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Bibliographical databases

Bibliographical databases, sometimes known as subject indexes, provide records of scholarly books, articles, conference papers and doctoral theses. They enable you to do deeper, richer research, and are particularly useful for longer essays and dissertations/theses. Below is a list of a selection of important bibliographies/indexes for Anglophone literary research.

Use of Library Search to find key books on your subject is recommended before you turn to bibliographies/indexes to do more in-depth research.


Core resources

Other useful resources

How to use bibliographical databases in your research

Cobden book of hours

This interactive tutorial guides you through the process of using databases optimally to find information on your topic. It should take about 15-20 minutes to complete.

Image: an illumination from the Cobden Book of Hours, University of Bristol Special Collections

Top bibliographies for English

Proquest One Literature

ProQuest One Literature (including Literature Online)

An excellent resource for finding scholarly writings about all aspects of Anglophone literature. Ideal for in-depth research.

Oxford bibliographies online

Oxford Bibliographies Online

Curated lists of scholarly writings on a wide range of subjects. Each entry is accompanied by a short summary of its importance to the subject.

Orlando logo


History of, and scholarship relating to, women's writing in the British and Irish Isles from the earliest times to the present day.

JSTOR logo


Vast amount of scholarship, mainly journal articles, on many subjects. Advanced search functions are advisable unless your keywords are very specific.

ProQuest One Literature guide

ProQuest One Literature