English and American Literature subject guide



E-books and other full text material


Individual e-book titles are best accessed via LibrarySearch; to filter your search, use the 'Collection' filter on the right and click e-book (you may have to click More options first).

E-book collections

The Library subscribes to the following e-book services containing material of interest to English and American literature:

  • Early English Books Online (EEBO): provides access to the full text of 125,000 books, covering works in the following collections:
    • Pollard & Redgrave's short-title catalogue 1475-1640
    • Wing's short-title catalogue 1641-1700
    • Thomason Tracts 1640-61
    • Early English Tract supplement.
  • Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO): full text of over 150,000 items published between 1701 and 1800, including all significant English language and foreign titles published in the UK and a substantial number from North America
  • JISC Historic Books: enables you to cross-search over 300,000 historical books from:
    • Early English Books Online (EEBO)
    • Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO)
    • 19th Century books from the British Library collection
  • Academic Library: over 500 titles including politics, culture and media. Plus the Electric Book Literature Collection, which includes classics from Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, George Eliot, and many more.
  • Cambridge Histories Online: over 300 cross-searchable authoritative volumes on a wide range of historical subject areas, including Literary Studies
  • The Cambridge Edition of the works of Ben Jonson online - collection of Ben Jonson's writings, as well as a body of essays and archives for full study of his life and performance history
  • Literature Online: 350,000 literary texts together with over 200 full text journals, author biographies and other critical and reference resources
  • Cambridge Companions Online: e-book service that includes access to Cambridge Companions in Literature and Classics.
  • Oxford Handbooks Online: Literature: a thorough introduction to literary topics, delivered via specially commissioned essays with extensive referencing to further reading

Other online full text and subject based resources

On the subject collections and e-books web pages are links to many other full text services. Resources which may be of particular interest include:

  • Alex Catalogue of Electronic Texts - American & English literature, plus western philosophy
  • The American West: a collection of manuscripts, maps, ephemeral material on the story of the American West
  • Bibliomania - a selection of classics in literature, plus fiction, poetry, drama, short stories, & a selection of online reference works. Enhanced access available to those who register (access to study guides, book summaries, author biographies
  • British Periodicals (from ProQuest) - access to Collections 1 and 2: searchable full text of over 600 periodicals from the late 17th to the early 20th century
  • Caxton's Chaucer - British Library digitisation of the Caxton imprint of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales
  • Defining Gender, 1450-1910 (from Adam Matthew): British source materials for the study of gender, leisure and consumer culture
  • Eighteenth Century Journals Portal: portal to newspapers and periodicals c1685-1815, covering all aspects of 18th-century social, political and literary life
  • Electronic Literature Directory - a directory of electronic works (including current texts) covering poetry, fiction, drama, and nonfiction. Lists titles, authors, and publishing organisations, with links pointing you to the full-text (wherever it may be!)
  • English Server (EServer) - a collection of open access publications (mainly articles and reviews arranged by subject areas) from Iowa State University. Contains limited full-text literature, including classic novels and short stories
  • The Grand Tour: collection of historical resources including manuscripts, from 1550 to 1850.
  • India, Raj and Empire: based on manuscript collections of National Library of Scotland, material covers history of South Asia from 1615 to 1947
  • Letters of Charles Dickens - from InteLex Past Masters.
  • Literature Compass - collection of full text review articles plus links to other resources for all areas of English literature.
  • New Bartleby Library (aka Project Bartleby Archive) - freely available electronic reference works (classic cookery books, Gray's Anatomy, Roget's Thesaurus, etc.), verse works, fiction, and non-fiction, e-books or anthologies. Includes the complete 70 volumes of the Harvard Classics series, the Oxford Shakespeare, and many others
  • Nineteenth Century Collections Online (NCCO): access to these primary source collections:
    • British Theatre, Music, and Literature: High and Popular Culture
    • European Literature, 1790-1840: The Corvey Collection
  • 19th Century UK Periodicals: Series 1: New readerships. Note: It is not possible to link directly to individual titles within this collection.
  • On-Line Books Page - a directory of online texts on the internet, compiled, hosted and managed by the University of Pennsylvania Library. Try the search screen, or browse the listings.
  • Orlando - Womens's writing in the British Isles from 612 BC - authors' lives, writing careers, etc.
  • Oxford Text Archive - under the banner of the Arts & Humanities Data Service (AHDS), this project enables organisations to deposit electronic versions (plain text ascii layout) of (mainly out-of copyright) texts in literature, languages, and linguistics (including manuscripts).
  • Perdita Manuscripts: Women Writers, 1500-1700 - produced with the Peridata Project based at the University of Warwick and Nottingham Trent University with the aim of identifying and describing all manner of writing by early modern women from diaries to works of drama. They cover works of poetry, religious writing, autobiographical material, cookery and medical recipes, and accounts.
  • Representative Poetry Online - includes 3,162 English poems by 500 poets from Caedmon, in the Old English period, to the work of living poets today
  • Samuel Beckett Digital Manuscript Project: digital archive of Samuel Beckett's manuscripts, set to grow to 26 modules
  • State Papers Online - Part I: The Tudors (Henry VIII to Elizabeth I), 1509-1603: State Papers Domestic
  • Twentieth-Century American Poetry, Second Edition (from Chadwyck-Healey): over 100,000 poems representing the full range of American poetry of the last century
  • Victorian Popular Culture: portal for the study of popular entertainment in the 19th and early 20th centuries, divided into 4 sections:
    • Spiritualism, Sensation and Magic
    • Circuses, Sideshows and Freaks
    • Music Hall, Theatre and Popular Entertainment
    • Moving Pictures, Optical Entertainments and the Advent of Cinema


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Last Updated: 29/07/2015