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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Introduction to Literature and Linguistics Research for Reference Service: Home

Libraries for Literature and Linguistics

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Several libraries handle literature and linguistic research.

Literatures & Languages Library

~for English and Western European  languages and literatures, linguistics, both theoretical and applied, and translation studies

International and Area Studies Library

~for all other literatures and languages worldwide

Social Science, Health and Education Library

~for some aspects of social and applied linguistics


Author Biographies

Image result for charles dickens portraitBiographical information on authors, such as Charles Dickens, shown here,—includes a wide range of information, such as author letters, authors' diaries and notes, authors' manuscripts, biographies.

Short Stories

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For stories in collected works, such as by Edgar Allen Poe, shown here, try the Library Catalog or WorldCat.

Introduction to Guide

This guide will help you find library materials for literary and linguistic study and is organized by the types of materials patrons seek.


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Novels are easy to find. The best sources is the Library Catalog using a Title Search. If the patron does not know the title, then try an Author Search. Please note that some catalog records for Complete Works will list the entire content. If the Library Catalog does not, then try WorldCat or even Amazon, which often lists each item.

Finding Translations

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Finding translations can be a bit tricky, especially for short stories and poems.

For literary translations published between 1932-1979 consult the following print resource.

Subject Headings for finding random translations:

Arabic poetry--translations into English

French literature--translations into English

Short stories, Japanese--translations into English

Proust, Marcel, 1871-1922--translations into English (for better results personal name should be qualified by dates)

For a specific title translated into another language use a title search option (original title--language of the translation) e.g.:

Much ado about nothing--German

Finding Poetry

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For collected works, such as by Emily Dickinson, shown here, search the VU Find Catalog or WorldCat.

Publication History

The publication history of a literary work is a bit tricky to find. Many literary works first appear in newspapers and magazines. Thus they are only discoverable if there is  a "catalogue raissoné" of the author's works or buy searching through possible sources.