new content has been added since then.

Google Book Search


Anthology of English literature, with separate sites for the middle ages, Renaissance, seventeenth century and eighteenth century.  Includes author biographies, texts, critical essays and illustrations.

Middle English Compendium

Offers easy access to and interconnectivity between three major Middle English electronic resources: an electronic version of the Middle English Dictionary, a HyperBibliography of Middle English prose and verse, based on the MED bibliographies, and a Corpus of Middle English Prose and Verse, as well as links to an associated network of electronic resources.

Oxford Text Archive

Useful source for e-texts.  Many of the works listed are restricted access only; however, there is an impressive collection of free texts, including Oedipus Rex, The Jew of Malta and The Faerie Queene.

Project Gutenberg

Victorian Web

Provides a comprehensive general overview of nineteenth century British history and literature.

Women's Romantic Poetry, 1789-1832

Women Writers Online

A full-text collection of early women’s writing in English, published by the Women Writers Project at Northeastern University. It includes full transcriptions of texts published between 1526 and 1850.

Individual authors and topics: sites

The William Blake Archive

A site dedicated to Blake's writing and art.

An annotated guide to online resources relating to Chaucer, including some links to sites that provide full text.

First World War Digital Poetry Archive

An online repository of over 4000 items of text, images, audio, and video for teaching, learning, and research.

Reading Joyce Reading Duchamp

Individual authors and topics: podcasts, audio and video files

Dante’s Inferno discussed

Podcast from the BBC's In our time

Quentin Skinner’s introduction to Machiavelli

Machiavelli and the Italian city-states

Podcast from the BBC's In our time

John Milton: Paradise Lost

This link will bring you to a Milton hub, containing book-by-book podcasts of Paradise Lost AND links to podcasts of a series of lectures on Milton by some of the most eminent Milton scholars working today.

John Milton: the Milton-L home page

A gathering of Milton podcasts, including the lectures above; but also readings of some of the shorter poems, and a 24-lecture series on Milton from Yale.

Centre for Editing Lives and Letters

Rosanna Cox’s Milton podcasts at the Lives and Letters website include a walking tour of Milton’s Cambridge, and another of Elizabethan London.

Milton's Poetry and Politics

Podcast from the BBC's In our time

Shakespeare's Life

Podcast from the BBC's In our time

Understanding Shakespeare's Sonnets

Video on YouTube of Stanley Wells, Jonathan Bate and Paul Edmonds in discussion.


British Comparative Literature Association

National Centre for Research in Children's Literature


The University of Essex
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