Otterbein College's Courtright Memorial Library

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Sources for Primary Works of Literature

Full Text Databases
Catalogs and Bibliographies

African-American Poetry 1760 - 1900 - full text of 3000 poems written by African-American poets in the late 18th and 19th centuries. The database includes allegories, broadsides, children's poems, elegiac poems, epics, hymns, odes, patriotic poems, and sonnets. The poets are among those included in the William French et al. bibliography, Afro-American Poetry and Drama, 1760-1975.


American Drama - full text of 700 plays from over 300 dramatists.


American Poetry 1600 - 1900 - a collection of 1,200 books and anthologies of early American poetry. This database contains the works of all major American poets, including Emily Dickinson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Phillis Wheatley, Walt Whitman, and John Greenleaf Whittier. It also covers many less familiar names.


American Periodicals Series 1740 - 1900 - A collection of digitized images of the pages of American magazines and journals. More than 900 titles from the first 60 years of the nineteenth century showcase "the golden age of American periodicals." General interest magazines, children's publications, and more than 20 journals for women are among the historically-significant content that also includes the serialization of Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin in National Era. Like most great literary works of the nineteenth century, this piece first appeared in a magazine. Also available are hard-to-find materials, such as Edgar Allan Poe's contributions to the Southern Literary Messenger, as well as the first appearances of Nathaniel Hawthorne's stories in New England Magazine, and Margaret Fuller's contributions to the Dial.

The Bible in English  - contains full text of twenty-one versions of the Bible: thirteen complete Bibles, five editions of the New Testament, two editions of the Gospels, and William Tynsdale’s translations of the New Testament, Pentateuch, and Jonah. The editions were chosen specifically to meet the needs of scholars of English literature and history of the language, as well as those in biblical and theological studies. Protestant, Roman Catholic, and nonconformist editions of the Bible are all included to allow searching and comparison across different centuries and religious beliefs.

Early American Fiction - 440 works of 80 novelists and short-story writers, 1774-1850.


Editions and Adaptations of Shakespeare - includes the complete text of eleven major editions of Shakespeare's works, from the First Folio (1623) to the Cambridge edition of 1863-6. It also includes twenty-four separate contemporary printings of individual plays, selected apocrypha and related works, and more than 100 adaptations, sequels, and burlesques from the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries.


Eighteenth Century Fiction - the text of 96 works of English prose from the period 1700-1780, by writers from the British Isles.


English Poetry 600 - 1900 - full text of over 175,000 poems by over 1,400 poets from British Commonwealth and ex-colonial countries, between the years 600 and 1900 as listed in the New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature. Many of these collections are rare books, unavailable in print form.


English Prose Drama - The text of 1,800 plays listed in the New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature that were written or intended for the stage and wholly or primarily in prose by approximately 400 authors from the Renaissance to the end of the nineteenth century.


English Verse Drama - texts of 2200+ English verse drama plays from the 13th to the 19th Century. 


20th Century African-American Poetry - 100 poets, including Audre Lorde, Langston Hughes, Rita Dove, and emerging poets.


20th Century American Poetry - contains 52,000 poems from collected works and individual volumes of poetry covering the works of most major twentieth-century American poets, beginning with the traditionalists; continuing through the modernists, represented by such poets as Wallace Stevens; and moving on to the contemporary works of the 1990s.


20th Century English Poetry - 44,000 poems by 288 poets, incorporating the Modern Poetry Collection and The Faber Poetry Library.


William Butler Yeats Collection - The complete works of W.B. Yeats.


Catalogs and Bibliographies


The Bibliography of American Literature - BAL originally appeared in print in nine volumes, to provide a bibliographic guide, providing nearly 40,000 records of the literary works of approximately 300 American writers from the American Revolution to 1930. BAL lists every reprint and variant edition of an author's works, including obscure and fugitive appearances in anthologies, broadsides, and gift books. It also includes details on bindings and physical features of the editions. The BAL originally was published between 1955 and 1991; the print edition is available on the 3rd floor of the library (Z1225 .B55.)


WorldCat - a union catalog of over 9,000 institutions around the world.


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