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Welcome to the English subject pages.

Use the tabs to navigate to the different resources we have to support English. Alternatively, this 1-page guide summarises some of the information to get you started.

You may also find it useful to browse the resources for the following subjects:

Useful shelfmarks:



American literature PS
Classical language and literature PA227-8595
Drama PN1600-3307
English language PE
English literature PR
Literary criticism PN80-99
Poetry PN1010-1551


Special Collections:

The University has a number of special collections of books and other materials particularly relevant to English.  These include the Burnett Archive of Working Class Autobiographies, The Bill Griffiths Collection, The South Asian Diaspora Literature and Arts Archive (SALIDAA) and two Shakespearean collections.  To consult material in this archive, please arrange an appointment by e-mail allowing at least 1 working day’s notice.

Follow me at @ArtsLibrarian for updates on our services and collections.


For a general search across multiple databases, search Summon.


Individual databases offer a more detailed comprehensive search.  Those most relevant to your subject area have been selected below. For guidance on more specific types of information, such as Market Research, Raw Data, Standards and Patents, please see the links on our Research page.

Access to these e-resources is restricted to the students and staff of Brunel University for licensing and technical reasons. Some licence agreements may exclude access to databases and their contents from certain countries. It is your responsibility to comply with the terms and conditions of the relevant licence agreements - for more information see the copyright web page on databases - contact copyright@brunel.ac.uk if you have any questions.

    Academic Search Complete

    Contains full text articles from over 5,000 journals, covering many subjects, including anthropology, politics, political science, psychology, psychiatry, sociology and social work.

    Alternative link (if above doesn't work)

    British Periodicals

    British Periodicals traces the changing attitudes and assumptions of British Writers over a period of 250 years. It consists of 460 periodical runs published from the 1680s to the 1930s, hosted on the new ProQuest integrated platform (this has the option to search other databases, too).

    Alternative link (if above doesn't work)

    Cambridge Journals Online

    Cambridge Journals Online provides full text access for over two hundred journals published by Cambridge University Press in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Also available: access to Cambridge Journals Digital Archive (bought by JISC Collections) comprising 171 journals.

    Alternative link (if above doesn't work)

    e-Duke Scholarly Books Collection

    Access to over 1,400 scholarly e-books published by Duke University Press in the humanities and social sciences.

    Alternative link (if above doesn't work)

    Early English Books Online

    EEBO contains digital facsimile page images of virtually every work printed in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and British North America and works in English printed elsewhere from 1473-1700.

    Alternative link (if above doesn't work)


    Archive collections of full text electronic journals from 1880 onwards, always from volume 1, issue 1, and including previous and related titles. The most recently published issues (past 3-5 years) are not available in these collections (unless we hold a current subscription too). The Library subscribes only to the Arts & Sciences I to IX collections, inclusive, and to the Health & General Sciences collection, as well as to 19th Century British Pamphlets, a collection created by RLUK (Research Libraries UK) and to the Ireland collection (research materials relating to Ireland, spanning the 18th century to present, provided under the JISC Digitisation Programme). If you have any problem connecting to JSTOR off campus, please use the alternative link below in combination with the AnyConnect VPN Universal service package from the Connect portal.

    Alternative link (if above doesn't work)

    Literature Online

    Provides over 4200 authoritative profiles of authors, works and literary and historical topics. Lists more than 20,000 works by date, country and genre.

    Alternative link (if above doesn't work)

    MLA International Bibliography

    A detailed bibliography of journal articles, books and dissertations. The electronic version of the bibliography dates back to the 1920s and contains over 1.8 million citations from more than 4,400 journals and series and 1,000 book publishers. The indexed materials coverage is international and includes almost 60 titles from JSTOR’s language and literature collection as well as links to full text.

    Alternative link (if above doesn't work)


    Full text access to UK local and national newspapers via Nexis.

    Alternative link (if above doesn't work)


    Full text access to regional, national and international newspapers, business trade journals, company reports and country reports, including Company Dossier - please note that Company Dossier only works through the link above and not through the alternative e-Library link below. (This database was previously called LexisNexis Business & News).

    Alternative link (if above doesn't work)

    Oxford English Dictionary

    The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is an etymological dictionary which is widely acknowledged as the most comprehensive record of the English language, tracing the evolution and use of more than 600,000 words through 3 million quotations. OED Online gives access to latest text of the full Oxford English Dictionary, the Historical Thesaurus of the OED and enable users new ways to explore the English language:

    Search for new words by year, decade, or any date range. Set language in context: search by place, language type, and date to discover the impact of world events. OED Online is revised and updated at regular intervals and covers British, American, and other varieties of English, and all types of use, from formal to slang.

    Alternative link (if above doesn't work)

    Project MUSE

    Project MUSE Humanities Collection provides full-text online access to 164 humanities, arts, and social science journals from 60 scholarly publishers as well as links to Project MUSE content from databases such as America: History and life, Historical abstracts and JSTOR.

    Alternative link (if above doesn't work)


    An international database of Shakespeare on film, television and radio hosted by the British Universities Film & Video Council. It holds over 6,500 records dating from the 1890s to the present day.

    Twentieth-Century Drama

    Twentieth-Century Drama contains over 1,900 published plays from throughout the English-speaking world, covering the history of modern drama from the 1890s to the present day. The final version will contain 2,500 plays.

    Alternative link (if above doesn't work)

    Web of Science

    Web of Science Core Collection indexes journals and conference proceedings in the arts and humanities, social science and science and technology, providing abstracts to the majority of peer-reviewed articles, from 1970 to date, hosted on the Web of Science platform. This abstract only database is updated weekly. Also includes BIOSIS Citation Index (up to 2008), Medline and SciELO Citation Index. Use Article Linker (AL) to check for full text online sources.

    Alternative link (if above doesn't work)

Web Resources

General Guidance - read more


For "teach yourself" tutorials on using the web, visit:
Internet for English
Internet Philosopher

Gateways and general

The Arts and Humanities Data Service: Literature, Languages and Linguistics is hosted by the Oxford Text Archive at the University of Oxford. Its aim is to collect, document, preserve and promote the use of digital resources to support research and teaching within the disciplines of literature, languages, and linguistics.

Archives Hub
A gateway to archive collections of UK Universities.

Based at Iowa State University, this is a website devoted to accessible writing.

English Subject Centre
The English Subject Centre was established in 2000 to support teaching and learning at subject level. The website has information about projects and resources for teaching and discussion as well as details of their events programme.

Intute (links ceased to be updated from July 2011)
This database of English Studies resources has been selected, evaluated and described by subject specialists. The target audience is lecturers, researchers and students within UK higher and further education.

The Victorian Web
Provides lots of information about the Victorian era. The subjects covered by this site include: the cultural context, economics, the visual arts, religion and philosophy, literature, science and technology, and gender issues of the period.

Conarls database of non-English Language fiction
Search the database for collections of non-English language fiction in the UK. Conarls features over 1800 collections in 85 languages. The items are mainly from public and university collections. However, there are materials from specialist libraries such as The London Library, The Goethe Institute and the Library of the French Institute.


Research and Open Access - read more

Online texts and resources

A monthly online journal dedicated to 21st-century writing as well as 21st-century approaches to the literary canon; written by academics in the field, the journal aims to offer key issues and emerging trends in literature and literary criticism.

Access to free online literary study guides and texts

British History Online
The digital library of text and information about people, places and businesses from the medieval and early modern period, built by the Institute of Historical Research and the History of Parliament Trust. Includes the Calendar of State Papers of James I, Journals of the House of Commons from 1547 and the House of Lords from 1666.

CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts
Hosted at University College Cork, this resource provides full-text access to over 1000 contemporary and historical documents from various disciplines including Irish history, literature and politics.

Brunel University Department of English online journal for cultural and historical studies.

Great Writers Inspire
This collection of literary themed learning resources includes audio and video lectures, short talks, downloadable electronic texts and ebooks, and background contextual resources. Many of these resources have been specially created by the University of Oxford for this website.

Literary resources on the Net
Searchable literary resources, covering everything from classical literature to feminism, modernism, Victorian drama, etc.

Renaissance English Literature
Here you will find on-line versions of texts, as well as secondary and biographical material.

Free classics of literature, non fiction and reference. Texts can be accessed by searching under author, title or subject.

Source and directory of English Literature from the Medieval period to the Restoration. You will find information including biographies, quotes, works, essays and articles. Information can be accessed by using the search engine or browsing by period.

Subject Specific - read more

Creative writing

Animating literature
A portal to news, information and discussion for readers, writers, teachers, students and literature professionals, from the British Council.

Contemporary writers in the UK
Up-to-date profiles of some of the UK and Commonwealth's most important living writers - biographies, bibliographies, critical reviews, prizes and photographs.

National Association of Writers' Groups (NAWG)
Established in 1995, the NAWG runs free entry competitions, covering poetry, short stories, stage plays, journalistic articles and an award for the most promising novel; it publishes a bi-monthly magazine called LINK.


American Verse Project
A project to produce electronic archives of American poetry prior to 1920.

Bloodaxe Books
'The best contemporary poetry from the UK's sharpest publisher' (Bloodaxe)

A site dedicated to classic English poetry and poets. The site contains a growing archive of over 750 poems, as well as background information on the poets who wrote them.

The Poetry Archive
The world's premier online collection of poets reading their work. Set up in 2005 and growing all the time, you can listen to historic and contemporary recordings and study the text.

The Poetry Library
Although the Library is closed to the public until 2007 while the South Bank is being rebuilt, the website has a wealth of information, links, magazines and competitions.


Information on Hamlet and related works, including digital editons of different editions of the play, prompt books and other references.

Internet Shakespeare editions
Includes the texts of all plays both in quarto and folio editions, edited for electronic format.

Shakespeare in performance
Searchable database of performance materials from over 1,000 folm and stage productions, including director's notes, performance stills, posters, costume designs, cast and crew listings.

Shakespeare in quarto
T he British Library’s 93 copies of the 21 plays by Shakespeare printed in quarto before the theatres were closed in 1642.

William Shakespeare's Library
Digital Publisher YUDU Media has released Shakespeare’s entire collection as free e-books. The online collection also includes some of his lesser known work such as The Pheonix, The Passionate Pilgrim and The Turtle. Readers can filter the media types by books, newspapers, web links and a variety of other options. You can also subscribe to updates on the site via RSS feeds.

The Shakespeare Centre
Click on the link to Library and Archive. Here you’ll find comprehensive research materials on Shakespeare's life, work and times and the performance of his plays. There are links to searchable archival databases, the RSC Performance Database, newsletters and blogs.

Touchstone is a project funded by the British Library Co-operation and Partnership Programme (BLCPP) to identify and map significant UK Shakespeare collections. It aims to encourage research in Shakespeare studies. The site features extensive links to organisations, exhibitions, events, performances and collections.

What's on

Literary conferences
An online guide to literary conferences in the UK and overseas conferences about UK and Commonwealth literature.

Literary festivals
A comprehensive guide to Literary Festivals (and general Arts Festivals with a literary content) happening around the UK.

Using Other Libraries

When conducting specialist research, Brunel Library may not always stock everything you need. If this happens, you have a number of options:

Before you visit another library

If you do plan to visit another library, please check first of all that we do not have the item you need. Advice on using the library can be found on our Finding Resources page. Alternatively, please ask a member of staff at the Helpdesk or contact the Subject Liaison Librarian for your School.

Remember, if the item you need is on a reading list, we will make every effort to purchase this for the Library, so please let us know the details.

Where there are specific libraries of interest for your subject, these will be listed below.


As well as the resources listed under the Databases and Web Resources tabs of this subject page, we have a number of other resources that could be of relevance to your research, such as:


Market Research

Raw Data




Additionally, you may wish to refer our general Research page which comprehensively lists all of our Research Resources.

If you need help with using any of these resources, please contact the Subject Liaison Librarian for your School, details of which can be found from the Overview tab.

Page last updated: Wednesday 26 June 2013