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Last Updated: Jul 4, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Locating items in the Library

The video below explains how to locate items in the Library (click on the 'Full screen' button beneath the video to watch in a larger size):


Library Search

Search for books, articles, ebooks, databases, journal titles and other useful resources for your study and research, both online and in the library.

The shelfmark of a print book will help you to locate it in the Library. The shelfmarks run A-Z through the building, starting on the top floor. Find your reading lists here.


How to use Library Search

The video below explains how to use Library Search to find books (click on the 'Full screen' button to watch in a larger size):

Key Resources for English

The following databases contain a variety of material, including journal articles, for your specific subject area. The brief descriptions beneath the titles will explain what each hold. To access, click on the title.

  • British Humanities Index (BHI)
    Now known as Humanities Index.
    An international abstracting and indexing tool for research in the humanities, BHI indexes over 400 internationally respected humanities journals and weekly magazines published in the UK and other English speaking countries, as well as quality newspapers published in the UK.
  • British Periodicals
    Provides access to the searchable full text of hundreds of periodicals from the late seventeenth century to the early twentieth, comprising millions of high-resolution facsimile page images. Topics covered include literature, philosophy, history, science, the social sciences, music, art, drama, archaeology and architecture.
  • Digital Theatre Plus
    Offers streamed films of leading British theatre productions for educational use in schools, colleges and universities. Each production is supported by additional content, including interviews with the creative and production teams and written study guides.
  • Discovering Literature
    Exploring the Romantic and Victorian periods, Discovering Literature brings together a wealth of the British Library’s greatest literary treasures, including numerous original manuscripts, first editions and rare illustrations.
  • Early English Books online (EEBO) via Historical Texts  
    Contains digital facsimile page images of virtually every work printed in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and British North America and works in English printed elsewhere from 1473-1700. Fully searchable.
  • Early European Books Online
    Provides access to a diverse array of printed sources from the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
  • Eighteenth Century Collections Online (via Historical Texts)  
    Use Eighteenth Century Collections Online to access the digital images of every page of books published during the 18th Century. With full-text searching of millions of pages, the product allows researchers new methods of access to critical information in the fields of history, literature, religion, law, fine arts, science and more.
  • Eighteenth Century Journals Online
    Brings together rare journals printed between c1685 and 1815, illuminating all aspects of eighteenth-century social, political and literary life. Many are ephemeral, lasting only for a handful of issues, others run for several years. Topics covered include: colonial life; provincial and rural affairs; the French and American revolutions; reviews of literature and fashion throughout Europe; political debates and London coffee house gossip and discussion
  • Guardian and Observer Historical Archive, 1821-2003
    A searchable digital archive containing articles from the first issues in 1821 for the Guardian and 1791 for the Observer.
  • Historical Texts (formerly Jisc Historic Books)  
    Contains over 350,000 books published between 1475 and 1900. The collection draws together the content of Early English Books Online (EEBO) and Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO), as well as additional titles from the British Library's 19th Century Collection.
    Contains a trusted archive of important scholarly journals, primarily in the humanities and social sciences
  • Literature Online (LION)
    With over a third of a million full-text works of poetry, prose and drama in English, together with the definitive online criticism and reference library, Literature Online is the world's largest cross-searchable database of literature and criticism.
  • MLA International Bibliography
    Provides a subject index for books, articles and websites published on modern languages, literatures, folklore, and linguistics.
  • Nexis
    A comprehensive newspaper database, updated daily, providing full text access to all UK national newspapers, plus regional newspapers, international news providers and a number of trade journals and magazines.
  • Nineteenth Century British Library Newspapers
    Contains full runs of 48 influential national and regional newspapers representing different political and cultural segments of the 19th century British society.
  • Nineteenth Century UK Periodicals Online
    Covers the events, lives, values and themes that shaped the 19th century world. It's mainly based on the repositories of the British Library and the National Library of Scotland.
  • Oxford Scholarly Editions Online
    Includes the complete text of more than 170 scholarly editions of material written between 1485 and 1660, including all of Shakespeare's plays and the poetry of John Donne
  • Project Muse
    Provides access to high quality humanities, arts, and social sciences journals from scholarly publishers.
  • The Shakespeare Quartos Archive
    The Shakespeare Quartos Archive is a digital collection of pre-1642 editions of William Shakespeare's plays. A cross-Atlantic collaboration has also produced an interactive interface for the detailed study of these geographically distant quartos, with full functionality for all thirty-two quarto copies of Hamlet held by participating institutions.
  • Times Literary Supplement Historical Archive 1902-2007
    Searchable, facsimile reproduction of TLS, 1902-2005, including identification of anonymous contributors.
  • Web of Science
    Provides access to the Science Citation Index, Social Sciences Citation Index and Arts & Humanities Citation Index.
  • Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals 1824-1900
    Citations for articles from 45 monthly and quarterly periodicals of the Victorian era, with links to the full text of journals in British Periodicals I and II. Particularly relevant for those studying literature, history and Victorian life; also covers articles on politics, religion, women's writing, economics, art, science, archaeology and philosophy.
  • Women Writers Online
    Online full-text database of pre-Victorian women's writing in English, covering a period from 1400-1850.
  • Literary Encyclopedia
    Contains a steadily growing database of background information on classical and modern literature, written by specialists worldwide. It offers very good coverage of English, American, German and Russian literatures as well as substantial and increasing coverage of other regions.

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