Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
About Reference Works
Reference works provide basic overview articles on various branches of knowledge. They may be general or subject-specific. They are excellent places to begin research on your topic. Although citing reference works is not considered scholarly practice, they can provide general knowledge about your topic, help you develop a thesis, supply you with important keywords for searching, and provide you with citations to important primary and secondary works on the topic.
Online Reference Material
Some important reference works for the study of literature are linked below. Many additional encyclopedias and dictionaries can be found in the Library Catalog.
A global literary reference work providing authoritative profiles of authors and their literature, as well as literary theory. Full-Text.
Literary Reference Center
Provides users with a broad spectrum of information on thousands of authors and their works across literary disciplines and timeframes. Content includes full-text plot summaries, synopses and work overviews; articles/essays of literary criticism; author biographies; literary journals; book reviews; classic and contemporary poems; classic and contemporary short stories; and author interviews. Coverage: Varied. Full-Text.
Includes more than 900 encyclopedic titles from respected publishers in all disciplines taught at Dickinson, including various language dictionaries, the Marquis Who's Who series and numerous other biographical sources, economics and business encyclopedias, food and agriculture sources, publishing sources, atlases, and many encyclopedias covering the arts, history, literature, science, technology, religion, philosophy, politics, psychology, geography, country studies, and more. Full-Text.