English and American Literature: Literary and Historical Text Collections

Full-Text Resources


  • Alexander Street Literature
    Alexander Street Literature is a cross-searchable package of collections covering literatures of place, race, and gender. The eight collections currently included are: Black Short Fiction and Folklore; Black Women Writers; Caribbean Literature; Irish Women Poets of the Romantic Period; Latin American Women Writers; Latino Literature; Scottish Women Poets of the Romantic Period; and South and Southeast Asian Literature
  • America's Historical Imprints (Readex)
    Allows you to search across ten collections of American printed materials, beginning with the sixteenth and ending with the early twentieth century. Provides access to books, pamphlets, broadsides and other scarce printed material sourced from the American Antiquarian Society and the Library Company of Philadelphia. Includes: Early American imprints. Series I, Evans (1639-1800); Early American imprints. Series II, Shaw-Shoemaker (1801-1819) and the two Supplements subsequently added to each of those series. Also includes: Afro-Americana Imprints, 1535-1922; American Broadsides and Ephemera; The American Slavery Collection, 1820-1922; and The American Civil War Collection, 1860-1922.
    ►May be cross-searched with databases covering newspapers, periodicals, and government documents from similar time periods in Archive of Americana .
  • Arte Público Hispanic Historical Collection. Series 1 (EBSCO)
    Consists of historical articles, political and religious pamphlets and broadsides, and complete texts of historical books of U.S. Hispanic literature, political commentary and culture. "The content is 80% Spanish and 20% English.  Importantly, the collection is indexed and searchable in both Spanish and English."
  • The Bible in English (ProQuest)
    "The Bible in English contains twenty versions of the Bible. In addition to the twelve complete Bibles, there are five New Testament works, two Gospel works and William Tyndale's New Testament, Pentateuch and Jonah translations. The texts were selected under the guidance of the Editorial Board with the aim of providing a balanced collection of editions covering the whole chronological period and appealing to scholars of a number of different disciplines. For scholars of English literature, particular attention has been given to the Renaissance period. All the most significant texts from Tyndale to the King James Bible, including the highly influential Coverdale, Bishops' and Geneva Bibles, appear."

  • Black Drama 1850 to Present (Alexander Street)
    A collection of Black drama from Africa, North America, the Caribbean, and other African Diaspora countries. Includes selected playbills, production photographs, and ephemera.
  • British and Irish Women's Letters and Diaries (Alexander Street)
    "Includes approximately 100,000 pages of published letters and diaries from individuals writing from 1500 to 1900, including several thousand pages of previously unpublished materials. Drawn from 290 sources, including journal articles, pamphlets, newsletters, monographs, and conference proceedings, much of the material is in copyright. Represented are all age groups and life stages, all ethnicities, many geographical regions, the famous and the not so famous."
    ►May be cross-searched with other text collections in Social and Cultural History : Letters and Diaries Online.
  • British Literary Manuscripts Online  (Gale Cengage Learning)
    Presents facsimile images of literary manuscripts, which range in date from the twelfth through the nineteenth centuries. Includies "letters and diaries, drafts of poems, plays, novels, and other literary works, and similar materials. Searching is based on tags and descriptive text associated with each manuscript. Images of the complete manuscript can be viewed, manipulated and navigated on screen. . . .  the text of the manuscripts themselves is not searchable.
  • Defining Gender, 1450-1910 (Adam Matthew)
    Provides access to a wide range of historical document types "ephemera, pamphlets, college records and exam papers, commonplace books, diaries, periodicals, letters, ledgers, account books, educational practice and pedagogy, government papers from the Home Office and Metropolitan police, illustrated writings on anatomy, midwifery, art and fashion, manuscript journals, poetry, novels, ballads, drama, receipt books, literary manuscripts, travel writing, and conduct and advice literature. Thematic Areas covered include: Conduct and Politeness; Domesticity and the Family; Consumption and Leisure; Education and Sensibility; and The Body.
  • Documenting the American South (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) [Open Access]
    "A digital publishing initiative that provides Internet access to texts, images, and audio files related to southern history, literature, and culture. Currently DocSouth includes sixteen thematic collections of books, diaries, posters, artifacts, letters, oral history interviews, and songs." Includes: North American Slave Narratives; Library of Southern Literature; Colonial and State Records of North Carolina; and many other collections.
  • Drama Online (Bloomsbury Publishing)
    Includes the full text of plays from across the history of the theatre, ranging from Aeschylus to the present day. Includes non-English-language works in translation, scholarly and critical editions, first night program texts, and critical analysis and contextual information. Critical interpretations, theatre history surveys and major reference works on authors, movements, practitioners, periods and genres are included alongside performance and practitioner texts, acting and backstage guides. Also includes over 500 images from the Victoria and Albert Museum's archive of production photos. Now includes streaming media: filmed live performances from Shakespeare's Globe and professional audio recordings from L.A Theatre Works.
  • Early English books online (EEBO)   (ProQuest)
    "EEBO now contains page images of virtually every work printed in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and British North America and works in English printed elsewhere from 1473–1700. More than 200 libraries worldwide have contributed to EEBO." Of the more than 130,000 titles represented in page-image format, more than 53,000 are currently keyword searchable (as of September 20150.
  • Early English Books Online Text Creation Partnership (EEBO TCP)
    "EEBO-TCP is a partnership with ProQuest and with more than 150 libraries to generate highly accurate, fully-searchable, SGML/XML-encoded texts corresponding to books from the Early English Books Online Database." Researchers working with early English books will want to familiarize themselves with the EEBO TCP interface as well as with the EEBO interface.
  • Editions and Adaptations of Shakespeare (ProQuest)
    "Editions and Adaptations of Shakespeare contains eleven major editions from the First Folio of 1623 to the Cambridge edition of 1863–66, twenty-eight separate contemporary printings of individual plays and poems, selected apocrypha and related works. In addition it contains more than one hundred adaptations, sequels and burlesques from the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, including the whole of Bell's Acting Edition of Shakespeare's Plays (1774). No attempt has been made to standardise the different conventions adopted by the various editors of Shakespeare's texts. The user should refer to the editors' own introductions for explanations (more or less full) of their particular practices. Act and scene numbering follows the source texts throughout; the user will inevitably encounter irregularities, particularly in early editions, where attributions to Shakespeare may be found to be at variance with modern consensus."

  • Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) (Gale Cengage Learning)
    The aim of ECCO is to provide access to "every significant English-language and foreign-language title printed in the United Kingdom during the 18th century, along with thousands of important works from the Americas." Based on the English Short Title Catalogue.
    ►May be cross-searched with other databases covering similar time periods in Gale Primary Sources.

  • Eighteenth Century Drama : Censorship, Society and the Stage Icon (Adam Matthew)
    "Eighteenth Century Drama features the John Larpent Collection from the Huntington Library -- a unique archive of almost every play submitted for licence between 1737 and 1824, as well as hundreds of documents that provide social context for the plays. Explore the Larpent plays, papers of prominent theatrical figures of the period, including correspondence, financial documents, and portraits. Cross-reference this with essential searchable databases created from information in The London Stage 1729-1800 and A Biographical Dictionary of Actors, Actresses, Musicians, Dancers, Managers & Other Stage Personnel in London, 1660-1800."  (Acquired April 2016)

  • Gale Primary Sources Cross-Searchable Platform (Gale Cengage Learning)
    Allows researchers to select and search across any combination of more than thirty key historical text collections from Gale. Includes Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO); Nineteenth Century Collections Online (NCCO); Associated Press Collections; Smithsonian Collections; Indigenous Peoples--North America; The Making of the Modern World; The Making of Modern Law; and Sabin Americana, 1500-1926. Many collections devoted to periodicals or newspapers are also included, such as Nineteenth Century U.S. Newspapers and 19th Century UK Periodicals.
  • The Grand Tour  (Adam Matthew)
    These accounts of the English abroad, c1550-1850, highlight the influence of continental travel on British art, architecture, urban planning, literature and philosophy. This collection of manuscript, visual and printed works allows scholars to compare a range of sources on the history of travel for the first time, including many from private or neglected collections. Includes letters; diaries and journals; account books; printed guidebooks; published travel writing; paintings and sketches; architectural drawings and maps.
  • HathiTrust Digital Library [Open Access]
    "HathiTrust is a partnership of academic & research institutions, offering a collection of millions of titles digitized from libraries around the world."
  • The John Johnson Collection : An Archive of Printed Ephemera (ProQuest)
    "This collection provides access to thousands of items selected from the John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera, offering unique insights into the changing nature of everyday life in Britain in the eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Categories include Nineteenth-Century Entertainment, the Booktrade, Popular Prints, Crimes, Murders and Executions, and Advertising."
  • King James Bible (ProQuest)
    "The King James or Authorized Version of the Bible was printed in 1611 and became the standard edition of the Bible for nearly three centuries. Arguably the most influential single document for English literary studies, this fully searchable online version presents the full text (of the ‘He’ version) with all introductory matter, annotation, calendars, genealogies and tables."

  • Literary manuscripts : 17th and 18th century poetry from the Brotherton Library, University of Leeds  (Adam Matthew)
    Complete facsimile images of 190 manuscripts of 17th and 18th century verse held in the celebrated Brotherton Collection at the University of Leeds.
  • Literary Manuscripts : Victorian Manuscripts from the Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of the New York Public Library (Adam Matthew)
    "Literary Manuscripts is drawn from the nineteenth century holdings of the Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature at the New York Public Library." It consists of fifteen author collections: Matthew Arnold, Emily Brontë, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Robert Browning, Wilkie Collins, Joseph Conrad, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, George Gissing, Thomas Hardy, Henry James, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Ruskin, Alfred Tennyson, and William Makepeace Thackeray. "Where possible, each author collection has been captured as a whole." 
  • Literary print culture : the Stationers' Company archive, 1554-2007 (Adam Matthew Digital)
    Showcases a diverse range of material from the archive of the Stationers' Company archive including constitutional records, court records, membership records, financial records, trade records, general administrative records, and charities and property records. The Stationers' Company Archive is one of the most important resources for understanding the workings of the early book trade, the establishment of legal requirements for publishing, especially copyright provisions, the printing and publishing community and the history of bookbinding.
  • London low life : street culture, social reform and the Victorian underworld  (Adam Matthew)
    Full-text searchable resource, containing colour digital images of rare books, ephemera, maps and other materials relating to 19th and early 20th century London.
  • Literature Online (ProQuest)
    A fully searchable collection of more than 355,000 works of English-language poetry, drama and prose from various nations and regions and spanning many centuries. Also includes key resources for reference and literary criticism. Updated at least nine times a year.
  • Making of America (University of  Michigan and Cornell University) [Open Access]
    A collaborative effort between the University of  Michigan and Cornell University, Making of America (MOA) draws on the depth of primary materials at those universities' libraries. MOA is a thematically-related digital library documenting American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction, focusing on items printed from 1850 to 1877.
  • The new Oxford Shakespeare : a new consideration of Shakespeare's works   (Oxford University Press)
    "The New Oxford Shakespeare presents an entirely new consideration of all of Shakespeare's works, edited from first principles from the base-texts themselves, and drawing on the latest textual and theatrical scholarship. The three interconnected print publications and the online edition have been created by an international, intergenerational team of scholars under the leadership of Gary Taylor, John Jowett, Terri Bourus, and Gabriel Egan. The project's scope, depth, and vision provide the perfect platform for the future of Shakespeare studies."--Publisher information. (Acquired December 2016)

  • Nineteenth Century Collections Online (Gale Cengage Learning)
    "A multi-year global digitization and publishing program focusing on primary source collections of the long nineteenth century. . . . The content is sourced from the world's preeminent libraries and archives. It consists of monographs, newspapers, pamphlets, manuscripts, ephemera, maps, photographs, statistics, and other kinds of documents in both Western and non-Western languages." Now complete in twelve collections. Collections include: Asia and the WestBritish Politics and SocietyBritish Theatre, Music, and LiteratureEurope and AfricaChildren's Literature and Childhood; Science, Technology, and Medicine: 1780-1925 (Parts I & II); Women: Transnational Networks and many more.
    ►May be cross-searched with other databases covering similar time periods in Gale Primary Sources.
  • Nineteenth century literary society : the John Murray publishing archive. (Adam Matthew Digital)
    "...makes available more than 1,400 items from the archive of the historic John Murray publishing company....Held by the National Library of Scotland since 2006 and added to the UNESCO Register of World Memory in 2011, the Murray collection comprises one of the world's most important literary archives. Primary source materials span the entirety of the long nineteenth century and document the golden era of the House of Murray from its inception in 1768."

  • Past Masters (InteLex)
    Provides access to full-text scholarly editions in the following areas: Classical, Medieval, American, British, and Continental Philosophy; English Letters; Women Writers; Religious Studies; Social Science; and History of Science.
  • Perdita manuscripts : women writers, 1500-1700  (Adam Matthew)
    Complete facsimile images of over 230 manuscripts written or compiled by women living in the British Isle during the 16th and 17th centuries. Contents include account books, advice, culinary writing, meditation, travel writing, and verse. Perdita manuscripts can be indexed by name, place, genre, and first lines of both poetry and prose.
  • Queen Victoria's journals    (ProQuest)
    "Makes available online digital images of every page in the entire sequence of Queen Victoria's diaries, and provides full transcriptions and keyword searching of all journal entries. The Queen Victoria's Journals resource is the product of a unique partnership between the Bodleian Libraries and the Royal Archives, working in collaboration with the online publisher ProQuest.This website reproduces as high-resolution colour images every page of the surviving volumes of Queen Victoria's journals, along with separate photographs of the many illustrations and inserts within the pages." (from publisher's description)
  • Romanticism : Life, Literature & Landscape (Adam Matthew)
    "Offers unique access to rare and priceless literary sources that are indispensible for scholars and students studying William Wordsworth and the Romantic period. The collection offers an insight into the working methods of the poet and the wider social, political and natural environment that shaped much of his work and that of his contemporaries. In addition, this collection makes available the writings of Dorothy Wordsworth through her much celebrated Grasmere Journals, Alfoxden diary and travel journals. Verse manuscripts and correspondence from leading literary lights of the Romantic period such as Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Thomas De Quincey and Robert Southey are also made available in this powerful digital resource."
  • Sabin Americana, 1500-1926 (Gale Cengage Learning)
    "Based on Joseph Sabin's landmark bibliography, this collection contains works about the Americas published throughout the world from 1500 to the early 1900's. Included are books, pamphlets, serials and other documents that provide original accounts of exploration, trade, colonialism, slavery and abolition, the western movement, Native Americans, military actions and much more. With over 6 million pages from 29,000 works, this collection is a cornerstone in the study of the western hemisphere."
    ►May be cross-searched with other databases covering similar time periods in Gale primary sources.
  • The Shakespeare Collection (Gale Cengage Learning)
    The Shakespeare Collection is made up of the following content sets: Gordon Crosse Theatrical Diaries; Historical Editions and Adaptations; Criticism and Commentary; Other Works from Shakespeare's Time; Related reference; Prompt Books; and Multimedia.
  • Social and Cultural History : Letters and Diaries Online (Alexander Street)
    “Aims to provide an electronic archive of unprecedented scope. In addition to offering keyword searching across thousands of collections freely available on the Web, the Letters and Diaries Online platform allows users to perform in-depth fielded searches across all of the letter, diary, and oral history collections published commercially by Alexander Street Press.” The Alexander Street collections cross-searchable here are: The American Civil War: Letters and Diaries; Black Thought and Culture; British and Irish Women's Letters and Diaries; Manuscript Women's Letters and Diaries from the American Antiquarian Society; North American Immigrant Letters, Diaries, and Oral Histories; and North American Women's Letters and Diaries.

  • Travel Writing, Spectacle and World History (Adam Matthew)
    "This resource brings together hundreds of accounts by women of their travels across the globe from the early 19th century to the late 20th century. Students and researchers will find sources covering a variety of topics including; architecture; art; the British Empire; climate; customs; exploration; family life; housing; industry; language; monuments; mountains; natural history; politics and diplomacy; race; religion; science; shopping; war.A wide variety of forms of travel writing are included, ranging from unique manuscripts, diaries and correspondence to drawings, guidebooks and photographs. The resource includes a slideshow with hundreds of items of visual material, including postcards, sketches and photographs." 

  • Twentieth-Century Drama (ProQuest)
    "Twentieth-Century Drama contains the essential collection of published plays from throughout the English-speaking world, covering the history of modern drama from the 1890s to the present day. The collection's contents range from canonical authors such as George Bernard Shaw, Langston Hughes, Sean O'Casey, Noël Coward, Eugene O'Neill, Harold Pinter, Neil Simon, Tom Stoppard and Thornton Wilder, to off-Broadway experimentation and South African township theatre."
  • Twentieth Century North American Drama (Alexander Street)
    This edition of Twentieth Century North American Drama contains 2,059 plays by 434 playwrights, together with detailed, fielded information on related productions, theaters, production companies, and more. The database also includes selected playbills, production photographs and other ephemera related to the plays. More than 150 of the plays are published here for the first time, including a number by major authors."

  • Victorian popular culture   (Adam Matthew)
    An essential resource for the study of popular entertainment in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Consists of four components: Spiritualism, Sensation and Magic; Circuses, Sideshows and Freaks;  Music Hall, Theatre and Popular Entertainment; and Moving Pictures, Optical Entertainments & the Advent of Cinema. Includes full-text, full-color reproductions of books, ephemera, handbills, pamphlets, photos, posters, programs, scripts, and other types of materials.
  • Women Writers Online (Northeastern University)
    "A full-text collection of early women’s writing in English, published by the Women Writers Project at Northeastern University. It includes full transcriptions of texts published between 1526 and 1850, focusing on materials that are rare or inaccessible. The range of genres and topics covered makes it a truly remarkable resource for teaching and research, providing an unparalleled view of women’s literate culture in the early modern period."
  • Wright American Fiction 1851-1875 (Indiana University) [Open Access]
    A searchable full-text collection of 19th-century American fiction, as listed in Lyle Wright's bibliography American Fiction 1851-1875.