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Subject Resources for English Language, English Literature and Creative Writing

The collections provided below are electronic resources (eResources) and give you instant access to high quality scholarly research through journal articles and databases. You can access these eResources 24/7 and each collection has its own to help pages to guide you through accessing and navigating the resources. If you need any additional support to develop your information literacy and research skills please visit the Further Help and Support tab.

Key journals and databases

  • British Periodicals provides access to hundreds of searchable full-text periodicals from the late 17th to early 20th century, comprising millions of high-resolution images. Topics covered include literature, philosophy, history, science, the social sciences, music, art, drama, archaeology and architecture.
  • Cambridge Core is a collection of multidisciplinary scholarly journals useful for locating full-text articles for English Language, Music and Performance studies on subjects such as dance, theatre and music technology.
  • Contemporary Authors contains biographical information on thousands of modern novelists, poets, playwrights, nonfiction writers, journalists and scriptwriters.
  • Critical Studies and Performance Practice is a Drama Online collection containing hundreds of academic textbooks from Methuen Drama and Arden Shakespeare, in addition to a series of actor training videos.
  • Dickens Journals Online provides access to a complete online edition of Dickens’s weekly magazines: Household Words and All the Year Round.
  • Dictionary of Literary Biography contains reliable information on authors and their works in an easy to understand and engaging format, dedicated to making literature, and its creators, better understood and more accessible to students.
  • Drama Online Core Collection provides access to a rich catalogue of plays by the world’s leading dramatists published by Bloomsbury’s imprints, Methuen Drama, The Arden Shakespeare and Faber and Faber.
  • English-Corpora is one of the largest and most widely used corpora (collection of written texts) of the English language. It has a variety of uses for people studying linguistics, researching the English language or for non-native speakers to learn about how English is used in specific settings. This resources is free to use but you will need to register for an account with your University email address and follow the steps to link it to Edge Hill University. 
  • Film and Television Literature Index is a database of full-text journal articles covering the entire spectrum of film and television theory, preservation and restoration, script writing, production, cinematography, technical aspects and reviews.
  • Gale Literature provides access to Gale’s premier literary databases, allowing researchers to search across resources to discover and analyse content.
  • Gale Literature Criticism contains an extensive compilation of literary criticism from scholarly and popular sources, including broadsheets, pamphlets, encyclopaedias, books and periodicals.
  • Gale Literature Resource Center provides access to literary criticisms and biographies on thousands of authors, as well as primary sources and multimedia works.
  • Gender and Language provides access to an international forum for language-based research on gender and sexuality from feminist, queer, trans and nonbinary perspectives, showcasing research on the social analytics of gender in discourse domains that include institutions, media, politics and everyday interaction.
  • International Journal of Speech, Language and the Law is a peer-reviewed journal that publishes articles on any aspect of forensic language, speech and audio analysis.
  • JISC Historical Texts provides access to thousands of late 15th to 19th century texts from four historically significant collections: Early English Books Online (EEBO), Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO), the British Library 19th Century collection and the UK Medical Heritage Library (UKMHL).
  • Journal Storage (JSTOR) is an extensive archive of journals, books, images and primary sources across a range of arts, humanities and education disciplines – as it is an archive, the most recently published issues (past 3-5 years) are not available.
  • Literary Reference Plus is useful for information on literary authors from a wide variety of genres, covering writings such as poetry, drama, fiction and non-fiction.
  • Literature Compass is a unique online-only journal, publishing original, peer-reviewed surveys of current research from across the discipline, providing an ideal starting point for both specialist and non-specialist across medieval, renaissance, Shakespeare, romanticism, Victorian, 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th century, contemporary and American literature.
  • Literature Online is an important information source for literature research, providing access to full-text journal articles, key criticism and reference material, including a large collection of English and American poetry, drama and prose.
  • LitFinder provides access to literary works and authors throughout history, including thousands of full-text poems and poetry citations, as well as short stories, speeches, and plays.
  • Modern Language Association (MLA) International Bibliography with Full-Text contains millions of citations and full-text articles from thousands of journals about literatures and languages from around the world. Subjects covered include literary theory and criticism, dramatic arts (such as film, television and theatre) and linguistics.
  • Nick Hern Books Modern Plays is a Drama Online collection providing access to hundreds of plays from many UK and Ireland’s preeminent playwrights, as well as new voices, offering a wide and varied range of award-winning and widely studied plays.
  • Oxford Bibliographies of Linguistics offers exclusive, authoritative research guides that combine the best features of an annotated bibliography and a high-level encyclopedia.
  • Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Linguistics is an important, reviewed and regularly updated online encyclopedia of linguistics, including information for academic research at all levels – from basic to specialised topics.
  • Periodicals Archive Online is an archive collection of 20th century scholarly periodicals in the arts, humanities and social sciences.
  • Scribner Writer Series is a database providing access to hundreds of eBooks relating to literature..
  • Something About the Author provides comprehensive access to all volumes ever printed in Gale’s long standing series, which examines the lives and works of authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults.
  • Twayne’s Author Series contains hundreds of eBooks from the Twayne Literary Masters series on individual world, American and English authors.

These resources are great for use across all disciplines and programmes of study.

  • Academic Search Premier is a multidisciplinary database with more than 4,600 magazines and journals, including full-text access to nearly 3,900 scholarly and peer-reviewed journals.
  • Box of Broadcasts is an on-demand TV and radio service for educational research brought to you from Learning on Screen. The academically focused service enables you to watch and record programmes from over 75 free-to-air channels in the UK and search an extensive archive of over 2.2 million broadcasts. The service includes ten foreign language channels and allows you to create clips and playlists to share or embed into presentations.
  • Browzine gives you access to top journals from your area of study in the Browzine Scholarly Journal Room. Browzine is a browsable newsstand of the University Library’s top journals, which lets you easily discover, read and monitor the key journals in your field. Learn more about Browzine in this short video.
  • CREDO Reference is a general knowledge database and a great place to begin exploring your research topic as it has thousands of introductory level reference titles, millions of articles, and lots of images, charts, maps and more covering a wide variety of subjects.
  • Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB) is a community-driven discovery service that indexes and provides access to scholarly, peer-reviewed open access books and helps users to find trusted open access book publishers.
  • Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is an online directory that indexes and provides access to high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals.
  • Gale Research Complete provides access to proprietary databases, eBooks, scholarly articles and rare primary sources that can enhance your research, learning and discovery, including thousands of journals and other authoritative sources in Academic OneFile.
  • Libby (OverDrive) is a reading for pleasure collection of eBooks, audiobooks and magazines, providing you with a new digital library via the Libby app open 24/7 to all Edge Hill students and staff.
  • LinkedIn Learning gives you full, free, unlimited access to thousands of high quality online courses and video tutorials written by industry experts. The courses cover many topics including using a wide range of software, and personal development skills in education, public speaking, employability and much more. You can even claim and display certificates for courses you complete on your LinkedIn profile, to give your online CV a boost!
  • Overton is the world’s largest searchable index of policy documents, guidelines, think tank publications and working papers. You can access this platform with your University email address to search the literature and find out who is influencing policies and policy makers.
  • Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is widely accepted as the most complete record of the English language ever assembled.
  • Oxford Reference is an online reference database, covering a wide range of subject areas, providing access to millions of digitised materials from across Oxford University Press’s Dictionaries, Companions and Encyclopedias.
  • ProQuest Dissertations and Theses is the world’s most comprehensive collection of dissertations and theses from around the world, spanning from 1743 to the present day.
  • Sage Datasets is a collection of US and international datasets sourced from governmental, commercial and private organisations, allowing you to search and browse billions of datasets, compare and contrast variables of interest, and create customised exportable charts and tables.
  • Sage Research Methods is a database which supports research at all levels by providing material to guide users through each step of the research process. From writing your research question and choosing a method, to analysing data, writing up and publishing the findings. Resources include a methods map, books, reference works, journal articles, podcasts and instructional videos from world-leading academics. With information on qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods, Sage Research Methods is the ideal tool to support you through your research.
  • ScienceDirect is a leading full-text scientific database offering access to thousands of journal articles and book chapters for subjects including physical sciences and engineering, life sciences, health sciences, sports and physical activities, social sciences and humanities.
  • Scopus is the world’s largest abstract and citation database, containing 24,600 journals from 5,000 publishers. It is excellent for literature reviews or for finding out what has been published in your area as it can locate high quality journal articles, book chapters and more, for any subject. 
  • Springer Link provides researchers with access to millions of scientific documents from journals, books, series, protocols and reference works.
  • Statista is a comprehensive statistics platform offering over 1.5 million data sets. Find studies and reports, forecasts and surveys from over 400 industries that you can download in a range of formats. There are also video tutorials and a quick user guide to help you make the most of Statista.
  • Taylor and Francis Online is a collection of multidisciplinary journals covering subjects from arts, humanities, business, computer sciences, social sciences, geography, sports, social work, education and many more.
  • Wiley Online Library is a leading scholarly articles databases providing access to thousands of full-text multidisciplinary journals, covering life, health and physical sciences, nursing, psychology, social work, education, media, technology, business, social sciences and the humanities.

In addition to journals and databases, you can also access printed and electronic books (eBooks) within your subject area.

The table below is a great place to start browsing the physical Library shelves. It lists a range of useful topics related to your subject area and the associated call number for that subject. The call number is the numbers (and usually letters too e.g. 808.042/GIL) on the spine of the book, which allows them to be arranged in a logical order on the Library shelves.

The call numbers listed below are the general area you will find books on the related subject, but you can also complete a search on Discover More for more specific titles and to access any eBooks on your chosen topic.

SubjectCall Number
English Language400
Philosophy and Theory / International Languages401
Special Topics of Language404
Groups of People408
Linguistics 410
English Usage428
Literature, Rhetoric and Criticism800
Literary Theory801
Literary Criticism801.95
Creative Writing808
Writing Poetry808.1
Scriptwriting / Playwriting808.2
Writing Fiction808.3
Reading Poetry809
English Fiction823
English Essays825

Newspapers can be a useful way of keeping up to date with current affairs or recent events and newspaper archives usually contain issues with less recent information, which is useful for finding articles of a more historical interest.

  • British Library Newspapers (1800-1900) contains a large range of national, regional and local newspapers from the period. These include the Illustrated Police News, the Chartist Northern Star and the Morning Chronicle.
  • Daily Mail Historical Archive (1896-2004) contains news stories and images that capture twentieth century culture and society. Offering full page and article images, with searchable full-text back to the first issue, this is a useful resource for historical research.
  • Financial Times contains news and analysis about the world of business and finance reaching back as far as 1999. Business and Economics students, or any researchers wishing to subscribe to daily updates, would benefit from accessing the Financial Times direct. Anyone wishing to research older content would benefit from visiting the Financial Times via Gale OneFile.
  • Gale OneFile: News contains articles from over 2,300 newspapers from around the world. These include major British newspapers, as well as United States and Australian titles. It also has thousands of images, radio and TV broadcasts and transcripts.
  • The Guardian and The Observer Historical Newspapers (1791-2003) provides genealogists, researchers and scholars with online, easily searchable first-hand accounts and unparalleled coverage of the politics, society and events of the time.
  • Illustrated London News Historical Archive (1842-2003) was the world’s first fully illustrated weekly newspaper, marking a revolution in journalism and news reporting, presenting a vivid picture of British and world events, including news of war, disaster, ceremonies, the arts and science.
  • Lexis+ Newspapers provides access to an archive of UK national and regional newspapers, with coverage from the 1990s to the present day.
  • Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Burney Newspapers Collection is Reverend Charles Burney’s collection of early English news media. A comprehensive primary source for this period, which helps track the development of news.
  • Times Digital Archive contains every issue of The Times from 1785 to 2019. You can search by keyword or for a particular issue and each story appears as it looks in the original print copy of the newspaper.
  • Times Educational Supplement is the UK’s foremost weekly publication covering primary, secondary and further education and can be accessed by creating a personal account with your Edge Hill University email address.


Referencing is the acknowledgment of all the sources that have been cited in your assignment, whether you have quoted them directly or paraphrased. This can include sources such as books and journal articles. There are various referencing styles available and your tutor will let you know which one they want you to use in your work.

Visit the UniSkills Referencing web page to learn more about academic integrity; the what, why and when you should be referencing; information, guides and interactive toolkits to support your referencing skills development; further Edge Hill Harvard Referencing support; and how to access further referencing support.

Modern Humanities Research Association (MHRA)

English Literature and Creative Writing programmes use the MHRA referencing style and the full style guide can be downloaded from MHRA, Modern Humanities Research Association.

The following software or research tools have been identified as useful for your programme of study.

  • Final Draft 11 is the leading screenwriting software used by the entertainment industry. It is available on computers 9 to 12 within the Silent Study area on the third floor of Catalyst.


There are lots of accessibility features available across all eResources and we’ve pulled together a useful highlight of these in our UniSkills Focus On: eResources Accessibility blog.

Reading Lists

Your Online Reading Lists are a great starting point when beginning your research. Your reading lists contain materials your tutor has identified as essential and/or recommended reading.


UniSkills support all undergraduate (UG) and taught postgraduate (PGT) students with their academic skills.

If you need any further help and support developing your research skills you can access lot of useful information on the UniSkills Finding Academic Information web page.

UniSkills also offer a range of academic skills workshops, including support with finding academic information and conducting literature reviews and you can book on as many UniSkills Workshops as you need throughout the year.

For more tailored support developing your research skills, or getting the most out of your subject resources, you can book a one-to-one Information Skills appointment with an experienced Academic Skills Advisor. 

Research Support

If you are staff engaged in research or a research student (including PGCert in Research, MRes, MPhil and PhD) you can access additional support from the University Library Research Support team. Visit the Research Support web pages for more information.


TechSkills is a package of face to face support, online resources and activities to help you develop and enhance your technology skills. You can find out more about specialist workstations and software available by visiting the TechSkills web page.

Ask Us

You can always access our online knowledge base and help tool Ask Us to search our frequently asked questions (FAQs) and even send us an email, if you can’t find the information you need – accessible 24/7.