Literature - Recommended Sources

Resources Bought for Your Course

Black Thought and Culture contains over 1000 sources and authors, covering the non-fiction published works of leading African Americans. Where possible the complete published non-fiction works are included, as well as interviews, journal articles, speeches, essays, pamplets, letters and other fugitive material.

Themes covered include: childhood and family, food, the body, women, dress and fashion, theatre, animals, work, leisure and consumption etc. Each theme goes from antiquity through to the 21st century giving you a vast selection of online chapters to access. You can search by time or place as well as by theme.

Watch high quality films of leading theatre productions. Discover how plays are brought to the stage in interviews with the creative teams. Learn about interpretive choice through detailed analysis of play texts.

A brilliant source containing essays, maps, primary sources and an interactive chronology on the theme of Empire across the last 5 centuries

Read in-depth coverage about empires across the world from ancient to modern times. Entries include the Suez Crisis of 1956, the partition of Africa, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Dutch East Indies, propaganda and empire, decolonization in the French and British empires, postcolonialism and much more. 

Explore primary sources for gender history, women's suffrage, the feminist movement, the men's movement, the body, domesticity and the family. The records available include some from pressure groups giving details of 20th century lobbying and activism.

The full text of thousands of books published in Britain from 1475 to 1900. This collection comprises Early English Books Online (EEBO) and Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO), plus nineteenth century books from the British Library collection.

Access a range of primary and secondary sources covering London from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. As well as documents, you will find interactive maps, illustrations and photographs to really bring the streets to life.

Oxford Literature Handbooks offer thorough introductions and a survey of the current state of research on key topics and authors such as adaptations, Arab novelistic traditions, children's literature, ecocriticism, postcolonial studies, war poetry, the Victorian novel, Shakespearean tragedy, Milton, Shelley, Ben Jonson, Edmund Spenser etc. Chapters review key issues and major debates and indicate how the debates might evolve.

Explore documents, fanzines, photos and newsreel footage to help understand these key decades when consumer culture and pop music took off and protest movements were big news.

An extensive range of primary and secondary sources, plus thematic essays on multiple aspects of feminism from 1776 to 1928.

A wide ranging archive which includes US Supreme Court records, books, pamphlets, newspapers and facsimiles of letters by the English abolitionist William Wilberforce etc

An essential resource for the study of popular entertainment in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries containing everything from full-text books, to posters and performance tickets.

A fantastic online collection containing everything from the full-text of books, to posters and performance tickets. Highly recommended by Portsmouth lecturers

Specialist e-resources

This fantastic resource has captured UK terrestrial TV and radio programmes from 1998 onwards for anyone in UK universities to watch for free. You can create playlists and clips to embed in presentations, as well as putting in requests for recording. Look out for all the useful documentaries. (Not available to anyone outside the UK.)

A project from the University of California, Davis, which makes available e-text editions of poetry by British and Irish women from 1789 to 1832

If you want to trace details about a specific person or place, or perhaps need inspiration for creative writing, this could be just what you need!  Connected Histories provides an all-in-one search across electronic content available on various sites such as 19th Century British Pamphlets, the Clergy of the Church of England, Charles Booth Archive, Convict Transportation Registers, Proceedings of the Old Bailey, British Newspapers 1600-1900 etc. If you find something useful on a resource we pay for e.g. British Newspapers, you may need to follow the link to that resource from the Finding Articles page within these Subject Pages.

A variety of reference works, including dictionaries, which tutors may well prefer to Wikipedia, and it even tells you how to set out a reference to what you find. Try out the 'Mind Map' option to see how your keyword links to others - useful for essay planning and dissertation work (use the arrow next to Basic Search to get to it).

Use one search to look across over 18 million digital items from 48 libraries across Europe. Look out for the Historic Newspapers link which lets you view a range of newspapers from the 19th and early twentieth centuries.

• Europeana 

A cultural gateway into documents and images from across Europe.

The First World War Poetry Digital Archive is an online repository of over 7000 items of text, images, audio, and video for teaching, learning, and research. The heart of the archive consists of collections of highly valued primary material from major poets of the period, including Wilfred Owen, Isaac Rosenberg, Robert Graves, Vera Brittain, and Edward Thomas.

If you need to check what certain terms mean quickly, this site will help.

• The Gothic 

A very useful site put together by the British Library containing images, plus essays by leading academics on different aspects of gothic literature.

Access 441 mainly Greek and Latin texts in English translation.

An online archive of printed material covering aspects of everyday life in Britain in the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. You will find posters and handbills for theatrical and non-theatrical entertainments, broadsides relating to murders and executions, book and journal prospectuses, popular topographical prints, and a wealth of different kinds of printed advertising material.

The national record of over 58,000 men and women who have shaped British history and culture, worldwide, from the Romans to the 21st century – extremely useful for detailed biographies about literary figures.

You can log onto this using your Public Library membership number in the Library Card Login box.

42,000 out-of-copyright books online.

A set of online research tools – including chronologies, indexes, concordances and bibliographies - created by academic experts for the study of the Romantics, their contemporaries, and their cultural contexts.

This archive preserves thousands of electronic literary and linguistic resources for use in Higher Education. Texts available range from Treasure Island and Moby Dick to Tristram Shandy and Shakespeare plays.

A highly-rated American academic site about all aspects of UK Victorian literature and culture. You will find primary and secondary texts (including scholarly book reviews) covering Victorian economics, literature, philosophy, political and social history, science, technology, and visual arts (painting, architecture, sculpture, book design and illustration, photography, decorative arts, including ceramics, furniture, jewelry, metalwork, stained glass, and textiles, costume and various movements, such as Art Nouveau, Japonisme, and Arts and Crafts).

An international public resource that provides unified access to major works of visual and literary works that are highly disparate, widely dispersed, and often severely restricted as a result of their value, rarity, and extreme fragility.

Details about the life and work of this important nineteenth century figure. Links to his work are included as well as full-text, critical articles about his work.

Your Subject Team

Anne Worden

Faculty Librarian


Phone: (023) 9284 3243

Sharon Bittner

Assistant Faculty Librarian


Phone: (023) 9284 3234

Further Information