English Department Library Newsletter
9 May, 2006
                                                                                                   Vol. 3,  No. 1
BC Libraries

Online Databases



Other  Libraries


Scholarly Communications



Welcome to the latest issue of the English Dept. Library Newsletter. The following "news items" are potentially useful for one studying, researching and teaching literature in English and related areas. Of course, they refer to just a few of the many resources and services provided by and/or pointed to by BC Libraries. To keep up to date with the Libraries' myriad new databases, guides, web sites, tutorials etc. it's a good idea to browse frequently through the Libraries web site. Also, feel free to get in touch with me any time if I can assist you in any way with your research or teaching.
Brendan Rapple ( rappleb@bc.edu )

HeaneyPoets on Screen Multimedia Collection
Poets on Screen
is an important component of the database Literature Online (LION). It is a multimedia collection produced in collaboration with some of the foremost poets living and working in the English-speaking world today and provides a unique opportunity to hear major authors interpreting their own works and those of their contemporaries and predecessors. Users can access the whole library of clips from the Poets on Screen link on the home page of Literature Online (LION) or under the 'Multimedia' heading of the Complete Contents page. Links to Poets on Screen clips also appear on the relevant Author Pages. The clips are played using either RealPlayer or Windows Media Player. For more information on downloading media players or to see what media players are already installed on your machine go to the Technical Support page in Literature Online.

Chadwyck-HealeyFeatures of Literature Online (LION)
Literature Online (LION) is a fully searchable library of more than 350,000 works of English and American poetry, drama and prose, about 180 full-text literature journals, almost 800 poetry video clips, over 5,000 selected web sites, and other key criticism and reference resources. It is a very important complement to the MLA Database. The following are some of the significant features of LION:
  • Durable URLs allow the reader to bookmark articles or searches of interest for future reference. Instructors may embed them in course web pages.
  • Email content alerts provide updates to content on authors in LION
  • The feature My Archive offers a personal archive of the user's marked articles, previous searches, and publications visited.
  • Poets on Screen features 900 film clips of contemporary poets reading their own and other poets' works. 
  • Citation software support lets users mark articles online, then print a bibliography in their choice of citation styles.
  • Direct linking allows users to access full-text JSTOR articles from LION.
  • LION provides access to 3,000 biographies (many revised) of leading authors.
  • There is cross-searching capability with the Early English Books Online database.
  • KnowledgeNotes™ text-based student guides provide critical study and in-depth introductions to key novels, poems, and plays.
The following are some useful guides to searching LION most effectively:

Finding Who Has Cited a Publication
Web of Science BC Libraries have a new guide: “How Do I Find Who has Cited a Publication.” This guide provides details about a number of multidisciplinary and disciplinary specific databases that permit citation searching. Such databases assist users in following a particular cited reference, or cited author, forward in time to find other articles that have also cited that author or work. Cited references may be useful for a number of reasons: locating current research based on earlier research, patents, reports, etc.; finding how many times and where a publication is being cited; identifying who is referencing a particular paper; exploring how a particular research topic is being used to support other research; analyzing the impact of a publication on other research in the field; tracking the history of a research idea; tracking the research of a colleague, or keeping track of your own research.

Full-text Access to Dissertations

ProQuest Icon With more than two million entries, the ProQuest Digital Dissertations Database is the single, authoritative source for information about doctoral dissertations and master's theses. The database represents the work of authors from over 1,000 graduate schools and universities. Over 47,000 new dissertations and 12,000 new theses are added to the database each year. The database includes bibliographic citations for materials ranging from the first U.S. dissertation, accepted in 1861, to those accepted as recently as last semester. Citations for dissertations published from 1980 forward also include 350-word abstracts written by the author. Citations for master's theses from 1988 forward include 150-word abstracts. Information is also provided on well over 4,000 dissertations completed at Boston College. Particularly significant is the access to the full text of dissertations published since 1997, over 450,000 titles! Twenty-four pages previews are also available for the years 1997+.

Searching is powerful and flexible. It is possible to search by keyword, author, title, school, and advisor and perform searches such as a) keyword "Wordsworth" and school "Boston College" or b) advisor "Wilt" and school "Boston College". The interface is simple to use and makes viewing the preview pages and retrieving the full-text a simple process.

Historical Archive of Two Major Newspapers
Particularly valuable to a researcher of English and American literature and related subjects are the full-text facsimile archives of the leading British newspaper over the past two and a quarter centuries and the most prominent American newspaper since the mid-19th century:
  • Times Digital Archive: The Times Digital Archive provides researchers with an unparalleled opportunity to search and view online one of the world's most cited newspaper in its original published context. Every complete page of every issue of The Times (London) from 1785 to 1985, every headline, article and image, every front page, editorial, birth and death notice, advertisement and classified ad that appeared within the pages of The Times is easily accessible through this database.
  • New York Times 1851-2001: Digitizing The New York Times involved scanning, digitizing, zoning, and editing over 3,400,000 pages from microfilm into digital files. The database covers The New York Times from its first issue in 1851 through 2001. This full-text database is searchable by keyword, article type, date range, and author's name. Full-page images, including advertisements, can be displayed by article or by page. The database is cross-searchable with American Periodicals Series Online.

Copyright Agreement to Extend Author's Rights Adopted
For several years Boston College Libraries have urged BC faculty, students and staff to consider carefully before signing a publishing contract how the contract might later affect their usage of the published work in their teaching and research. In particular, the Library recommends that BC authors retain the right to include the published work in a course-pack, to place it on their personal web pages and to post and update it in a scholarly e-print server. To effect this most easily, the Library encourages authors to request that a scholarship dissemination-friendly addendum be added to their contracts. Very recently the Board of Directors of the Boston Library Consortium (Boston College is a member) approved unanimously the adoption of a similar amendment to a contractual or publication agreement, namely Agreement to Extend Author's Rights. This is a document that gives authors and their employing institutions non-exclusive rights to use, distribute, and reproduce material in electronic digital or print form in activities connected with the author's academic and professional activities. The amendment also supports placement of material in institutional repositories. One may access the agreement in both PDF and Word formats at the Boston Library Consortium website. The Boston Library Consortium also has an Authors’ Rights website at: www.blc.org/authorsrights.html.


DisraeliThree Databases (Under-Utilized?) Useful for Research in Literature
The following three indexes/databases are arguably not accessed by the Library's users as frequently as one might suspect. Certainly they are potentially very valuable for researching aspects of literature in English and related areas:

  • British Humanities Index (1962-present): BHI indexes over 320 internationally respected humanities journals and weekly magazines published in the UK and other English speaking countries, as well as quality newspapers published in the UK.
  • Essay & General Literature Index: Access to nearly 65,000 essays contained in some 5,300 anthologies and collections. Each year more than 300 single and multi-author collections are indexed as well as more than 20 selected annuals and serials. Coverage includes all of the humanities and social sciences, including literary works, art history, drama, and film. Online coverage is 1985 to present. [1900 - 1984 is available in print in the O'Neill Library Reference Index Area AI3 .E75 Range 2 : General.]
  • Periodicals Archive Online (1775-1995): Periodicals Archive Online is an archive of hundreds of digitized journals published in the arts, humanities and social sciences. It provides researchers with access to more than 200 years of scholarship, spread across a wide variety of subject areas. Currently, Periodicals Archive Online contains over 350 journals, providing access to over 7.8 million article pages - representing over 1.2 million articles.


Searching Across Archive of Americana

One is now able to search simultaneously the five databases that compose our version of Archive of Americana,
a family of historical collections containing books, pamphlets, broadsides, newspapers, government documents and ephemera printed in America over three centuries:

After accessing any one of these databases (through the Online Databases page) look near the top right corner. Click on Archive of Americana  in “Use Archive of Americana to search across multiple collections.” The searching is fairly basic – keyword. However, the search hints are useful.

Over 250 Newspapers From More Than 50 Countries: New Online Database!
Press Display  PressDisplay, the newest addition to the BC Libraries' collection of online databases, lets you look at more than 250 newspapers from around the world, exactly as they appear in print and on the same day they are published. PressDisplay provides access to papers from the U.S. and more than 50 other countries. All papers are provided complete (with a few minor exceptions) and in color, displayed in their original format and layout (including images and advertisements). Readers can browse the papers a page at a time, zooming in for easy reading. A selected (and growing) subset of titles is available with advanced features, including clickable tables of contents and the ability to call up individual articles in text format for easy printing or cutting and pasting. Newspapers can be selected by country, by language, or from an alphabetical list. Each paper is available with a rolling 60-day archive. (Older articles for many of these papers are available in other formats in the BC Libraries.) For more on PressDisplay, including how to navigate through it, see the PressDisplay Tutorial.