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World Literature: Databases

Resources in World Literature


Literature Criticism Online: Since the appearance of the first volume of Literature Criticism Online (CLC) in 1973, researchers have grown to depend upon the RUSA (Reference Users Services Association) award-winning reference work for critiques of key contemporary works.

With Literature Criticism Online Select, you have the benefits of Internet access to extensive biographical and critical information combined with subject-term accessibility and other powerful search options. And, with an integrated index that extends to every print volume in this expansive series, cross-referencing is a snap.

Literature Criticism Online Select encompasses more than 600 significant authors and includes more than 266 major retrospective authors re-crafted from the series' earlier volumes. Updates occur bi-monthly.


Dictionary of Literary Biography provides reliable information in an easily comprehensible format, while placing writers in the larger perspective of literary history.  It systematically presents career biographies and criticism of writers from all eras and all genres through volumes dedicated to specific types of literature and time periods.


Encyclopedia of Literature allows a reader to analyze an author's work as a reflection of the heritage, traditions and experiences of the author's personal life and the beliefs, events, and lifestyles of the world at the time, given such context as:

  • While composing Requiem: A Cycle of Poems during the Stalinist reign of terror in Russia, Anna Akhmatova whispered the words line by line to her friends, who memorized them before she burned the paper on which they were written.
  • With his father in debtors' prison, Anton Chekhov submitted his short, humorous pieces to popular magazines to earn money and became the breadwinner for his family.
  • Marjane Satrapi grew up in Tehran during the time of the overthrow of the Shah and Iran's transition to a fundamentalist Islamic state.

The nearly 500 entries also identify the significant literary devices and global themes that define a writer's style and place the author in a larger literary tradition as chronicled and evaluated by critics over time. For example:

  • Samuel Beckett's work often tried to express the pure anguish of existence as exemplified in the work of French existentialist writers Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre.
  • George Eliot chose a male pen name to distinguish herself from the large number of female authors of popular romances during her time.

Critical thinking and activity prompts, in addition to images, further enhance the reader's own personal response to global literature.

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Oxford English Dictionary is the accepted authority on the evolution of the English language over the last millennium. It is an unsurpassed guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation of over half a million words, both present and past. It traces the usage of words through 2.5 million quotations from a wide range of international English language sources, from classic literature and specialist periodicals to film scripts and cookery books.


Scribner Writers Series has more than 2,000 original, scholar-signed biocritical entries average 15-20 pages each. They include a concise overview, hyperlinks for cross-referencing and information that places the author's work in personal or historical context.

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Eva B. Dykes Library Libguides by Oakwood University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.