Oxford English Dictionary Use it online!
Need to know what a word meant when the author used it in the 1600s? Use the OED to find the origin of words with examples throughout history, obscure meanings, derivatives, and obsolete uses.
A Dictionary of Literary Symbols
Call Number: Reference PN56.S9 F47 2007
Find descriptions and meanings of literary symbols with references to a variety of sources, including the Bible, Greek and Roman classics, and Shakespeare.
A Glossary of Contemporary Literary Theory
Call Number: Reference PN44.5 .H37 2000
Find short descriptions of both common and obscure literary theory terms with references to theorists and their work for further reading.
Contemporary Literary Criticism
Call Number: PN 771 C59 vols. 1-194, 1973-2005
Look here for critical essays on literature and biographies of authors currently living or who died after January 1, 2000.
Contemporary Authors (New Revision Series)
Call Number: Z 1224 C62 vols. 1-130, 1962-2005
In these two series, find detailed biographical information, lists of works, and citations for further readings about modern authors, including those active prior to 1960. Ask a librarian how to use the index.
Routledge Encyclopedia of Narrative Theory
Call Number: Reference PN212 .R68 2005
Learn about the core concepts and terms of narrative theory, including theoretical approaches and topics by genre with references for further reading.
Arts & Humanities through the Eras
Call Number: Reference NX440 .A787 2005 v. 1–5
Look here for overviews of literature and writers throughout antiquity, including prose, poetry, drama, speeches, and more.
v. 1: Ancient Egypt, p. 111
v. 2: Ancient Greece and Rome, p. 117
v. 3: Medieval Europe, p. 143
v. 4: Renaissance Europe, p. 117
v. 5: Age of the Baroque and Enlightenment, p. 149
Encyclopedia of Literary Modernism
Call Number: Reference PN56.M54 E53 2003
Focusing on the 1890–1939 period, this work has entries on key authors, works, movements, theories, places, and events associated with literary modernism.