Some General Literary Resources on the World Wide Web

Boston College English

The Home Page of the Boston College department of English.


The central page for all the Internet functions of the Boston College Libraries, including O'Neill Library and Burns Library, the main repository of manuscripts and rare books at Boston College.  Links to many extremely useful research resources, including MLA Bibliographies and Lexis/Nexis, although most of these are restricted to Boston College students and faculty.


This is the most comprehensive index of Web sites for the Humanities, enormous and continually updated. An extremely useful resource that every Humanities scholar should know.

Literary Resources

Essentially a student project to compile useful Web pages, including the Voice of the Shuttle, this site also has links to course material at the University of Texas.

H-Net, Humanities OnLine HOME PAGE

The "H-Net Project" is "an online resource for scholars, teachers and students in the Humanities and social sciences. Our computing home is at Michigan State University, but H-Net is made up of academics in many disciplines from all over the globe. H-Net is host to scholarly Network Web pages in the Humanities and social sciences." The project includes several ongoing discussion lists as well as the more static sort of Web resources.

The English Server at Carnegie-Mellon U

One of the champions of electronic literary sites. Particularly good in that it reaches beyond traditional literary boundaries to embrace such things as government, cultural theory, the implications of technology, architectural theory, and much more.

A Literary Index: Internet Resources in Literature

Another central indexing site, very full and well-indexed with lots of links to electronic text archives, other literary indexes, and much more.

On-Line Literary Resources

Another central indexing site maintained at the University of Pennsylvania.

Electronic Text Center at U of Virginia

A large database of electronic texts, from Aesop to Yeats. Many of these are accessible to the public, some only to UVA-affiliated people. All texts are fully searchable by keyword, and may be restricted to author, date, type of publication, etc.

Chadwyck-Healey Home Page 

Links to dictionaries and reference works, and (most important) the C-H databases, some of which are accessible to BC folk, e.g. The English Poetry Database, The Bible in English, Shakespeare, American Poetry 2 (1901-1997), and the African-American Poetry Database

Bartlett, John. 1901. Familiar Quotations

The 1901 edition of Bartlett's Familiar Quotations online, with convenient search engines. A basic resource.

Columbia University: Project Bartleby

The purpose of this project is to make available texts of classic works in English and American literature. Here you can see--and download, if you like--a copy of T. S. Eliot's poetry and prose published before 1920 (copyright!), Melville's "Barltleby the Scrivener," John Buchan's The Thirty-Nine Steps, W. E. B. Dubois's The Souls of Black Folk, or William Butler Yeats's 1919 Poems.

Electronic Archives Home Page

"The Electronic Archives contain essays, syllabi, bibliographies, and other resources for teaching the multiple literatures of the United States. The Archives are designed as a complementary resource to the electronic discussion list, T-AMLIT. The Electronic Archives are created and maintained by the Center for Electronic Projects in American Culture Studies (CEPACS) at Georgetown University's American Studies Program. The Archives are sponsored by Georgetown University and the D.C. Heath Publishing Company." This is especially useful for the course syllabi, deposited by teachers of American literature and culture from all over the world.

Mimi, electronic texts menu

Links to e-texts of works of the American literatures.

Literary Kicks

A site for all kinds of stuff about the Beat generation--Jack Kerouac et al.


This is the British Library's Online Information Server. Portico provides access to information about all aspects of the services and collections of the United Kingdom's national library.

The Ancient World Web: The Ultimate Index of All Things Ancient

A site devoted to everything ancient, from "Ancient Evidence :Life Before Dinosaurs" to Ancient Egyptian Medicine, Ancient Guatemala, and so on. Endless entertainment.

Labyrinth Home Page

A World Wide Web server for Medieval Studies--more traditional than "The Ancient World Web."


This is a Web site set up in conjunction with a course in American Studies at Yale. It's a fine example of how the Web can be used for educational purposes.

Appendix I: Misc. Reference Works

Books in Print Online

Harner 4225. The best way to locate a book currently in print and get ordering and publisher information.

Encyclopedia Brittanica

An excellent place for quick reference to thousands of subjects. Search by keyword or browse the index.

Appendix II: Search Engines

Advanced Searching: Tricks of the Trade

Hints for using search engines; the more you know about these beasts the better you can use them.

Alta Vista

One of the best search engines, but not on Netscape's Net Search. Indexes 30 million Web pages. A good help screen with lots of search examples, allows Boolean searching and proximity searching.

Open Text

Another good search engine with good indexing; it allows you to search summaries only if you wish (a good way to find only stuff that's really relevant). A smaller database than some other engines (a mere million or so).

Appendix III: Citing Electronic Material in Your Work

The following sites are all helpful for this:

Beyond the MLA Handbook: Documenting Electronic Sources on the Internet

Citation Guides for Electronic Documents


Copyright Issues

Worried about copyright issues?  Here is a site with a wide variety of information and thought-provoking questions.

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