Literature Resource Center is a full-text database of author biographies, selected literary criticism and reviews, and topic overviews. Some literary texts are also available. If you're not sure where to start with an author or specific literary text, the LRC can help you get your foot in the door! Use LRC and the other resources on this page to help you find background information, approach subjects that are new to you, or put a text or author in a larger perspective.
Literature Criticism Online includes overviews by topic (e.g., American autobiography; the Gothic novel; imperialism), author (e.g., Shakespeare; Henry James; Margaret Atwood; ), and work (e.g., Bleak House; Infinite Jest), as well as excerpts from articles, books, and essays written by scholars. It is a very useful tool for discerning key trends in scholarly interpretation. Each excerpt includes full bibliographic information so that you can track down the original sources.
Each volume in the Literary Research series published by Scarecrow Press discusses resources for both primary and secondary research. Below are some representative examples.
The Cambridge Histories series is an indispensable reference collection with over 300 titles spanning 15 subject areas, including literary studies. Each (often multi-volume) history provides a big-picture perspective of its subject, introduces readers to existing scholarship, and proposes new trends in the field. Below are some representative examples at Collins.