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Find the Meaning of Words
Oxford English Dictionary
Call Number: ref PE 1625 .O87 1989
The "OED" is the standard historical dictionary of English. If you're just checking a quick meaning, either print or database will do. More complex searching requires use of the database.
Oxford English Dictionary This link opens in a new window
Traces the development of English from 1150 AD to the present. Entries include spelling, pronunciation, derivation, meaning, and usage. 2nd ed (1989)+ updates.
Online Literary Texts
Literature Online (LION) [ProQuest] This link opens in a new window
Fully searchable library of 350,000+ works of English and American poetry, drama and prose, plus biographies, bibliographies, criticism and reference sources.
Columbia Granger's World of Poetry This link opens in a new window
Index to 450,000 poems; 250,000 full text. With commentaries; biographies; a glossary; foreign language poetry; translations; and audio recordings.
Find the Meaning of an Obscure Reference
Starting Places -- Or what to do when you have no clue what that means
Oxford Reference Online This link opens in a new window
Reference dictionaries and companions, including illustrations, web links, and searching individual titles or by subject area; from Oxford University Press.
Cambridge Histories Online This link opens in a new window
Contains all titles of the Cambridge Histories series. Topics include political, economic & regional history (ancient to modern) plus language & literature, philosophy, music, religion, science, the performing arts, etc.
Blackwell Reference Online This link opens in a new window
350+ titles in the humanities and social sciences, including the Blackwell companions and handbooks. Strengths are psychology, sociology, history, literature, philosophy, and religion.
Scribner Writers Online [Gale] This link opens in a new window
Online versions of American Writers, British Writers, European Writers, and World and Genre Writers.
Use these sources to find the facts about a life including lists of writings.
Handbook to Literature
Call Number: ref PN 41 .H355 2012
New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics
Call Number: ref PN 1021 .N39 1993
Book of Forms: A Handbook of Poetry and Criticism
Call Number: ref PN 1042 .T8 2000
Dictionary of Literary Symbols
Call Number: ref PN 56 .S9 F47 2007