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Research Guide to Literary Works: Library Resources

A list of resources available through Truxal Library for finding information about literary works

Circulating Materials

To find books, audio/visual materials, or print periodicals on your topic, conduct a keyword or subject search in the Library Catalog.

Try synonyms and related terms:

poetics   OR   prosody
"short stories"   OR   "short fiction"
drama   OR   plays

From the information you find in the Catalog, be sure to note:

  • the Location of the item in the Library Building
  • the item's Call Number
  • whether the item is available or has been checked out

To become more familiar with finding materials in the Library's print collection, here's a guide to using Library of Congress call numbers:

Library Databases

Click on the links below to search for articles from periodicals (magazines, journals, newspapers, etc.) and for information from electronic books and multimedia resources. From off-campus, you will need to log in with your AACC username and password or enter the barcode number from the back of your AACC photo ID or Truxal Library card.

Gale Literature
Biographical information about authors and overviews and criticism of their literary works, from periodicals, eBooks, and more; contains books series like Literary Themes for Students, Literary Movements for Students, Poetry for Students, Drama for Students, Novels for Students, and much more

Infobase eBooks
Extensive background and criticism of literary works and their authors, as well as in-depth explorations of literary movements and genres, from a large collection of Bloom's Guides

MagillONLiterature Plus
Literary criticism, book reviews, work overviews, and more from Magill's and 

Project MUSE
Full text of scholarly literary journals like Modern Drama, Studies in the Novel, Journal of Narrative Theory, and more

JSTOR Arts & Sciences Collections
Full text of scholarly literary journals like Poetics Today, Twentieth Century Literature, New Literary History, and more

Ebook Central
Includes criticism, biographies, and full-text literary works

EBSCO eBook Collection
Includes criticism, biographies, and full-text literary works

ABC-CLIO eBook Collection
Books dealing with literary themes and history, as well as titles about specific literary works and authors

Credo Reference
Hundreds of reference books, including A Dictionary of Literary Symbols, Key Terms in Literary Theory, The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, and much more

Oxford English Dictionary
Definitive record of the English language

Oxford African American Studies Center
African and African American literary figures and their literary works


To further research historical context of literary works, use:

Daily Life through History
Historical information about different cultures throughout history

Academic Video Online
Commercial and governmental newsreels, archival footage, public affairs footage, and important documentaries

National Newspapers & The Sun
Includes current and historical content from the New York Times (from 1851), Washington Post (from 1877), Baltimore Sun (from 1837), and more

NOT ENOUGH INFO? Try our multi-disciplinary databases:
Academic Search Premier and Gale Academic OneFile

Researching a play?
Visit our Research Guide to Theater Arts

Searching for Full Text

No full text available?
Have only an article's abstract or just a citation?

Use the library's Finding Articles from Citations page, which is part of the Finding Materials from Citations Guide.

For assistance, contact the reference desk at 410-777-2456 or

Print Reference Materials

Find these materials in the Reference Section of Truxal Library:


  • Dictionary of Literary and Thematic Terms (Ref) PN44.5 .Q56
  • Dictionary of Literary Themes and Motifs (Ref) PN43 .D48
  • Dictionary of Poetic Terms (Ref) PN1042 .M93
  • Glossary of Contemporary Literary Theory (Ref) PN44.5 .H37
  • Handbook of Critical Approaches to Literature (Ref) PN81 .G8
  • Longman Dictionary of Literary Terms (Ref) PN44.5 .K46
  • New Handbook of Literary Terms (Ref) PN41 .M48
  • New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics (Ref) PN1021 .N39
  • Shakespeare A to Z (Ref) PR2892. B69


  • American Creative Nonfiction (Ref) PS366. C74 A44
  • American Short Story  (Ref) PS374 .S5 A365
  • Bloom's Literary Themes (Ref) PN48 .B54
  • Contemporary Immigrant Short Fiction (Ref) PS508 .I45 C668
  • Civil Rights Literature: Past & Present (Ref) PS228 .C55 C58
  • Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism (Ref) PN610 .C53
  • Critical Approaches to Literature: Feminist (Ref) PN56 .F46 C75
  • Critical Approaches to Literature: Moral (Ref) PN49 .C75
  • Critical Approaches to Literature: Multicultural (Ref) PN56 .M8 C75
  • Critical Approaches to Literature: Psychological (Ref) PN56 .P93 C75
  • Critical Survey of Graphic Novels (Ref) PN6725 .C753
  • Drama Criticism (Ref) PN1601 .D59>
  • Drama for Students (Ref) PN1701. D73
  • Facts on File Companion to the American Novel (Ref) PS371 .F33
  • Facts on File Companion to Shakespeare (Ref) PR2892 .B26
  • The Graphic Novel (Ref) PN6710 .G733  
  • Harlem Renaissance (Ref) PS153 .N5 H227
  • Holocaust Literature (Ref) PN56 .H55 H656
  • The Immigrant Experience (Ref) PS508 .I45 I46
  • LGBTQ Literature (Ref) PN56 .H57 L43
  • Literature of Protest (Ref) PS228 .P73 L58
  • Literature and Its Times (Ref) PN50 .L574 
  • Masterplots: 1,801 Plot Stories and Critical Evaluations of the World's Finest Literature (Ref) PN44 .M33
  • Masterplots II: African-American Literature (Ref) PS153 .N5 M2645 
  • Masterplots II: American Fiction (Ref) PN44 .M335 
  • Masterplots II: British and Commonwealth Fiction (Ref) PR881 .M39 
  • Masterplots II: Drama (Ref) PN6112.5 .M37
  • Masterplots II: Juvenile and Young Adult Fiction (Ref) Z1037 .A1 M377
  • Masterplots II: Nonfiction (Ref) PN44 .M423
  • Masterplots II: Poetry (Ref) PN1110.5 .M37
  • Masterplots II: Short Stories (Ref) N3326 .M27
  • Masterplots II: Women’s Literature (Ref) PN471 .M37
  • Masterplots II: World Fiction (Ref) PN3326 .M28
  • Novels for Students (Ref) PN3385 .N68
  • Oxford Companion to Modern Poetry (Ref) PR601 .O9
  • Poetry Criticism (Ref) PN1111 .P6
  • Poetry for Students (Ref) PN1101 .P64
  • Shakespeare for Students (Ref) PR2987 .S47
  • Shakespearean Criticism (Ref) PR2965 .S44
  • Short Stories for Students (Ref) PN3373 .S3844
  • Short Story Criticism (Ref) PN3373 .S386
  • Social Justice and American Literature (Ref) PS169 .S56 S63
  • Social Protest Literature (Ref) PN56.S65 N48  
  • Survey of American Poetry (Ref) PS583 .S827
  • Survey of Contemporary Literature (Ref) PN44 .M34
  • War (Ref) PN56 .W3 W325
  • World Literature and Its Times (Ref) PN50 .M625


  • African-American Writers (Ref) PS153 .N5 A344
  • American Poets Since World War II (Ref) PS323.5 .A5
  • American Women Writers: A Critical Reference Guide from Colonial Times to the Present (Ref) PS147 .A4
  • American Women Writers to 1800 (Ref) PS508 .W7 A49
  • American Writers: A Collection of Literary Biographies (Ref) PS129 .A55
  • American Writers Before 1800 (Ref) PS185 .A4
  • American Writers in Exile (Ref) PS153 .E95 A44
  • Ancient Writers: Greece and Rome (Ref) PA3002 .A5
  • Asian American Short Story Writers (Ref) PS153 .A84 A828
  • Black American Women Fiction Writers (Ref) PS374 .N4 B57
  • Black American Women Poets and Dramatists (Ref) PS153 .N5 B547
  • British Writers (Ref) PR85 .B688
  • British Women Writers: A Critical Reference Guide (Ref) PR111 .B75
  • Contemporary American Ethnic Poets (Ref) PS153 .M56 C66
  • Contemporary Dramatists (Ref) PR106 .C5
  • Contemporary Novelists (Ref) PR881.C69
  • Contemporary Poets (Ref) PR603 .C6 
  • Contemporary World Writers (Ref) PN51 .C6235 
  • Cyclopedia of World Authors (Ref) PN451 .M36
  • Encyclopedia of British Women Writers (Ref) PR111 .E54 
  • Encyclopedia of Latin American Literature (Ref) PQ7081 .A1 E56
  • European Writers (Ref) PN500 .E9
  • Greek and Latin Authors, 800 BC - AD 1000 (Ref) PA31 .G7
  • The Harlem Renaissance and Beyond: Literary Biographies of 100 Black Women Writers, 1900-1950 (Ref) PS153 .N5 R65
  • Lives of the Novelists: A History of Fiction in 294 Lives  (Ref) PR821 .S88
  • Modern American Women Writers (Ref) PS151 .M54 
  • Notable American Novelists (Ref) PS371 .N68
  • Twentieth-Century American Dramatists (Ref) PS351 .T9
  • World Authors (Ref) PN451 and (Ref) PN771

Research Assistance

More ways to get help:

Newest rules

MLA-style and APA-style guidelines change periodically, especially for citing sources accessed electronically. For the most up-to-date information about how to cite sources correctly, visit:

Using a citation generator from a database or website? Double-check to be sure the generator has used the current rules.

Library photo courtesy of Barry Halkin Photography