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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Introduction to English Language Literature: Electronic Resources

UIUC Library

The UIUC Library provides access to a wide variety of electronic resources that can help you discover primary source materials, historically significant texts and periodicals, and other important information. On this page, you will find the electronic resources most suitable for your research in literature and its allied fields.

Simply decide which resource meets your needs. The tabbed box for each database walks you through each of the databases, how they work, and what you should do when you locate an item of interest.

For all other databases associated with English Literature, please visit A-Z Databases. Select the "Subject" most closely affiliated with your research or learning needs to discover relevant databases.

Digitized Literature and Literary Collections

Search EEBO

To perform a broad search on EEBO, simply type your search term into the bar. 

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Learn to Use Facets and Other Limiters

You may also perform an advanced search. To do this, click on the advanced search icon on the home page of EEBO. 

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You may add as many search terms as needed, and limit your search to find exactly what you need.

You can narrow your search by using specific terms with one another, by publication date, and by source or document type. 

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Finally, you may sort your results in whatever way would be most useful to you. 

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Get What You Need

EEBO retrieved several thousand results.

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To make things easier, you can refine your search using the side bar on the left. Depending on what you need, you can narrow it down by author, date of publication, place of publication, subject, and publisher. 

Let's say I'm looking to access images of Shakespeare's First Folio. EEBO retrieved one result.

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From this page, you have several options available for viewing the text. Clicking on the title will bring you to the full text and table of contents, so you can go directly to the page you need. In addition, you may access and download the Folio as a PDF for further use.

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Find Material

Since ProQuest provides access to all of these collections, searching in each database follows the same process.

Early American Fiction

For instance, we can search for material related to Herman Melville. Like all ProQuest databases, you can perform an "Advanced Search" to refine your search. 

ProQuest Literature Results

Our search produced 14 results. Scroll through the results to find those that best match your needs. Use the facets on the left hand side of the page to revise your results.

Get What You Need

When you select an item that matches your needs, simply click on the associated link, which will direct you to the digitized text.

ProQuest Melville Result

This page also enables you to save the text as a PDF, Cite the item, email it to yourself, or print it. In addition, you can create an account by selecting the appropriate icon in the right hand corner of the page. This will help you to keep track of your searches, saved items, and other related items.

ProQuest Account

Search Alexander Street Press

Alexander Street Press provides access to a number of collections, representing literature, languages, and the performing arts. Once you have identified which collection is right for you, you can search it to find information related to your research or teaching needs. Here, we will examine Black Drama to become familiar with how to use Alexander Street Press collections. 

Black Drama

Each Alexander Street Press collection describes its contents and provides you with the option to create an account by selecting the "User Profile" Icon. Creating an account is a useful way to keep track of your research, searches, and related activity.

Searching for content in the collection is fairly easy. Input your search term or use the facets on the left to advance to results related to your reach and learning needs.

Alexander Street Press Results

Once you have refined your search or produced a result list that you believe represents your inquiry, you can begin to read material.

You are also welcome to search across all of the Alexander Street Press collections. Simply visit https://search.alexanderstreet.com/ to search for content in a variety of fields and presented in an array of formats, including streaming medial

Get What You Need

Below you will find a sample of results from a search for material in Black Drama

Alexander Street Press Results

Selecting any one of these options will open the text for you to read and study. For instance, below you will find Langston Hughes' Don't You Want to Be Free?

You know have the option to read the text. The platform also provides you with the ability to cite the work, email it to yourself, share it, include it in a list that you want to create, or embed it in other platforms. 

 

Search HathiTrust

Before you begin, Login to HathiTrust Digital Library. This will enable you to take advantage of all of its features and access its content.

HathiTrust Login

You can discover a variety of digitized texts in the HathiTrust Digital Library.

HathiTrust Search

Selecting "Advanced Full-Text Search", "Advanced Catalog Search" or "Search Tips" will enable you to refine and expand your inquiry according to your needs. 
Once you have decided which search option works best for you, type your search terms into the search bar and review your results.

HathiTrust Results

 

Get What You Need

Once you entered your search terms, you will discover a list of results.

HathiTrust Results

Select the result that best matches your research and learning needs, or that you find is particularly interesting.

HathiTrust Results

Click on the "Temporary Access" Link to read the text.

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