Pathfinder: Literature Resources



How to Find Books in the WPCC Library

CLip art of a book, quill pen, inkwell, and stone columnUse our library catalog, found at one of our catalog terminals near the library entrance or online here. By default, the catalog opens to a simple keyword search. If you want to search by a specific title or author, choose the browse search mode under the “search” key at top of page. Try different keywords if your first search does not bring up any relevant results. There is great value in browsing the shelf area where you have found a relevant book, and don’t forget that introductory material to your author’s works can contain valuable literary criticism and biographical information.


Selected Reference Books

  • The Literary Criticism Series, including:
    Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism (NCLC) (REF PN 761 .N5)
    Contemporary Literary Criticism (CLC) (REF PN 771 .C59)
    Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism (TCLC) (REF PN 771 .G27)
    Contemporary Authors (CA) (REF Z 1224 .C6)
    These series are cross-referenced amongst each other. To find the entries about your author, look in the most recent volume of any of these series (the book at the end of the last shelf containing the series) and find your author in the index of that volume. The abbreviations stand for the various series, CA for Contemporary Authors, CLC for Comemporary Literary Criticism, etc. A volume number is given for the location in each series, and, in each volume, entries are alphabetical by author. Included are information about the author’s life, a list of principal works, excerpts of published criticism, and a bibliography of criticism.
  • The Masterplots Series, including:
    Masterplots (REF PN 44 .M331996) (covers a variety of literary forms)
    Masterplots II: Short Story Series (REF PN 3326 .M27 1986)
    Masterplots II: Poetry Series (REF PN Ill 0.5 .M37 1992)
    Masterplots II: American Fiction Series (REF PN 846 .M37 1986)
    These series, organized by work title, provide such information as a basic plot outline, a brief discussion of themes, character analysis, critical context, etc., depending on the literary form in question.
  • The Critical Survey Series, including:
    Critical Survey of Short Fiction (REF PN 3451.C7)
    Critical Survey of Drama (REF PR 623 .C75 1985)
    Critical Survey of Poetry (REF PR 502 .C85 1992)
    Critical Survey of Long Fiction (REF PR 821 .C7 1991)
    These series, organized by author’s last name, provide some general information about the author and the works of that author, including some critical analysis.


Where to Look for Periodical Articles

IMPORTANT: If you want to access these resources off campus, you will use the same username and password  you use to log in to any campus computer.

There are two main groups of online databases offered by the library: NCLive and the Academic OneFile. If you want to access these resources from home, you will need to sign a form (available at the circulation desk)
to obtain the passwords. To access the databases, click on the links for each one.


NCLive provides access to more than 60 databases. Some are general, covering a wide range of material,
and some are subject-specific. Two good places to begin your search are:

  • Proquest Central
    This database contains full-text articles on many topics, including literature, from several thousand magazines and journals.
  • Literary Reference Center
    This database covers all aspects of literature — you can search by author, title, literary movement, etc.


Thompson Gale Academic OneFile Database

Academic OneFile is an excellent source for full-text articles. Start by searching for one or two keywords about your research topic in the advanced search, putting each one in a different search box. If your search retrieved too many articles, try narrowing your search by adding keywords. You might want to click the box that limits the search to full-text articles. Be aware that the way to the full text might involve a few steps. Just follow the links and ask a librarian if you cannot find the articles.


WPCC Print Periodical Subscriptions

The library has a collection of several current periodicals in print. The following relate to the study of
literature in particular:


Recommended Websites

  • BookRags – With nearly 4,000 literature guides, BookRags hosts the largest collection of book summaries online, ranging from Harry Potter to Hamlet.
  • British Council Literature – A compilation of links to websites on British and Irish authors. Arranged chronologically by birth date of author.
  • The Cambridge History of English & American Literature – A general history of English and American literature. It has indexes to chapters, authors and bibliographies, or you can use the built-in search engine.
  • Free Literature Dictionary – Free glossary of literature terms
  • Luminarium – Texts, biographies and criticism of authors from the Medieval, Renaissance and 17th Century periods.
  • The Luminarium – Texts, biographies and criticism of authors from the Medieval, Renaissance and 17th Century periods.
  • Project Gutenberg Free EBooks – From Project Gutenberg, the first producer of free electronic books (ebooks). There are over 27,000 free books in the Project Gutenberg.
  • Wired for Books – Audio and video interviews, readings, lectures from well-known authors.


updated 10/2017

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