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24/7 Online Reference Databases
Oxford Reference Online This link opens in a new window
This collection of reference books includes dictionaries, thesauri, and encyclopedias, both general and subject specific. Use this collection when searching for reputable background information on just about any academic topic.
Literature Resource Center This link opens in a new window
Literary criticism, literary magazines, magazines on writing, journals about literature, and information about authors, their works, and on literary movements. The scope is worldwide and it covers all genres and time periods.
Credo Reference This link opens in a new window
Offering a thorough introduction to topics across the academic spectrum, Credo provides full-text online versions of published reference works, including general and subject dictionaries and encyclopedias. Search Keywords, Subject Categories and Topic Pages.
Examples of Individual Library Reference Titles
Using HamCAT will allow you to locate both "reference or background resources" on your topic, as well as journal, magazine and newspaper articles, and videos on your topic.
What terms (or subject headings) should I use when searching?
Make sure you understand which terms to use when searching. Using the right terms will help you locate content, in both academic and popular sources. Here are some example subject headings that you'll find in HamCAT. Consider mixing these terms with other terms that describe your research topic. Remember that not all terms have been used over time. Some terms are newer, some have changed over time. Think about synonyms for terms.
- Think about literary movements that the works you are reviewing fell into, for example
- Gothic Literature
- Dark Fiction
- Think about literary themes, techniques and the contexts used by the author or that influence how the work is viewed historically, intellectually, and culturally. For example:
- Monsters in literature
Remember to use quotation marks around a phrase when searching to help the search engine identify that you want those words in a particular order in your search results. For example, "female authors"
Examples of Individual Library Reference Titles
Horror Literature Through History: an Encyclopedia of the Stories That Speak to Our Deepest Fears [2 Volumes] by
Publication Date: 2017
This two-volume set offers comprehensive coverage of horror literature that spans its deep history, dominant themes, significant works, and major authors, such as Stephen King, Edgar Allan Poe, and Anne Rice, as well as lesser-known horror writers. Through profiles of major authors, critical analyses of important works, and overview essays focused on horror during particular periods as well as on related issues such as religion, apocalypticism, social criticism, and gender, readers will discover the fascinating early roots and evolution of horror writings as well as the reciprocal influence of horror literature and horror cinema. In the first section, overview essays on horror during different historical periods situate works of horror literature within the social, cultural, historical, and intellectual currents of their respective eras, creating a seamless narrative of the genre's evolution from ancient times to the present. The second section demonstrates how otherwise unrelated works of horror have influenced each other, how horror subgenres have evolved, and how a broad range of topics within horror--such as ghosts, vampires, religion, and gender roles--have been handled across time. The set also provides alphabetically arranged reference entries on authors, works, and specialized topics that enable readers to zero in on information and concepts presented in the other sections. Describes horror literature during different periods, thus helping readers understand the roots of modern horror literature, how works of horror have engaged social issues, and how horror has evolved over time Connects horror literature to popular culture through sidebars on film adaptations, television shows, video games, and other nonliterary, popular culture topics Includes excerpts from selected literary works that exemplify topics discussed in the entries that support English language arts standards by enabling students to read these excerpts critically in light of the entries Prompts students to consider the nature of horror as a genre, the relationship of horror literature and social issues, and how horror literature intersects with mainstream supernatural concerns, such as religion.
Icons of Horror and the Supernatural by
Call Number: Bush Library PN56.H6 I26 2007
Publication Date: 2006
Horror and the supernatural have fascinated people for centuries, and many of the most central figures appear over and over again. These figures have gained iconic status and continue to hold sway over popular culture and the modern imagination. This book offers extended entries on 24 of the most enduring and significant figures of horror and the supernatural, including The Sea Creature, The Witch, The Alien, The Vampire, The Werewolf, The Sorcerer, The Ghost, The Siren, The Mummy, The Devil, and The Zombie. Each entry is written by a leading authority on the subject and discusses the topic's essential features and lasting influence, from the classical epics of Homer to the novels of Stephen King. Entries cite sources for further reading, and the Encyclopedia closes with a selected, general bibliography. Entries include illustrations, sidebars of interesting information, and excerpts from key texts. Horror and the supernatural have fascinated people for centuries, with many of the most central figures appearing over and over again across time and cultures. These figures have starred in the world's most widely read literary works, most popular films, and most captivating television series. Because of their popularity and influence, they have attained iconic status and a special place in the popular imagination. This book overviews 24 of the most significant icons of horror and the supernatural. Overviews a wide range of supernatural lore Entries include sidebars and cite works for further reading Includes a bibliography of important works on horror and the supernatural Illustrations help students visualize the topics of the entries
The Vampire Book by
Publication Date: 2010
Death and immortality, sexual prowess and surrender, intimacy and alienation, rebellion and temptation. The allure of the vampire is eternal. The Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia of the Undead, 3rd edition, explores the historical, literary, mythological, biographical, and popular aspects of one of the world's most mesmerizing paranormal subject. This vast reference is an alphabetical tour of the psychosexual, macabre world of the soul-sucking undead.This exhaustive guide has more than 400 essays to quench your thirst for facts, biographies, definitions, and more.
A Dictionary of Literary Symbols by
Publication Date: 2007
This is the first dictionary of symbols to be based on literature, rather than 'universal' psychological archetypes or myths. It explains and illustrates the literary symbols that we all frequently encounter (such as swan, rose, moon, gold), and gives hundreds of cross-references and quotations. The dictionary concentrates on English literature, but its entries range widely from the Bible and classical authors to the twentieth century, taking in American and European literatures. For this new edition, Michael Ferber has included over twenty completely new entries (including bear, holly, sunflower and tower), and has added to many of the existing entries. Enlarged and enriched from the first edition, its informed style and rich references make this book an essential tool not only for literary and classical scholars, but for all students of literature.
Why Use Reference Resources?
Bush Library provides you access to many encyclopedias and dictionaries in online and print formats.
By using with these resources you will:
- Obtain background information on your topic (e.g., person, event, theory, terminology, etc.)
- Identify additional search terms to use when searching for book and article resources, and
- Find citations to other works (e.g., books, articles) providing longer, more detailed coverage of the topic.
TIPS for using Reference Materials
HINT: Often signed encyclopedia or handbook articles (references sources) are written by experts who have written other texts (books, articles, blog posts, etc.) You can search for those authors in HamCAT or Google to discover some of their other works. Reference sources often also have a Further Reading section or a Bibliography at the end of them, with other sources on your topic, that can be worth exploring.
Other Books of Interest
Monster, She Wrote by
Publication Date: 2019
From Gothic ghost stories to psychological horror to science fiction, women have been primary architects of speculative literature of all sorts. And their own life stories are as intriguing as their fiction. Curated reading lists point you to these writers most spine-chilling tales. Part biography, part reader's guide, the engaging write-ups and detailed reading lists will introduce you to more than a hundred authors and over two hundred of their mysterious and spooky novels, novellas, and stories.