Skip to main content SC4 Library Logo

British Literature


Welcome! This library research guide provides an introduction to library resources related to British Literature courses.

This guide will assist you in finding books, e-books, scholarly journal articles, streaming videos, websites, and more that will help you research topics in this subject.


british flag, bookshelves with books

British Literature is defined as:

     "literature written in English since c.1450 by the inhabitants of the British Isles; it was during the 15th cent. that the English language acquired much of its modern form." 

Anglo-Saxon literature, Middle English literature, and Irish, Welsh, and Scottish literature are also generally included.



Text: "English literature." The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia®. 2013. Columbia University Press 1 Sep. 2016

Best Bets

Literature Resource Center Database

Find up-to-date biographical information, overviews, full-text literary criticism and reviews on more than 130,000 writers in all disciplines, from all time periods and from around the world. The optional MLA International Bibliography module adds citations for hundreds of thousands of books, articles and dissertations from 1926 to the present, linked to full text where available.


literature resource center

Literary Reference Center Database

A full-text database providing information on thousands of authors and their works across literary disciplines and time frames. It gives students, professors and researchers a foundation of literary reference works to meet their research needs.



literary reference center logo

The Edinburgh Introduction to Studying English Literature

What does university study of English Literature involve today? How should students read literary texts? Answers to these questions have substantially changed and developed over recent decades, often in response to advances in literary theory. In the light of this and other recent developments, the Edinburgh Introduction provides a new, updated guide for students beginning their study of literature today. Recent developments in theory are explained throughout, but they are not the only focus of attention. Instead, the emphasis is on clear, pragmatic explanation of critical practices, and of literary forms, styles and techniques. These explanations are carefully illustrated through examples taken from readily-available works - usually ones included in the Norton or other major anthologies. Each chapter is written by an experienced academic and teacher from Edinburgh University's Department of English Literature, recently reaffirmed as one of the best in the United Kingdom. The result is an unbeatable resource for new students: a well-stocked toolbox, offering foundational introductions to ways literary texts can be approached, and to the critical, formal and historical understanding this requires.

Writing Center

Busy students find the assistance they need at the SC4 Writing Center, located in 313 Main Building. Staffed with writing tutors and volunteer English faculty, the writing center serves as a place where students discuss not only their essays and documents for their English classes, but any writing assignment for any SC4 class.

The center’s friendly, supportive and experienced tutors consult with students one-on-one.  While appointments are encouraged, students are free to drop-in, Monday-Thursday, 10:00 to 4:00. The Center also features several computers and printers for consultation and composition.

How to Find Book Reviews, Literary Criticism, and Other Reviews

This SC4 Library research guide shows you how to find book reviews and literary criticism, and the best places to look for them.


CredoReference: Historical-Literary Timeline

Related Research Guides

Search the library