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Library Subject Guides

English Literature: Reference

A guide for UC students and staff

Why use Reference sources?

Encyclopedias, dictionaries and handbooks are excellent sources for background material on literary authors and works, historical and political events, film, society and culture.

Use them to

  • check out something your lecturer said
  • refine an essay topic
  • compile a list of search terms for further research

Oxford Reference Online

Reference resources for English Literature

On Level 4 of the Central Library you will find specialized, authoritative dictionaries and encyclopedias relating to English and comparative literature. Many are also available online.

Licensing, usage and access restrictions may apply to electronic resources. See more ...

General Literary Encyclopedias

The Cambridge guide to literature in English
Central Library PR 85 .C178 1993

The concise Oxford companion to English literature
Connect to electronic resource Oxford Quick Reference

A dictionary of writers and their works
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The Oxford encyclopedia of British literature
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Specialised Dictionaries & Encyclopedias


The Columbia Granger's index to poetry.
Central Library PN 1022 .G758 1994

Contemporary poets
Central Library PR 603 .C761 2001

The Longman dictionary of poetic terms
Central Library PN 1042 .M996

The New Princeton encyclopedia of poetry and poetics
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Novels, Essays

Encyclopedia of the essay
Central Library PN 4500 .E56

Encyclopedia of the novel
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A reader's guide to the twentieth-century novel
Central Library PR 881 .R286 1995

Reference guide to short fiction
Central Library PN 3373 .R332

Literary Criticism & Literary Theory

The concise Oxford dictionary of literary terms
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A glossary of contemporary literary theory
Central Library PN 44.5 .H399 2000

A glossary of literary terms (11th ed)
Central Library PN 44.5 .A161 2005

The Oxford dictionary of literary terms
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Creative Writing

The fiction dictionary
Central Library PN 3355 .H522

International who's who of authors and writers
Central Library PN 111 .A938

New Zealand writer's handbook
Central Library PN 147 .P268 2002

Subject Guide

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Elizabeth Cooke
Central Library, Puaka-James Hight
ext. 93898

Normal working hours: Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri 9am-1pm
Subjects: Arts