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English Literatures: Books

British, Commonwealth, post-colonial, and ethnic literatures written in English

Ways to Search For Books

BYU Library Catalog Searching Tips

Keyword Searching: You can search every field in the record (Search All) or specify a field to search.

Advanced Searching:  Allows you to customize your search to look for words in the title, subject field or elsewhere in the record alone or in combination.

Browse Alphabetically:  A good way to find what the HBLL has about an author: simply choose to search by alphabetic subject and enter the author's last name, first name (for example "Frost, Robert") and you'll get a list of subject terms about Frost: bibliographies, biographies, criticism and interpretation, etc. 

Also try searching by subject alphabetical for terms such as "English Literature," "Canadian Literature," or "African Literature (English)", etc.  You'll get a listing of a lot of subject headings dealing with various aspects of that literature.  Click on the subject term that interests you to get a list of books for that topic.

Truncation:  Use the "$" to search for the variations on a root word: "poet$" will retrieve "poets," "poetry," "poetic," "poetics," etc.

Subject Links:  When you're looking at a book record in the HBLL catalog, check the highlighted subject links, you may want to click on one to bring up other titles in the HBLL that deal with the same subject.

Call Number Browsing:  When you find a book on your subject, click on the "Nearby Items On Shelf" link on the upper left of the record to see what other books are near it on the shelf.

Theses & Dissertations

Finding Standard or Scholarly Editions of Literary Works

Suggestions for finding the standard editions of literary works:

  • Search for the author in Dictionary of Literary Biography and review the list of works under "Writings by the Author" - Print Humanities Reference PN 451 .A6 or Electronically via Literature Resource Center (LRC). 
  • Look for information about the author in Oxford Companion to xxx Literature. Sometimes the entries will indicate the "standard" or "definitive" edtions/versions of authors' works.  Call numbers for The Oxford Companions can be found by doing a book & ebook search in the library catalog for Oxford companion to literature.
  • Consult bibliographies devoted to the author - Catalog search tip: Perform a keyword search combining the word "bibliography" or "guide" with the author's name. Or try a subject alphabetic search on the author's name (last name first), and browse the resulting list for the subheading "Bibliography."
  • Find concordances devoted to an author - Catalog search tip: Perform a keyword search in the book & ebook advanced search combining "concordance" or" wordlist" with author's name: ex. concordance* and austen. Or try a subject alphabetic search on the author's name, and browse the resulting list for the subheading "Concordances."  * is truncation symbol for library search to retrieve both" concordance" and "concordances."
  • Consult bibliographies of scholarly books/articles or look for scholarly reviews.
  • Consult historical reviews and critical essays of the author's works.
  • Consult with researcher(s) familiar with the scholarship (your professor perhaps).
  • For contemporary authors, most likely the 1st edition will be considered the standard edition.
  • Often a "Complete Works" edition will be considered the standard edition of an author's writings.

A "Standard Edition" is" an authoritative edition of the works of a prominent writer, frequently in one volume and continuing year after year as the basic textbook.  Some of these editions also remain definitive: established as the text closest to the author's original product and most inclusive in canon, through exhaustive textual collation and historical research, not yet superseded by subsequent discoveries." (from The Harper Handbook to Literature, 2nd edition, 1997)

Book Reviews

Here are some sources for book reviews.  Be sure to search in some of the subject specialized periodical indexes as well.

Library of Congress Call Numbers

English (British) literature is classified in the Library Congress (LC) numbers PR 1-9680 in the circulation stacks as well as in Humanities Reference (Humanities Ref.), where we keep a selection of English literature reference sources. Below are some English Literatures call number ranges.

Subclasses within British literature

Scottish PR 8500-8693
Post-Colonial Literatures in English
Canadian PR 9180-9199
Latin American PR 9200-9333
African PR 9340-9408
Irish PR 8700-8893
Welsh PR 8950-8967
Asian PR 9410-9418
Indian PR 9480-9499
Australian PR 9600-9619
New Zealand PR 9620-9639
American Literature PS 1-3576   
Canadian Literature PS 8001-8599

Bibliography Managers

Use one of these tools to import references of books, articles, and websites into folders and keep them organized.  Create in-text citations and format your bibliography for your paper too.