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American Literature

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Browsing the Bookstacks
The Library of Congress Classification System arranges books by Subject, so browsing the shelves in Reference (3000 Level, Booth Library) or in the Bookstacks (1000 Level, Booth Library) in these call number areas will introduce you to the collection in General Literature and American Literature.  This is a very large collection, so use the Online Catalog to locate titles on specific subjects, for example: "Whitman and the Civil War" or "Women and Toni Morrison."  Also, the Library of Congress assigns unique Author Numbers to most authors and the Online Catalog will help you find these author numbers, for example Mark Twain PS1305 or Nikki Giovanni PS3557.I55.
  PE English Language
  PN General Literary History
  PS American Literature
Finding Books
Search for books in the EIU Online Catalog by author, title, keyword or subjectSee sample search below:
 Limit results under the "Narrow Search" section.  “Topics” are especially useful.

Finding Journal Articles
Use online indexes to locate journal articles online, in print at Booth Library or available through InterLibrary Loan.

Online Reference Resources
Online reference resources offer biographical and critical information about authors, their works and other literary topics, for example:

Columbia Granger's World of Poetry
Topics: Fulltext poems | Biographies of Poets | Commentaries | History & Criticism | Subject Search | Glossary

Folktales and Fairy Tales: Traditions and Texts from around the World
Folktales and fairy tales from around the globe | History | Geography | Culture | Anthropology | Contemporary Topics | Fairy Tale in Manga | Television | Pop Music | Music Videos

Gale Artemis Literary Sources
Topics: Literary Criticism for Authors and their Works | Cross-searchable with Children's Literature Review -  Dictionary of Literary Biography - Literature Criticism Online - Something About the Author | Great Sources of Information about the Lives of Authors and their Works

Literature and Politics Today
This encyclopedia explores the relationship between literature and politics through entries on authors, historical figures, major literary and political works, national literatures, and literary movements. It covers specific themes, concepts, and genres related to literature and politics from the 20th century to the present.

Salem Literature Online
Critical Survey of Long Fiction, 4th edition | Critical Survey of Graphic Novels | Critical Survey of Shakespeare's Sonnets | Magill`s Literary Annual | Selected Titles from the Critical Insights Series
Reference Resources
The Reference Room, located on the 3000 Level of Booth Library offers many handy reference titles that can help you with your research.  Here are a few examples:
American Writers Ref. PS 129 .A55
Asian American Literature Ref. PS 153 .A34 G74 2009
Beats: a Literary Reference Ref. PS 228 .B6 B42x 2003
Black Literature Criticism Ref. PS 153 .N5 B556 2008x
Contemporary LGBTQ Literature of the U. S Ref. PS 153 .S39 E53 2009
Encyclopedia of African American Writing Ref. PS 153 .N5 A3444 2009x
Great Jobs for English Majors Ref. HF 5382.7 .043 2000
Latino and Latina Writers Ref. PS 153 .H56 L39 2004
Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature Ref. PN 3433 .M34x 1996
Thematic Guide to American Poetry Ref. PN 771 .G27    
Subject Specialist
Karen Whisler
English Librarian

Reference Desk 217-581-6072
Email the Reference Desk