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English 1000

Background Information

  • Encyclopedia of Southern Culture Ref. F209.E53 1989
  • Encyclopedia of American Cultural and Intellectual History Ref. E169.1.E624 2001
  • Encyclopedia of American Social History Ref. HN57.E58 1993
  • Encyclopedia of the United States in the Nineteenth Century Ref. E169.1.E626 2001
  • Everyday Life: American Social History Ref. HN57.E93 1998
  • Literature and Its Times Ref. PN50.L574 1997

Locating 19th Century Sources

Through MERLIN, using the advanced search option limit by date include in your search s: sources  include in your search s: sources and n th cent* e.g., s: sources and 19th cent* and slave* include in your search s: early works and n th cent* e.g., s: early works and 19th cent* and slave* include in your search s: personal narratives

MERLIN lists not only printed books, but also links to electronic books, and many items contained in large microfilm collections . Microforms and the equipment needed to view, print, or scan the materials are found in Special Collections .

See the guide to the Microform Collection for detailed information on the microfilm sets, including some that are not analyzed in the MERLIN catalog. Tips for finding microfilm. 

Collections of Texts Online


Criticism may be published in books or as articles in journals. Use the MERLIN and MOBIUS catalogs to locate books of criticism about an author or topic.  A subject search may give more control and organization, but a keyword search may find more specific items.

If you haven't found enough, use WorldCat to search libraries throughout North America. You may request books from WorldCat by clicking on the Request through ILL@MU link near the top of the record.

Finding criticism in journal articles is usually a multi-step process

  1. Use databases and indexes to identify articles.  
  2. Follow the to see if the journal's available electronically, in print, or to request a copy from another library. Feel free to ask a librarian for help. 

Major literary databases

Suppliment searches in MLA and ABELL with searches in additional databases

Alternative and minority publications

  • Alternative Press Index
  • GenderWatch
  • Index to Black Periodicals (1942--) Ref. AI3 .I552
    Earlier volumes, including title changes, are in the circulating stacks.
  • Women Studies Abstracts (1972--) Ref. Z7962 .W65 

To locate older critical materials, use the following databases and reference tools

  • 19th Century Masterfile (1802-1906)
  • The American Periodicals Series Online (1740-1900)
  • The Reader’s Guide to Periodical Literature (1890-) Ready Ref. AI3 .R48
  • International Index to Periodicals (1907-1965)  Ref. AI3 .R49
  • American Literary and Drama Reviews: An Index to Late 19th Century Periodicals PN256.M37 1984
  • Literary Index to American Magazines 1850-1900 Ref. PS 214.W38 1996
  • Literary Index to American Magazines, 1815-1865 Ref. Z6513.W44

The Literary Index indexes the many Gale literature criticism sets. These books excerpt literary criticism from all periods on individual authors.

  • Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism  ( Ref. PN761.N5)
  • Literature Criticism, from 1400-1800   ( Ref. PN80.L57) 
  • Poetry Criticism (Ref. PN1010 .P499)
  • Short Story Criticism (Ref. PN3373 .S386)

Guides to Research

  • James L. Harner. Literary Research Guide: An Annotated Listing of Reference Sources in English Literary Studies (Ref. PR83.H34 2002)
  • Michael J. Marcuse. A Reference Guide for English Studies. (Ref. PR56.M37 1990)
  • James K. Bracken. Reference Works in British and American Literature (Ref. Z2011.B74 1998)

Subject Librarian

Anne Barker
154 Ellis Library

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