Literature Department

The Literature Department is temporarily closed.

Wednesday, June 16 – Message from Staff

Greetings!

The Department is open from 12pm to 4pm Monday thru Friday.   For research support we encourage you to complete this form or call us directly at 215.686.5402.  We look forward to assisting you with your research in any way we can.  

 

Upcoming Events

The Quest of the Silver Fleece by W.E.B. Du Bois

Tue, August 3, 2021 7:00 P.M.

Join us for a virtual reading group of  The Quest of the Silver Fleece  by W.E.B. Du Bois. This book discussion group meets on Zoom on July 13th, 20th, 27th , and August 3rd @ 7pm . You will be given a copy of the book to keep.  On a later date, we will conclude with a…

 

The Literature Department is located with the Art Department in Pepper Hall, 2nd floor, Parkway Central, and houses over 60,000 books of American, English and World Literature. Our collection includes:

  • Poetry, plays, essays, humor, folklore, letters and author biographies
  • Criticism of American, English and World Literature, including criticism of novels and short stories
  • Writing and citation guidebooks
  • Books on movies, theater, journalism and media studies
  • Linguistics and books about the English language
  • ESL and foreign language learning books and CDs

Please note novels and short stories in English and foreign languages are found in Philbrick Hall on the first floor.

Some highlights of the Literature Department’s collection:

The 23-volume Oxford English Dictionary with the four-volume Additions series, invaluable for tracing the etymology and history of English words, is on reference in our Dictionary section.

An up-to-date list of our current periodical holdings:https://catalog.freelibrary.org/Community/lists/43489/

Please see our booklists for reading suggestions, here:  https://catalog.freelibrary.org/Community/users/Literature/

For anyone one doing 19th century research, we own Poole’s Index to Periodical Literature (1802-1881) and Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals (1824-1990).  The full-text of most of the citations listed is available on microfilm.

The Ottemiller Collection, which includes reference copies of significant, English-language plays from 1900-1985.

A large, in-depth collection of works by and about Shakespeare, some of which circulate and some of which are Reference. The collection includes original copies of Howard Henry Furness’s Variorum, and many 18th and 19th century American and English imprints of Shakespeare’s works (in remote storage).  To request any of these items please ask for assistance at the reference desk as they are located in our regional offsite center also known as ROC.

Research Resources

In addition please take a look at our listing of additional electronic resources located here.

 

Educators!  We are here for you!

Are you an educator interested in bringing a class to the Literature Department? You may contact us in advance by emailing ErefLit@freelibrary.org and let us know what kinds of library materials would best support your course and we will work with you to help you gather books and other materials on a given subject.