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Modern & Classical Languages & Literatures

Research Guide for MCLL majors or students taking MCLL classes.

Reference Databases

Online Reference Resources for Literature Research 

Reference sources like dictionaries and encyclopedias can be great sources of background information. The library also has several online reference databases for literature research, a few of which are listed below. 


Literature Resource Center [Gale] Provides reference materials on authors of both fiction and nonfiction. Includes bibliographical and biographical information, literary criticism and contextual information.



Literature Online
/ LION (ProQuest) Over a third of a million full-text works of poetry, prose and drama in English as well as criticism and reference sources.



Johns Hopkins Online Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism Examines the development of ideas in disciplines which have influenced literary theory and criticism. International in scope, but emphasizes western critical theory.



Oxford English Dictionary Online The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is widely regarded as the accepted authority on the English language. It is an unsurpassed guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation of 600,000 words— past and present—from across the English-speaking world. As a historical dictionary, the OED is very different from dictionaries of current English, in which the focus is on present-day meanings. You’ll still find present-day meanings in the OED, but you’ll also find the history of individual words, and of the language—traced through 3 million quotations, from classic literature and specialist periodicals to film scripts and cookery books.


Middle English Dictionary
(freely available online) is the world's largest searchable database of Middle English lexicon and usage for the period 1100-1500. An invaluable resource for lexicographers, language scholars, and all scholars in medieval studies.

Multidisciplinary Online Reference Resources 


Oxford Reference Online Reference library that includes hundreds of reference titles, covering a wide range of fields, published by Oxford University Press.


Gale Virtual Reference Library is a database of encyclopedias, almanacs, and specialized reference sources for multidisciplinary research.