Library Resources for the Humanities

Library and Open Access Resources for Students in English at the University of Saskatchewan

Obviously, the library catalogue is a good place to start your research. The library also has some excellent online resources for conducting general and advanced research in the humanities. The list below provides links to many of these valuable resources. I've also included a few other resources freely available on the web.

Electronic Resources

There are two main categories of electronic resources in the library:


Full-text archives:

Works of Literature:

  • Proquest One Literature (searchable library of English and American poetry, drama and prose, full-text literature journals, and other key criticism and reference resources)
  • The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Current (the online version of the definitive print source in English for locating a poem in anthologies on library shelves plus the added value of the full text of over 250,000 poems, as well as 450,000 poem citations, and commentaries, biographies, bibliographies, and other content)
  • The Bible in English, 990–1970 ("contains twenty versions of the Bible. In addition to the twelve complete Bibles, there are five New Testament works, two Gospel works and William Tyndale's New Testament, Pentateuch and Jonah translations")
  • Latino Literature—Poetry, Drama, and Fiction, 19th century–present (a collection of nearly 400 plays and 68,000 pages of "prose and poetry by Chicano, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Dominican and other Latin writers working in the United States")

Literary Criticism and Resources:

  • The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism, Current
    (a guide to literary theory and criticism, presenting "a comprehensive historical survey of the field's most important figures, schools, and movements")
  • LGBTQ+ ("index to literature covering lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender (LGBT) issues and including the full text of the most important and historically significant LGBT journals, magazines and regional newspapers, as well as dozens of full text monographs")
  • Literature Criticism Online - 2007 - present (a compilation of literary commentary, including scholarly and popular commentary from broadsheets, pamphlets, encyclopedias, books and periodicals, from 4 selected collections in a series of 10 titles covering a range of modern and historical views on authors and their works across regions, eras and genres)
  • Literature Resource Center - Jan 2005 (contains biographies, bibliographies, and critical analyses of more than 120,000 authors from every age and literary discipline; 15-20 page essays on more than 1,600 authors and literary genres; and the full text of 200 books on individual authors)
  • The Literary Encyclopedia - 1999 - present (an expanding global reference source "focused on literature originally written in English or translated into English." It currently [2007] "provides over 3900 authoritative profiles of authors, works and literary and historical topics")
  • Loeb Classical Library ("a virtual library of Greek and Latin literature")
  • Wiley Online Library - 1996 - present; selected archives.
    Portal to electronic journals, books, reference works, and databases published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Users can access only the content the Library subscribes to (the full journal collection, a growing number of the books and reference works, and to The Cochrane Library database.)

Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (ODNB)
  • Oxford English Dictionary (OED)
  • Britannica Academic, a comprehensive online reference work designed for use by colleges and academic libraries. Provides access to a variety of research tools, including Encyclopædia Britannica, Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary and Thesaurus, full-text journal and magazine articles, web sites, and e-books and other primary sources.
  • ArtStor, a repository of more than one million digital images and associated catalog data from contributing museums, photographers, libraries, scholars, photo archives, and artists and artists' estates. The images document the fields of architecture, painting, sculpture, photography, decorative arts, and design, as well as many other forms of visual culture.
  • other dictionaries and encyclopedias

Full-text scholarly articles:

  • JSTOR (full text archive of core scholarly journals in the arts, humanities, social sciences and sciences; format is PDF)
  • Project Muse 1995 - present (fulll text access to current contents from 250 scholarly journals in the fields of literature, history, arts, cultural studies, education, political science, gender studies, economics, and others)
  • Cambridge Journals contains full text of a number of journals focusing on Literary Studies, Cultural Studies, History, and Language and Linguistics
  • Periodicals Archive Online (PAO) - Collections I - VI, 1802 - 1995 (an archive of over 500 digitised journals published in the arts, humanities and social sciences, in 6 general collections covering 37 key subject areas. Several themed collections are included in the general collections: Historical Studies, Literary Studies, History, Literature, Philosophy & Religion/Theology, and Spanish Language)
  • SAGE JOURNALS Online, 1999 - present (the Library accesses about 157 of the SAGE titles via this collection of nearly 400 SAGE electronic journal titles in the social sciences, humanities, medicine, engineering, and physical and life sciences, with a backfile to 1999. The remainder of the titles can be accessed via individual SAGE Full-text collections with full backfiles)
  • Wiley Online Library: Journals - 1997 - present; selected backfiles.
    Collection of nearly 1500 scientific, technical, medical and professional journals published by John Wiley and Sons. In addition, effective July1, 2008, all Blackwell Synergy electronic journals and backfiles are merged into the Wiley InterScience collection.

Full-text scholarly books:

  • ACLS Humanities E-Book: The Online Collection Developed by Scholars (an American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) collection of over 2199 scholarly electronic books covering most humanities disciplines, recommended and reviewed by humanities scholars)
  • Cambridge Histories (first published in 1902, the Cambridge Histories is a series of over 300 volumes spanning fifteen subject areas across the humanities and social sciences, with a concentration on political and cultural history, literature, philosophy, religious studies, music and the arts)
  • e-Duke Books Scholarly Collection - Duke University Press eBooks, Current and backlist (access to over 1000 electronic books published by Duke University Press in the humanities and social sciences, including its full backlist of titles currently available as electronic books. Approximately 100 titles are added annually)
  • Proquest Ebook Centralebooks from scholarly sources, including university Presses and other top publishers)
  • Oxford Scholarly Editions Online (OSEO) - annotated primary texts for scholars and students. OSEO includes writers active between 1485 and 1901, plus Classical Latin and Greek authors — from Aeschylus, Austen, Bentham, Catullus, Dickens, and Donne through to Virgil and Wordsworth. It contains more than 1,000 scholarly editions — the equivalent of more than 543,000 print pages.

Restoration & 18th-century Works: 

  • Artemis Primary Sources (A phenomenally useful integrated search tool that cross-searches several databases at once. Includes: 17th and 18th Century Burney Collection, Eighteenth Century Collections Online, Indigenous Peoples: North America, Nineteenth Century Collections Online, Sabin Americana 1500-1926, The Making of Modern Law: Legal Treatises 1800-1926, The Making of Modern Law: Primary Sources, The Making of Modern Law: Trials 1600-1926, The Making of the Modern World, The Sunday Times Digital Archive 1822-2006, and The Times Digital Archive 1785-2009.)
  • 17th-18th Century Burney Collection Newspapers, 17th-18th centuries (Digital collection of early English newspapers and news pamphlets gathered by the Reverend Charles Burney (1757 - 1817), including: newspapers, newsbooks, Acts of Parliament, addresses, broadsides, pamphlets, and proclamations)
  • Early Canadiana Online (The most complete set of full-text historical content about Canada, including books, magazines and government documents published from the time of the first European settlers to the first half of the 20th century.)
  • Early English Books Online (EEBO), 1475-1700 (Contains digital versions of the books printed in England in the first two centuries of English printing)
  • Eighteenth-Century Collections Online (ECCO) I and II 1701-1800 ("In the most ambitious single digitization project ever undertaken, nearly 150,000 English-language titles and editions published between 1701 and 1800 will be made available online over the course of the next two years. When complete, the product will allow full-text searching of more than 33 million pages of material, in essence, every significant English-language and foreign-language title printed in the United Kingdom, along with thousands of important works from the Americas.")
  • Eighteenth-Century Journals (Brings together rare journals printed between c.1685 and 1835. Covering all aspects of eighteenth-century social, political and literary life, topics include colonial life, provincial and rural affairs, the French and American revolutions, reviews of literature and fashion throughout Europe, political debates, and London coffee house gossip and discussion.)
  • Locating London's Past (Open Access. Allows you to search a wide body of digital resources relating to early modern and eighteenth-century London, and to map the results on to a fully GIS compliant version of John Rocque's 1746 map.)
  • Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London (1665-1678) (vols. 1-12)
  • Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London (1683-1775) (vols. 13-65)
  • Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London , 1776-1886 (Vols. 66-177)
  • Electronic Enlightenment 18th c (Provides access to "the web of correspondence between the greatest thinkers and writers of the long 18th century and their families and friends, bankers and booksellers, patrons and publishers." Includes online access to over 53,000 letters and documents from the best critical editions from nearly 6,000 correspondents in original languages, with nearly 230,000 scholarly annotations and over 80,000 document sources including both manuscripts and early editions.)
  • Internet Library of Early Journals (Open Access. A collaborative digitisation project undertaken by the University Libraries of Leeds, Oxford, Birmingham, and Manchester, UK. The project ran from 1996 to 1998 and has made available over 120,000 digitised images from selected 18th- and 19th-century journals.)
  • The English Broadside Ballad Archive (UCSB) (Open Access. Under the direction of Patricia Fumerton, the EBBA team's priority is to archive all of the surviving ballads published during the heyday of the black-letter ornamental broadside ballad of the 17th century—currently estimated to stand at some 11,000 extant works.
  • LEME ("A historical database of monolingual, bilingual, and polyglot dictionaries, lexical encyclopedias, hard-word glossaries, spelling lists, and lexically-valuable treatises surviving in print or manuscript from the Tudor, Stuart, Caroline, Commonwealth, and Restoration periods"; this is a source of "contemporary comments" in published lexicons and other sources of the day, that illustrate word usage in the periods covered by the Short-title and Wing catalogues")
  • The Making of the Modern World (A digital collection of millions of pages of unique primary sources tracking the development of the modern, western world using trade and wealth as a central focus. Supports research in history, political science, technology and industry, economics, and more.)
  • Making of Modern Law: Trials, 1600-1926 (Online access to the holdings at the law libraries at Harvard, Yale, and the Library of the Bar of the City of New York.)
  • The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, 1674-1913 (Open Access. A fully searchable edition of the largest body of texts detailing the lives of non-elite people ever published, containing 197,745 criminal trials held at London's central criminal court. This project makes available a fully searchable, digitised collection of all surviving editions of the Old Bailey Proceedings from 1674 to 1913, and of the Ordinary of Newgate's Accounts between 1676 and 1772. It allows access to trials and biographical details of approximately 2,500 men and women executed at Tyburn, free of charge for non-commercial use.)
  • UK Parliamentary Papers (archive of official government documents from 1688 to the present.)

Empire, Travel & Exploration

  • Empire Online 1492-1969 (a searchable database containing full text images of "original manuscripts and printed material taken from libraries and archives around the world"; it covers Africa, the Americas, Australasia, Oceania and South Asia. It also includes "a strong core of document images from the British Library and from the Oriental and India Office Collections at the British Library")
  • Early Encounters in North America (Peoples, Cultures, and the Environment) 1534-1860 (re-keyed primary documents related to early encounters of North American Indian, European, American, and African peoples and cultures in North America, as well as descriptions of the natural features of North America at the time; the documents include: letters, diaries, memoirs, accounts of early encounters, as well as images. Collection focuses mainly on Canada and the United States with limited coverage of Mexico)

Victorian Works:

  • London Low Life: Street Culture, Social Reform and the Victorian Underworld (A full-text searchable resource, containing colour digital images of rare books, ephemera, maps and other materials relating to 18th, 19th and early 20th century London. In addition to the digital documents, London Low Life contains a wealth of secondary resources, including a chronology, interactive maps, essays, online galleries and links to other useful websites.)

Classics, Medieval & Renaissance Studies

  • Early English Books Online (EEBO), 1475-1700 (Contains digital versions of the books printed in England in the first two centuries of English printing)
  • LEME: Lexicons of Early Modern English ("A historical database of monolingual, bilingual, and polyglot dictionaries, lexical encyclopedias, hard-word glossaries, spelling lists, and lexically-valuable treatises surviving in print or manuscript from the Tudor, Stuart, Caroline, Commonwealth, and Restoration periods."
  • Milton Bibliography 1624–1799 (A bibliography of "all manuscripts and editions of Milton's works and all studies and critical statements concerning Milton's life and works, all allusions and quotations, and all significant imitations during the years 1624-1799)
  • The Middle English Compendium (no subscription necessary: "designed to offer easy access to and interconnectivity between three major Middle English electronic resources: an electronic version of the Middle English Dictionary, a HyperBibliography of Middle English prose and verse, based on the MED bibliographies, and a Corpus of Middle English Prose and Verse, as well as links to an associated network of electronic resources")
  • Medieval and Early Modern Sources Online (MEMSO), Medieval and early modern period (a growing collection of searchable medieval and early modern full text sources digitized from print)
  • Medieval Travel Writing, 13th to the 16th centuries (an extensive collection of digitized manuscript materials for the study of medieval travel writing in fact and in fantasy from the 13th to the 16th centuries. The chief focus is on journeys to central Asia and the Far East, including accounts of travel to Mongolia, Persia, India, China and South-East Asia. It also includes a selection of accounts of travels to or through the Holy Land)
  • Online Medieval and Classical Library
  • Iter - Gateway to the Middle Ages and Renaissance (400-1700), 1996 - present (various databases indexing historical, social and literary scholarly research about Medieval and Renaissance European culture)
  • The Patrologia Latina Database (an electronic version of the first edition of Jacques-Paul Migne's Patrologia Latina, published between 1844 and 1855, and the four volumes of indexes published between 1862 and 1865. The Patrologia Latinacomprises the works of the Church Fathers from Tertullian in 200 AD to the death of Pope Innocent III in 1216. The database contains the complete Patrologia Latina, including all prefatory material, original texts, critical apparatus and indexes. Migne's column numbers, essential references for scholars, are included)

Canadian Literature:

  • Early Canadiana Online: (Canadian works published from the time of the first European settlers up to the early 20th Century)
  • Peel's Prairie Provinces (a collaborative project led by the University of Alberta Libraries; includes Peel's Bibliography of the Canadian Prairies, selected digitized full-text documents, and links related to western Canada; in June 2003 there were 598 full-text documents in the database)
  • Historical Statistics of Canada (online version of Historical Statistics of Canada 2nd ed., published by Statistics Canada in joint sponsorship with the SSFC in 1983; it contains "about 1,088 statistical tables on the social, economic and institutional conditions of Canada from the start of the Confederation in 1867 to the mid-1970s")
  • freely available (not limited to U of S library patron) are the Canadian Archival Information Network (CAIN), which provides access to the holdings of most Canadian archival institutions; and Saskatchewan Archival Information Network (SAIN), a database of descriptions of archival material held in Saskatchewan archives
  • Black History in Canada

Indigenous Studies:

  • American Indian Histories and Cultures (") broad range of manuscripts, artwork, rare books, photographs, Indigenous newspapers from the 1960s to the 1990s, and maps drawn from the Edward E. Ayer Collection at the Newberry Library in Chicago. These selected resources document the history of Native North Americans from their first encounters with Europeans through 21st century Indigenous activism and highlight both the myths and realities of Indigenous cultural identity and of the West")
  • Mètis Scrip Records (a searchable database of over 15,000 images of selected parts of original scrip records [Record group 15]; it is not a comprehensive coverage of scrip records)
  • Aboriginal Peoples: Guide to the Records of the Government of Canada - Currentc (a Library and Archives Canada research tool providing detailed descriptions of a broad range of Federal Government records related to Aboriginal peoples)

Women's & Gender Studies:

  • Defining Gender: 1450-1910 (Five Centuries of Advice Literature Online) (approximately 50,000 images of original manuscript and printed material, including a strong core of documents from the Bodleian Library, Oxford. Ephemeral material such as ballads, cartoons and pamphlets are featured alongside diaries, advice literature, medical journals, conduct books and periodicals)

    The publication schedule for the five sections is:
    Section I: Conduct and Politeness (Autumn 2003);
    Section II: Domesticity and the Family (Summer 2004);
    Section III: Consumption and Leisure (Summer 2005);
    Section IV: Education and Sensibility (Summer 2006); and
    Section V: The Body (Summer 2007)
  • Black Women in America, 2nd edition, 2005 (a major reference work in Black Women's Studies, covering achievements of African American women throughout history, highlighting their ongoing contributions in America today)
  • British and Irish Women's Letters and Diaries: 1500 to 1950 (a collection of British and Irish women's diaries and correspondence, bringing "the personal experiences of nearly 500 women to researchers, students, and general readers")
  • Contemporary Women's Issues (CWI), 1992 - present (a multidisciplinary, full-text database "that brings together relevant content from mainstream periodicals, "gray" literature, and the alternative press -- with a focus on the critical issues and events that influence women's lives in more than 190 countries")
  • Gender Studies Database, 1972 & earlier - present (combines NISC's Women's Studies International and Men's Studies databases with coverage of sexual diversity studies issues)
  • LGBT Life with Full Text, Coverage varies by title (index to literature covering lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender (LGBT) issues and including the full text of 50 of the most important and historically significant LGBT journals, magazines and regional newspapers, as well as dozens of full text monographs)
  • North American Women's Letters and Diaries - Colonial to 1950 (a collection of over 150,000 pages of published letters and diaries of women writing in North America)
  • ORLANDO - Women's Writing in the British Isles from the Beginnings to the Present, 1066 - present (provides "entries on female authors' lives and writing careers, contextual material, timelines, sets of internal links, and bibliographies)
  • Perdita Manuscripts - Women Writers, 1500-1700 (index of manuscripts of early modern women authors, including full digital facsimiles of over 230 selections, produced in association with the Perdita Project based at the University of Warwick and Nottingham Trent University. "“Perdita” means “lost woman” and the quest of the Perdita Project has been to find early modern women authors who were “lost” because their writing exists only in manuscript form")

Theatre & Drama:

  • Asian American Drama (contains 252 plays by 42 playwrights, together with detailed, fielded information on related productions, theaters, production companies, and more)
  • Black Drama (contains approximately 1200 plays from the mid-1800s to the present by more than 200 playwrights from North America, English-speaking Africa, the Caribbean, and other African diaspora countries. Some 440 of the plays are published here for the first time, including a number by major authors)
  • Theatre Online (features performances of works by American, European, Asian, and other worldwide dramatists from the past several centuries. In addition to performances, Theatre also features dozens of documentaries and interviews about theatre, discussing the history of theatre, acting methods, pioneering dramatists and actors, and much more)
    (a comprehensive reference tool covering "more than 30,000 plays, over 57,000 people, 5,400 theatres, nearly 22,000 productions and 2,500 production companies" in United States and Canada)
  • North American Women's Drama (contains 1,517 plays by 330 playwrights and brings these writings the attention they deserve, by publishing the full text of plays written from Colonial times to the present by more than 100 women from the United States and Canada)
  • Theatre in Video (collection of more than 250 plays and more than 100 video documentaries in English in streaming video) Access Note: When initially selecting this resource, click on the link twice (this is a known bug reported to the vendor)
  • Twentieth Century North American Drama ( collection of over 800 plays by over 100 playwrights writing in North America. Also includes detailed information on "related productions, theaters, production companies, and more")

Film Studies:

  • American Film Scripts Online (AFSO), Historical & contemporary (a collection of nearly 500 film scripts of historically important films, including "detailed, fielded information on the scenes, characters and people related to the scripts")
  • Archival Films & Newsreels Collection; alternate names: Films on Demand Archival Films & Newsreel Collection ; Films on Demand Archival Films and Newsreel Collection; FMG Archival Films & Newsreels Collection ("a rare view of what rush hour in London looked like in 1897. The dramatic and suspenseful newsreel announcing the crash of the Hindenburg zeppelin. President Ronald Reagans challenging speech at the Brandenburg Gate. Throughout modern history, cameras have recorded public events, wars, cultural phenomena, and government programs. This collection is a treasure trove of archival and historical films from multiple sources.")

Media & Communications Studies:


  • In the First Person - An index to letters, diaries, oral histories and personal narratives, Coverage varies by collection (full text transcripts of over 2,500 oral history collections in English from around the world. Other full text content will be added in future updates. Some of the full text content may require a current license agreement with the source institution)
  • Oral History Online (a collection of oral history narratives, interviews, and other English language oral histories. Also, a comprehensive index to free oral history information on the Web, often with links to full-text, audio, or video)

Newspaper Archives

  • The Times Digital Archive: 1785–1985 (The complete digital edition of The Times of London can be searched "to retrieve full facsimile images of pages and articles; the entire newspaper is captured, with all articles, advertisements and illustrations/photos divided into categories to facilitate searching" )
  • Toronto Star: Pages of the Past (a digitized and searchable database of the Toronto Star since 1894; it includes every page of every newspaper over the years—the editorial and opinion articles, business pages, photos, advertisements, classified ads, political cartoons, obituaries, birth and marriage notices-all in addition to the news that shaped each day)
  • ProQuest Historical Newspapers, The archives grow by one year annualy (a collection of three newspaper archives: The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post. Search across all three newspapers)


Catalogues and indexes:

These databases have a "Find it" option to help you determine whether the library has any given item in its holdings, or if you'll need to request it through Interlibrary Loan. If the item is in the library's electronic holdings, you'll be able to access the full document online.

Finding Aids for Scholarly Literature

  • Modern Language Association (MLA) International Bibliography 1963 - present (a comprehensive database specifically geared to English studies, indexing scholarly articles on international literature, linguistics and folklore)
  • OCLC FirstSearch is one of my my favourite starting points (this search tool indexes 16 databases including scholarly journal articles [ArticleFirst and ECO], and books in academic libraries [WorldCat] worldwide; you can search more than one database at once, and you can find libraries that hold the resource if ours doesn't have it); more information on what these databases contain is here
  • Google Scholar (Beta) enables you to search specifically for scholarly literature, including peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts and technical reports from all broad areas of research; Google Scholar isn't yet comprehensive, but it will find articles from a wide variety of academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories and universities, as well as scholarly articles available across the web
  • International Medieval Bibliography (IMB Online) (an index to articles in "periodicals (journals) and in miscellany volumes (conference proceedings, collected essays, Festschriften and exhibition catalogues) published world-wide. All subjects relating to the Middle Ages are included, within the date range 300-1500 AD)

Catalogues of Early Works:

  • ESTC (English Short Title Catalogue) provided by the British Library (no subscription required: "a comprehensive catalogue listing early books, serials, newspapers and selected ephemera printed before 1801; it contains catalogue entries for items issued in Britain, Ireland, overseas territories under British colonial rule, and the United States; also included is material printed elsewhere which contains significant text in English, Welsh, Irish or Gaelic, as well as any book falsely claiming to have been printed in London")
  • British Library Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts (no subscription necessary: includes Arundel; Burney; Egerton; Hargrave; Henry Davis; Hirsch; King’s; Lansdowne; Sloane; Stowe and Yates Thompson. Manuscripts in the Harley collection are in the process of being added to the catalogue)

British History:

  • the National Register of Archives contains information on the nature and location of manuscripts and historical records that relate to British history

Canadian studies:

  • CPI.Q (Canadian Periodicals)  1980 - Jan 2005 (this database indexes journal and magazine articles and biographies with a Canadian focus and contains selected sections of the Globe and Mail)


Other places to try:

  • Expanded Academic ASAP  1980 - Jan 2005 (this database indexes scholarly journals, news magazines, and newspaper articles on the arts and the humanities, social sciences, science and technology)
  • ISI Web of Science: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (indexes world leading arts and humanities journals plus select major science and social sciences journals)
  • Academic Search Premier 1975 - present (this is a multidisciplinary database that indexes nearly 8,050 journals, including more than 4,600 in full text; over seventy-five percent of the journals are scholarly peer-reviewed titles
  • Historical Abstracts 1954 - present (covers world history, including social history, from 1450 to the present)
  • InfoTrac OneFile 1980 - Jan 2005 (this database indexes news and periodical articles on: business, computers, current events, economics, education, environmental issues, health care, hobbies, humanities, law, literature and art, politics, science, social science, sports, technology, and many general interest topics)
  • Ingenta (this database indexes academic serials and journals in a variety of disciplines: this is a good finding device, but generally asks you to purchase the article for anywhere from $10 to $35)
  • Global Books in Print (indexes over 6 million English-language titles published world-wide; includes tables of contents, full text reviews, and annotations; also includes an author biography database)

    The print equivalent of this database is:
    Books in Print® database of US and Canadian titles (Bowker)
    British Books in Print (Whitaker)
    Books Out-of-Print
    Children's Books in Print
    Forthcoming Books
    Bowker's Publisher Authority Database
    Bowker's Complete Video Directory
    Words on Cassette


Films on Demand: English Literature and History