Literature, Creative Writing, & Literary Criticism: Reference Books/E-Books
This guide will help you find British, American, and English-language literary texts, creative writing resources, and literary criticism on authors or literary works in books, reference book entries, and journal articles available from the OSU Library.
Criticism in Reference Books and E-Books
Reference Books such as encyclopedias, guides, handbooks, and dictionaries can provide background information when researching authors and literary works. Some have very brief entries, but others have more substantive discussions. Some are available as e-book databases with full-text articles online.
Reference E-Book Databases for Literary Criticism
Below are several reference e-book series from Gale Cengage Learning to help students, faculty, and beginning as well as advanced researchers find scholarly commentary on British, American, and world authors, literary works, and overviews of literary periods and topics. You will need to log in with your OSU email address and O-Key password to access these database off-campus. Click HERE to access the off-campus log in.
- Literature Resource CenterThe LRC offers up-to-date biographical information, overviews, full-text literary criticism, and reviews on more than 130,000 writers in all disciplines, from all time periods and from around the world. Its materials support interdisciplinary approaches, information literacy, and the development of critical thinking skills.
- Contemporary Authors(vol. 206  to the present) is an online, searchable bio-bibliographical guide with full-text entries on current American, British, and international writers of fiction, general nonfiction, poetry, journalism, drama, motion pictures, television, and other media. It covers living authors and authors who died after 1950. Volumes 1-205 of the Contemporary Authors series and other pre-2003 parts of the series are only available in print. The books are shelved in the General Reference area, 1st floor, at call # 809.05 C7611.
- Dictionary of Literary Biographyprovides more than 16,000 biographical and critical essays from the celebrated Dictionary of Literary Biography series, the DLB Documentary series, and the DLB Yearbook series. It covers the lives, works, and careers of the most influential literary figures in the world from all eras and genres. Browse by author or volume of the print series, or search keyword, full text, or named author.
- Something About The Author OnlineProvides first-time comprehensive online access to the acclaimed and long-standing Something About the Author Gale series, which examines the lives and works of authors and illustrators for children and young adults and is the preeminent source on authors and literature for young people. Includes biographies, brief biographies, autobiographies, and obituaries. Browse authors or search by keyword, full text, or named author.
Other Reference E-Books for Literature
Below are some other reference e-book databases useful for literary criticism.
You will need to log in with your OSU email address and O-Key password to access these databases off-campus. Click HERE to log in.
- Oxford English Dictionary(OED) is a web-based version of the definitive historical and etymological dictionary of the English language. Contains valuable information about historical occurrences of words and quotations from literary and other texts to illustrate the evolution of the terms.
- Oxford Dictionary of National Biographycontains over 57,000 biographies of important people who shaped the history and culture of the British Isles and beyond from the 4th century to the 21st century. It includes over 10,000 illustrations and is updated three times a year with new biographies and reference material.
- Oxford Reference Online: Premium(Literature subject search) includes the full text of nearly twenty standard reference books form Oxford University Press, including several titles in the well-know Oxford Companion series.
Print Reference Books
- Literary Research Guide (5th Ed) byCall Number: 820.9 H289L 2008
Many reference books for literary criticism in the 800s. Others are shelved at the same call numbers on the 4th floor.
To search for reference books on literary topics or authors in BOSS or the Catalog, use the author's name of title of the literary work, and the keywords Encyclopedia, Guide, or Handbook.
A good source you can consult for help finding other reference works on British or American literature is James L. Harner's Literary Research Guide (you can search BOSS or the Catalog to find the books the Harner guide lists in the OSU Library):
Reference Books on Literature & Creative Writing
Below are some key reference books at the OSU Library for locating literary works (poems, short stories, etc.) in collections, etc., and general information on publishers and the market for creative writers. The books will be on the 3rd or 4th floor.
- Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry in AnthologiesCall Number: 808.81006 C726 2002
- International Directory of Little Magazines and Small PressesCall Number: 016.05 D5981
- Literary Market PlaceCall Number: 655.473 L7761
- New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and PoeticsCall Number: 808.103 N532 1993
- Poet's MarketCall Number: 070.5025 T745
- Short Story IndexCall Number: 808.831 S5591
- Writer's MarketCall Number: 029.6058 W9555