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English

Criticism and resources for all types of English literature and periods such as Shakespeare.

Finding Works

Use the techniques described on this page to find specific works of literature by using our general search bar or subject databases.

Or, use one of our excellent Print Indexes to track down a hard-to-find work.


Advanced Search Use this to search our catalog. It includes books held in the library, full-text articles from selected databases, audio CDs, DVDs, streaming videos, and more.
Warning: Works Found Online

If you've found the text of a poem or a short story online, be careful — you never know when words might be changed or verses omitted, whether accidentally or maliciously.

Using online texts is usually okay for quick skims, but always use trustworthy, authoritative sources when doing a close reading and analysis — especially when you need to cite them.

Searching the Catalog and Databases

By Title

If you know the exact title of a work,

  • Search for it with quotes around it.
  • Add the author's name to avoid irrelevant hits.
  • "the awakening" chopin
  • "the american dream" albee
  • "song of myself" whitman
  • "nobody said anything" carver

Limit to books held in Lindell Library by clicking "Augsburg" in the Location box on the left-hand side of the search results.

If you want something from another library, you can order it.


By Title of Larger Work

If the play, poem, or story you want is in an anthology or a collection by a single author, search for the title of the larger work in quote marks and include the author's name, especially for generic titles.

  • "collected plays" albee
  • "leaves of grass" whitman
  • "collected stories" carver

Finding a Larger Work

To find out if the work you're looking for is in a larger work, you can do the same search in Google to find the title of the larger work — this is fast and usually works. Once you have it, search our collection using that title. If Google's no help, try one of the print indexes, Academic Search Premier, or ask a librarian.


By Author

If you don't know the title or want to see what's available from a particular writer,

  • Search for the author's name
  • Then click to limit to Author on the left-hand side of the search results.

This eliminates books about the author or criticism, leaving only the books the author has written.

  • kate chopin
  • edward albee
  • walt whitman
  • raymond carver

By Keyword

Start with basic terms like:

  • fiction
  • poem
  • play
  • playwrights
  • drama
  • dramatists
  • theater OR theatre
  • short stories

These searches alone will find thousands of books.

Then add words to narrow your search closer to what you want:

  • gothic fiction
  • Minneapolis fiction
  • fiction bildungsromans
  • feminist theater
  • experimental drama
  • one-act plays
  • Minnesota poetry
  • Hmong poetry
  • performance poetry
  • "short stories" Cuban
  • "short stories" Minnesota
  • "short stories" war

Anthologies

Keyword searches are a great way to find anthologies. Searching for: "short stories" carver will find books that title or author searches won't — anthologies that probably include only one of his stories, but also other potentially interesting, similar writers and themes.

Print Indexes

Play Index

Find in the Reference Section, under heading Reference PN1655 P51

Look here to find out how to locate specific plays or to browse by subject or author.

  1. Choose the volume that includes the year the play was published, or the year or two after. Just browsing? Choose whatever you want.
  2. In Part I, the Index, look for plays by subject, author, or title.
  3. If you find a play under a subject or by title, also look up the author. Here you can see a short description of the play and publication information. The title might be the actual play title or a larger work title (a collection or anthology).
  4. Search for the book title in our catalog. If we don't have it, we can order it for you.

Short Story Index

Find in the Reference Section, under heading Reference PN3451 S5

Look here for where to find specific short stories or to browse by author or subject.

  1. Choose the volume that includes the year the short story was published, or the year or two after. Just browsing? Choose whatever you want.
  2. In Part I, the Index, look for short stories by subject, author, or title. The author entries are most important: they list the stories the author wrote that are indexed in that particular volume (in other words, not everything he or she has ever written). They also list the titles of the larger works in which the stories appear.
  3. If you find a short story of interest randomly or under a subject, next look up the author to find the title of the larger work.
  4. If you need more information about it (especially important if the story is in a journal), look up the author again in Part II, the List of Collections Indexed. This has full publication and citation information for the larger works.
  5. Search for the book title in our catalog. If we don't have it, we can order it for you.

Index to Poetry

Find in the Reference Section, under heading Reference PN1021 H39

Look here for where to find specific poems or to browse by author or subject.

Choose the volume that includes the year the poem was published, or the year or two after. Older but popular poems that are reprinted often (by Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, etc.) will also be included in recent volumes. Just browsing? Choose whatever you want.

You can search in three ways:

By title, first line, or last line (the Title Index)
These entries include the author name and an abbreviated code. Look up the code at the beginning of the book for the anthology in which the poem appears, and search for this title using the General Search.
By author
See a list of poem titles under each author name. This is not everything he or she has ever written, but only what’s being indexed in a particular volume. Look up a poem title of interest in the Title Index to find what book it’s in.
By subject
Find authors and poem titles by subject. Once again, look up the poem title in the Title Index to see the abbreviated code, then look up the code at the beginning to find the actual book title that you can use in a General Search.

Finding Literature in the Lindell Library Stacks

Books on literary theory or about multiple authors are on the Link Level in the P section, which is too large to browse. Use the General Search of our catalog.

Books by and about individual writers — novelists, poets, dramatists, short story writers, etc. — are on the Lower Level. These can also be found in our catalog or browsed on the shelf using the tips below about literature call numbers.


Lower Level Books: Modified Dewey Decimal System

This is where you'll find most of the literature books, shelved according to the Dewey Decimal System (unlike the rest of our collection which is shelved in the Library of Congress system).

Books both by and about an author are shelved together.

A typical Dewey call number has three parts:

1st 2nd 3rd
82 D555 BC292
The first part is the language number:

Authors are arranged according to the language in which the work was originally written.

For example, Günter Grass is Polish but wrote The Tin Drum in German.

You can find this English translation and the German original, Die Blechtrommel, at call numbers that start with 83 — authors writing in German.

81 American and Canadian authors writing in English
82 British authors writing in English
83 authors writing in German
839.5–.82 authors writing in Scandinavian languages
839.82
authors writing in Norwegian
84
authors writing in French
85
authors writing in Italian
86
authors writing in Spanish
87
authors writing in Latin
88
authors writing in Greek
891.1–55 authors writing in Indo-Iranian (Aryan) languages
891.6
authors writing in Irish Gaelic and Welsh
891.7–92 authors writing in Russian and Eastern European languages
892.4
authors writing in Hebrew
892.7
authors writing in Arabic
895 authors writing in Asian languages
896
authors writing in African languages
897
authors writing in American aboriginal languages
898
authors writing in South American aboriginal languages
899
authors writing in other languages

The second part is for the author:

It includes the first letter of the author's last name and then an author-specific number code.

For example, D555 is used for Charles Dickens.


The third part describes what the book is:

For the first letter:

  • B is for Biography
  • C is for Criticism
  • S is for Sources of works (rarely used)
  • W is for collections of Works
  • X is for a single work

For B, C, and S, the next letter that follows is the first letter of the last name of the author or editor of the biography, criticism, or sources. The numbers that follow specify the book further.

For W and X, the letters that follow relate to the title.

For example:

Call Number Description
82 D555 BC292 A biography of Charles Dickens (author's name starts with C).
82 D555 CP835 A book of criticism of Dickens' works (author's name starts with P).
82 D555 SD487 A work of sources of Dickens' works (editor's name starts with D).
82 D555 WCo A collection of more than one work by Dickens (Collected Works).
82 D555 XTa A single work by Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities).