Having been planned from its inception to make the best use of relational databases, The Literary Encyclopedia offers a learning resource and reference work to rival anything in its class.

From the options list which appears in the left-margin relative to any article, users can

  • list an author's works in date or name sequence
  • list all major contemporary authors and texts [contemporaries under 'Context' section]
  • add the viewed article to a private “bookshelf”. A user's bookshelves can be viewed in one's personal account, after logging in
  • list recommended Internet resources related to the article [web resources under 'Context' section]
  • list recommended scholarly books and articles on the topic [recommended reading under 'Context' section]
  • call up a detailed day-by-day author chronology where such a chronology exists [author chronology under 'Context' section]
  • where appropriate, use a prepared link to view articles on similar or related matters [related articles and related groups sections]
  • Users can also save and print articles in PDF format. (To see an example click here.)
  • [Please note that many of the features above are in constant development and are not yet complete for all articles.]

Using Advanced Search or Browse, users can

  • browse our listing of authors, works, topics & events, and contributors, and sort results in appropriate ways
  • generate lists of authors or works according to genre, gender, date and country of origin or country of activity/ publication
  • similarly generate lists of literary, cultural and political events by keywords, date and country

In the coming months, two new features will be added. Users will be able to:

  • compose sophisticated timelines relating literary texts to historical events
  • generate global searches for recommended web resources by period, country and genre

[Please note that we believe that the thought and engineering that has gone into The Literary Encycloedia's architecture makes this publication the most precisely searchable of any such electronic resource. We are always ready to be advised this is not the case, and then match or exceed any good examples brought to our attention.]

Other functions and features include

  • personal accounts for all users. For more detailed instructions on how to create a personal account if you are a user affiliated to a subscribing institution, please see Student Guide
  • the ability of users to save searches, timelines and articles to their own virtual private “bookshelves”
  • the ability for teachers to compile sets of records into a “bookshelf” and send a hyperlink to this bookshelf to students on a particular course
  • a much-consulted “Style Book” which offers guidance on correcting grammatical and other errors often found in student essays
  • a floating glossary of frequently used critical terms (this is by no means an exhaustive feature and does not replace a dictonary of literary terms)
  • direct linking from recommended journal articles to JSTOR and Project Muse (access to the articles will depend on a separate institutional subscription)

Functions of particular interest to Librarians

  • cross-searching The Literary Encyclopedia and other electronic resources via Metalib
  • COUNTER-compliant user statistics
  • OpenURL searching for article title, author firstname and author lastname (atitle, aufirst and aulast)