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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 Collection  is a database that provides access to the searchable full-text of hundreds of periodicals from the late seventeenth century to the early twentieth, comprising millions of high-resolution facsimile page images. Topics covered include literature, philosophy, history, science, the social sciences, music, art, drama, archaeology and architecture.
  • Cambridge Core is a collection of scholarly journals useful for locating full-text journal articles for English language.
  • Contemporary Authors contains biographical information on more than 149,000 modern novelists, poets, playwrights, nonfiction writers, journalists and scriptwriters.
  • Critical Studies and Performance Practice is a part of Drama Online and contains 400 textbooks from Methuen Drama and Arden Shakespeare, as well as 60 actor training videos.
  • Dickens Journal Online is a complete online edition of Dickens’s weekly magazines, Household Words and All the Year Round.
  • Dictionary of Literary Biography contains information on authors and their works in an easy to understand, engaging format. It aims to make literature and better understood and more accessible to students.
  • Drama Online Core Collection contains over 1875 playtexts, published by Faber and Faber and the Bloomsbury imprints, Methuen Drama and The Arden Shakespeare.
  • Film and Television Literature Index with Full Text is a source of information in the area of script writing. Find full-text journal articles across the entire spectrum of film and television theory, preservation and restoration, writing, production, cinematography, technical, aspects and reviews.
  • Gale Literature allows you to search all the Gale literary databases in one search.
  • Gale Literature Criticism contains an extensive compilation of literary criticism from scholar and popular sources. These include broadsheets, pamphlets, encyclopaedias, books and periodicals.
  • Gale Literature Resource Center has literary criticism on 130,000 authors, biographies about 160,000 authors, as well as primary sources and multimedia works.
  • JSTOR is an extensive archive of journals. As it is an archive, the most recently published issues (past 3-5 years) are not available. It is extremely relevant for the study of English and History. The collections include JSTOR Arts and Sciences I,II,III and VII. Specialist collections within this are, JSTOR Language and Literature and JSTOR Ireland.
  • Literary Reference Center Plus is useful for information on literary authors from a wide variety of genres as it covers all writings from genres such as poetry, drama, fiction and non-fiction.
  • Literature Compass contains key literature criticism featured in the journal articles that survey important research and current thinking in this area. Subdivided in to sections that cover medieval, renaissance, Shakespeare, seventeenth century, eighteenth century, romanticism, Victorian, twentieth century, contemporary and American literature.
  • Literature Online is an important information source for literature research. Find full-text journal articles, other key criticism and reference material. A large collection of English and American poetry, drama and prose to read and refer to.
  • LitFinder contains more than 130,000 full-text poems and 650,000 poetry citations, as well as short stories, speeches, and plays.
  • Modern Language Association (MLA) International Bibliography with Full Text contains millions of citations, as well as the full-text articles from thousands of journals about literatures and languages from around the world. The subjects covered include literary theory and criticism, dramatic arts (such as film, television and theatre) and linguistics.
  • Nick Hern Books Modern Plays is a part of Drama Online and contains 600 plays from many of the major playwrights from the UK and Ireland.
  • Periodicals Archive Online is a collection of twentieth century periodical archives. Subject areas covered include language and literature with specific interest for Victorian poetry.
  • Scribner Writer Series is a database of approximately 100 eBooks relating to literature.
  • Something About the Author contains information about the lives and works of authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults.
  • Twayne’s Author Series contains nearly 900 eBooks from the Twayne Literary Masters series on individual world, American and English authors.

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

There are over 100,000 eBooks available via the library catalogue and the eBook collections listed below are particularly useful for English Literature.

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

  • Academic Search Premier is a multi-disciplinary 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.
  • LinkedIn Learninggives 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!
  • 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.
  • 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.


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.
  • The Financial Times contains news and analysis about the world of business and finance. The electronic collection goes back to 1999, the latest articles cannot be accessed for 30 days but are listed in search results.
  • 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.
  • Lexis+ contains over 650 regional and national UK newspapers from 1982 to the present. It is possible to limit your search to either national or regional titles, or you can search the whole of the newspaper database.
  • 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 access 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.