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Language & Literature

A guide for finding language and literature resources and information

Getting Started

The video tutorials below will help you in understanding the search features and process for each of the listed article databases. If you have additional questions or need further assistance please contact a librarian (

You can search the library system with the author you are writing about as the subject.  The bibliographies listed in biographies point to other sources that may prove to be helpful in your research.

Resources by Type

Archive collections are a great source of information. These collections contain mostly primary sources, but may also include secondary sources. Archive collections are usually affiliated with universities, public libraries, and museums. Some of the content in these collections may be digitized. For content that is not digitized you may need to contact the archivist (the person in charge of the archive collection) to find out the best method for accessing the content/information you need. Below are some sample searches for a variety of archive collections. The video below discusses and demonstrates the use of bibliographies and archive collections in the course of literary research.

Examples of Archives or Collections


Bibliographies are great sources to glean other works that you may not have discovered through other search mechanisms. Bibliographies are collections of works on a particular topic. Sources used by authors to create works are located in bibliographies at the end of the work. Topical bibliographies, such as Civil War Literature, 1861-1914, has a specific research focus, but may be helpful if you are writing about Harriet Beecher Stowe, as it may include primary and secondary sources on her and her writings. The short video below will demonstrate how to search the library system to locate resources both in NNU library and in other libraries (that you can request through interlibrary loan).

The following link is a search done in the NNU Riley Library system for encyclopedias-related to American Literature.

The following link is a search done in the NNU Riley Library's system for dictionaries related to American Literature.

To locate companions, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and handbooks for other literatures (e.g., British literature), use the following search strategy format in the library system:

su:British literature--encyclopedias (dictionaries)

Remember to limit your search results to items owned by NNU Riley Library.