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Jane Austen: Research Resources

Research Resources

Encyclopedias and Dictionaries

Encyclopedias and dictionaries (terms often used interchangeably) provide an overview of a given subject, introduce basic concepts, summarize key issues, define terminology, and cite factual information. The articles, written by experts in the field, may also refer to other entries on related topics, and frequently include brief bibliographies to lead the researcher to other resources.  

Gale Literary Sources (online resource)

Provides biographies, bibliographies, and critical analyses of authors, combining the full-text content of Dictionary of LIterary Biography, Contemporary Authors, and the Gale Literary Criticism series.

Gale Virtual Reference Library (online resource)
Full-text collection of reference books covering numerous subject areas, including literature and history.  Works can be searched simultaneously or individually.

Print Encyclopedias

All Things Austen: An Encyclopedia of Austen’s World
Ref PR4036 A275 2005

Critical Companion to Jane Austen:  A Literary Reference to Her Life and Work
Ref PR4036 B255 2008

A Jane Austen Encyclopedia

Ref PR4036 A28 1998

The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory & Criticism
Ref PN81 J65 2005
; 1994 edition in stacks

The Oxford Companion to British History
Ref DA34 O93 1997


Bibliographies list publications and other research materials pertaining to a particular topic. Many attempt to be exhaustive and comprehensive (unless described as "selective"), identifying all known writings on the subject and thereby reducing the possibility of missing notable studies pertinent to the topic. Bibliographies may be annotated, with descriptive and evaluative comments that indicate the scope and validity of the cited works, and may be used either by browsing through the broad topical categories in which they are usually arranged, or by consulting their more detailed indexes. Because of their retrospective coverage, bibliographies offer a more historical survey of scholarship than do most databases with their more recent span of coverage, but because of publication time lags, electronic databases need to be searched for more current publications.

A Bibliography of Jane Austen [David Gilson]

PR4036 G56 1997 and 1982 edition  Z8048 .G45x in ZSR Main Stacks

Research Guides

Research guides identify various types of research tools in a given field, including encyclopedias, dictionaries, bibliographies, indexes and electronic databases; they may also include lists of core journals and monographs. Guides to literary studies typically cite general reference tools that are broad in scope, followed by sections more narrow in focus, i.e. resources for specific literary periods and authors, critical approaches, national literatures other than English and American, and academic disciplines relevant to literary research such as history and women's studies.

Literary Research Guide: An Annotated Listing of Reference Sources in English Literary Studies (MLA)
Ref PR83 H27 2008


Subject Guide

Rosalind Tedford's picture
Rosalind Tedford
ZSR Library
Room 457A
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