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EH203 & 204 -- Survey of English Literature: Find Articles

This Library Guide directs you to sources for information on English (British) writers from the Anglo-Saxon Old English period to the present. The resources presented are selected and representative, not comprehensive, and are intended to provide a sampl

Page Overview

This page contains general library information and also provides a list of databases for searching for articles on English Literature in scholarly journals and other periodicals.  A brief description is provided for each database to help researchers choose the most appropriate one for their purpose.  The advantages and disadvantages of different levels of database searching also are discussed.

Electronic Resources

There are a number of electronic resources you can use to research your area. The databases on this page are some of the more useful ones.  You can also search for a specific journal using the search box below. If you cannot find what you need, please contact the Subject Specialist using the contact information under the Home tab of this Guide.

Electronic Databases

Start with these Databases to Locate Articles


To find articles on a topic, you will need to search in databases that index the articles in various online journals or digitized, electronic versions of books. For information on British/English authors, you may want to start with the following databases.   For additional databases, redirect to the LibGuide for English Language and Literature: Electronic Databases by Subject.



Levels of Database Searching

Levels of electronic database searching

Electronic databases may be searched on three levels:

  • singly (native database)
  • in groups, provided they all are products of the same vendor (database cluster)
  • Gemfinder Discovery Search, which can simul-search multiple databases across different vendor platforms. 

Advantages of searching a native (single) database

  • smaller, more manageable number of search results
  • allows for more precise subject focusing, particularly in discipline-specific databases

Disadvantages of searching a native database

  • fewer search results and therefore fewer article abstracts and full text
  • greater possibility of missing useful articles because they are not published in a journal indexed in the database being searched

Advantages of simul-searching multiple databases by provider

  • more journals included in the search
  • larger number of search results
  • more article abstracts
  • more full text

Disadvantages of simul-searching multiple databases by provider

  • larger number of search results to evaluate
  • repetition of records in search results

Advantages of Gemfinder Discovery Search

  • permits simul-searching databases provided by multiple vendors 
  • includes more books in search results than native databases do
  • useful for finding information on very obscure topics
  • useful for finding a native database launch point when the location of needed information is unknown

Disadvantages of Gemfinder Discovery Search

  • not well suited for searching broad, heavily-researched topics (e.g., George Washington) 
  • number of search results harvested can be overwhelming
  • results harvested may have little or no relevance to the search performed
  • to both reduce results and improve relevance, may require more sophisticated search techniques than needed for native databases                                                                                                                






Database Cross-Searching

To cross-search EBSCOhost, Gale/Cengage, or JSTOR databases:

1)  Go to the library's Electronic Resources page (

2)  Scroll down to Frequently Used Resources

3) Select the database vendor you wish to cross-search  

4) Follow instructions provided by the vendor