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British Studies  

A research guide to British studies.
Last Updated: Oct 16, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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University Libraries subscribes to a wide variety of digital collections of interest to British Studies, particularly history and literature. We have additional print resources, but in this guide we will focus on the electronic collections. 

Below we have listed some of our main electronic reference resources of interest to British Studies.

We have arranged this Research Guide into primary and secondary sources in history and literature.  Primary sources is further broken down by:

  • Archives and Genealogy
  • Books
  • Literary Texts (under the literature category)
  • Newspapers
  • Periodicals

We have put indexes to articles, such as C19 and Periodicals Index Online in the secondary sources sections.


  • Credo Reference
    Online reference library providing access to a large number of encyclopedias, dictionaries, thesauri and other reference books, including Who's who, and Who was who. Subjects covered include art, biography, history, literature, music, religion, and science and technology.
  • Dictionary of Irish Biography
    The Dictionary of Irish Biography is a collaborative project between Cambridge University Press and the Royal Irish Academy, involving 700 contributors and spanning 9,000 lives. People covered include James Joyce, St Patrick, Maud Gonne MacBride, Eamon de Valera, and Bobby Sands.
  • Dissertations & Theses: Full Text
    Includes Dissertation Abstracts. With more than 2.4 million entries, the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT) database is the most comprehensive collection of dissertations and theses in the world. UMI offers over 2 million titles for purchase in microfilm or paper formats. More than 930,000 are available in PDF format for immediate free download, and an average of 2,000 new PDFs are added to the database each week.
  • English Short Title Catalogue
    The English Short Title Catalogue (ESTC) lists over 460,000 items published between 1473 and 1800, mainly in Britain and North America, mainly (but not exclusively) in English, from the collections of the British Library and over 2,000 other libraries.
  • Gale Virtual Reference Library
    Gale Virtual Reference Library delivers a wealth of eBook reference content in a database format, allowing libraries to choose exactly which titles to make available to their patrons. The sources that Gale Virtual Reference Library offers in eBook format include multi-volume encyclopedias, biographical collections, business plan handbooks, company history compilations, consumer health references, and specialized reference sources. Subjects covered include Arts, Biography, Business, ...
  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
    A collection of 50,000 specially written biographies of the men and women who shaped all aspects of Britain's past, from the fourth century BC to the year 2000.
  • Oxford English Dictionary
    This is the online version of the 20-volume dictionary. Not only useful for pronunciation, etymology, and historical meanings, but also a rich source of quotations and first-known usages.

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Peggy Keeran
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University of Denver
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