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The Scarlet Letter (1850): Library Resources

A list of resources available through Truxal Library for researching Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

Library Databases

Use the links below to search for criticism and interpretation of literary works, as well as biographical information about authors. To access databases from off-campus, you will need to log in with your MyAACC credentials or enter your library barcode number.

Use this database for general background information and to define unfamiliar words and phrases:

To further research historical context of literary works, use:

Use these databases to broaden your search:

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

Read or Search Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter Online

Full text of Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter is available on the Web at:

Print copies are also available in Truxal Library.

Reference Materials

Search the Library Catalog for the following reference titles that contain material about The Scarlet Letter. These titles may be available in other college or public libraries.

  • American Diversity, American Identity: The Lives and Works of 145 Writers Who Define the American Experience
  • The American Renaissance
  • Critical Survey of Long Fiction [vols 3, 7]
  • The Critical Temper [vol 3]
  • Cyclopedia of Literary Characters [vol 4]
  • Cyclopedia of Literary Places [vol 3]
  • Cyclopepdia of World Authors [vol 3]
  • The Handbook of Gothic Literature
  • The Library of Literary Criticism [vol 4]
  • Masterplots [vol 10]
  • Ninteenth-Century Literary Criticism (NCLC) - Contains passages from literary criticism originally published in books and journals
    • [vols 2, 10, 17, 23, 29, 79, 95, 158, 171] - look for Scarlet Letter in the Cumulative Title Index, a separate paperback index that accompanies this multi-volume work
    • [vol 48] - locate the topical essay "Nineteenth-Century Historical Fiction"
    • [vol 76] - locate the topical essay "Madness in Nineteenth-Century Literature"
    • [vol 116] - locate the topical essay "The Prison in Nineteenth-Century Literature"
    • [vol 128] - locate the topical essay "American Literary Criticism in the Nineteeth Century
    • [vol 140] - locate the topical essay "Ecocriticism in Nineteenth-Century Literature"
    • [vol 144] - locate the topical essay "Nineteeth Century Pornography"
    • [vol 164] - locate the topical essay "Gender in Nineteenth-Century Literature"
    • [vol 176] - locate the topical essay "Motherhood in Nineteenth-Century Literature
    • [vol 184] - locate the topical essay "The American Literary Renaissance"
    • [vol 192] - locate the topical essay "Calvinism in Nineteenth-Century Literature"
  • Notable American Novelists [vol 2]
  • Novels for Students [vol 1]
  • Student Companion to Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism (TCLC) - Contains passages from literary criticism originally published in books and journals
    • [vol 86] - locate the topical essay "Folklore and Literature"
    • [vol 126] - locate the topical essay "Law and Literature"
  • Understanding The Scarlet Letter: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents

Books & Audio/Visual Materials

Conduct a "Subject Browse" search using the Library Catalog for:

  • Hawthorne, Nathaniel (1804-1864)

You'll find library materials that provide biographical information about Nathaniel Hawthorne, as well criticism and interpretation of Hawthorne's works.

eBook Spotlight

You might find the following eBooks useful for researching The Scarlet Letter.

Research Assistance

More ways to get help:


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