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UMW Libraries
Simpson | Stafford | Special Collections

Literary Criticism: Databases

A guide to finding critical material about literary works


Academic Search Complete (approximately 1880s to date)
Provides abstracts and full-text articles from more than 10,000 books, scholarly journals, magazines, newspapers, and reference works on a wide variety of topics.
An online index to millions of biographical sketches in hundreds of reference books and other sources. To use the index, 1) Look up your name. 2) Note the various titles that contain information on the person. 3) Use the Libraries' online catalog to locate the reference works. An excellent place to begin biographical research on living and deceased persons from around the world.
Contains biographical and critical essays on the lives, works, and careers of literary figures from all eras and genres.
Gale Literary Sources  (Previously known as Literature Resources from Gale)
Provides access to critical and biographical information on living and deceased authors from around the world.
Indexes nearly 1,200 periodicals in the social sciences and humanities.

Humanities Full Text (indexing: 1984 to date; select full text: 1995 to date)
Indexes some 600 journals in the humanities and supplies the full text of articles from nearly 250 of them.

Humanities International Complete (coverage varies; approximately 1985 to date)
Provides the full text of hundreds of magazines, journals, books, and other works.

JSTOR (archived publications from the 1800s to the last 1-5 years)
A full-text collection of scholarly journals in a wide variety of disciplines in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. To focus your search, use the Advanced Search and the "narrow by discipline" and "language" limiters.
An extensive compilation of literary commentary, covering "centuries of critiques on authors and their works that span all time periods, types of literature, and regions." Includes criticism on poetry, drama, short stories, children's literature, Shakespeare, the classical and medieval eras, and works published from 1400-1800 and 1800 to 1900.
A searchable library of more than 350,000 works of American and English prose, poetry, and drama, as well as literary journals and other works of criticism.
A comprehensive index to articles and books on language, literature, and the dramatic arts.

Project Muse (coverage varies; mostly 1995 to date)
Provides online access to more than 400 scholarly journals in the humanities, arts, and social sciences.
Provides online access to the full text of several reference works published by Salem Press, including Critical Insights, Critical Surveys, and Magill's Literary Annuals.
Examines the "lives and works of authors and illustrators for children and young adults."