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Literature in English: Databases

English literature, American literature, and world literature in English


These databases are of use to all literature scholars. You can start your research by searching for your author or work in one of these databases. These databases are freely accessible on-campus to all Salem State students, faculty and staff. To access these databases from off-campus, you will need your SSC email address and email password.

Working with the Database

Each database has a different layout, but there tools common to all databases. You might have to hunt around to find them, but these tools will help you narrow your search and locate your results.

Limits: these are ways to narrow your results by type, date, or by subject. Genearlly located on the results page.

Full text: If the article is avaialable in full-text online, there willl be a link to it. Articles are available in either plain-text html or as PDFs.

Article Linker: If the article isn't available in full-text in a particular database, you can use the Article Linker button to check other databases for the article.


Citations: Most databases have tools that will prepare MLA style citations of articles. These are generally located on the citation page.

Tricks for JSTOR

JSTOR is a digitial archive of scholarly publications. It isn't a collection of citations, but rather a repository of full-text back issues of journals, in some cases going back to the 1800s. Because it is a repository, the current issues are not available through JSTOR. To access current issues, you can use the other databases listed on the left.


JSTOR can be overwhelming, but here are some tips for getting the most relevant results.


When you get to JSTOR, click on the "Advanced Search" link, located under the main search box.


The  Advanced Search screen will allow you to focus your search to discipline-specific journals. 


Here, you can enter your search terms and  choose "Articles" from the Limit to:  section.



Then, scroll down to Discipliine(s) and/or Journal(s) and choose "Languages & Literature


Now, you can hit the "Search" button to view your results.  JSTOR's results are ordered by relevance; the article that has the greatest occurance of search terms is at the top of the list. You still need to browse the articles and choose ones that best fit your topic.

Looking for a specific journal

Say you have a citation you need to look up, or you only want to search within a specific journal. The library has an E-Journal Portal which you can use to browse journals or look up specific entries.


To access the E-Journal Portal, go to the library's homepage and click on Periodicals/E-Books Directory.

Type in the title of the periodical you want and press "Search"



You will be taken to a results page that will show you the various holdings the library has for that title. In the case of Shakespeare Quarterly, we have it in print and electronically.


Clicking on the database title will take you to that journal's page within the database, where you can browse by volume and issue.



Each database has Shakespeare Quarterly for different dates. If you want an article from 1980, you would look in JSTOR, but if you need an article from June 2008, you would look in Project MUSE.