OU Libraries
OU Libraries

Search by title, author...

LIBRARY GUIDE TO ENG 4900 - Early American Women Writers

Library Catalogs

Kresge Library Catalog --people can be searched as authors or as subjects. Works of literature can also be subjects--always preceded by the author's name.

WorldCat --union catalog of libraries worldwide

MelCat --union catalog of many Michigan libraries; 1st stop to interloan books. When you search for a book in the Library Catalog and find that OU does NOT own it, a link to MelCat automatically appears.

Subject headings, a sampling

Adams, Abigail, 1744-1818
Bradstreet, Anne, 1612?-1672
Child, Lydia Maria, 1802-1880
Foster, Hannah Webster, 1759-1840
Rowlandson, Mary White, ca. 1635-1711
Sedgwick Catharine Maria, 1789-1867
Wheatley, Phillis, 1763, 1784

American Literature - Colonial Period, ca. 1600-1775
American Literature - Women Authors
Feminism and Literature - United States - History - 18th century
Indian Captivities
Women and Literature - United States - History - 18th Century
Databases & E-Journal Collections

MLA Bibliography --the standard index for literature. Coverage begins in 1926 with earlier coverage for all JSTOR "language and literature titles." Includes citations to journal articles, books, chapters, and dissertations. You can restrict your search to specific centuries by specifying years (and specifying "american literature):  "american literature" and 1600-1699). MLA has only contained abstracts (summaries) in the last few years.  Do NOT search Hope Leslie (or other literary works)  as a "descriptor" [search as "keyword]--works of literature were not always considered as descriptors/subjects in MLA.

America: History & Life --Early American literature is closely related to history so this history database can be very useful.  Note that you can restrict your search to any range of years that you want.  One advantage of this database is that it has always contained abstracts of items indexed. 

American Literary Scholarship--Online from 1998. [Print volumes from 1963-2004 are in the reference stacks, Ref. PS3.A47.] Bibliographic essays citing important titles published in a given year.  Sections to look at in each would be "Literature to 1800" and "Early 19th Century Literature."  Subject index in each volume lists literary writers covered. Great place to learn of the scholarship trends and to get a scholar's opinions about what is being published.

JSTOR --Online collection of many scholarly journals from volume 1 until 2 to 5 years ago--and now with even some currently published articles. Full text of articles is searchable, but there are no descriptors/subjects. Use "advanced search."  Remember that JSTOR does NOT include all important literary journals (although it does include Early American Literature and American Literature)!

Project MUSE --online collection of many university press journals from current issues back 5 to 10 years. Full text of articles is searchable--and there are also descriptors/subjects! However, ProjectMuse has even fewer literary journals than JSTOR.  However, it does include the very important journal,  Early American Literature, from 2000 forward.  [Current issues (2000-present) of American Literature are  in still another journal package--e-Duke Scholarly Journals Collection.]

Google Scholar --Not the greatest place to search for materials initially. However, it is a good place to check for full text of some items--chapters in books, the occasional article in a journal OU does not have, etc.

Cambridge Companions --includes volumes on many literary authors and literary periods.  Several volumes have chapters on Marvell--just type in his last name in the "quick search" box.  Potentially helpful titles here are The Cambridge Companion to Nineteenth Century Women's Writings and The Cambridge Companion to Puritanism.  To find useful essays just search for a particular writer in the "quick search" box.

Early American Imprints, Series I: Evans 1639-1800 --This database features the full text of virtually all known existing books, pamphlets, broadsides, almonaics, treaties, plays, and other materials published in what is now the United States from 1639 to 1800.  It is very useful to browse by genre (especially "women as authors" and by author (e.g., Bradstreet, Anne).

Reference Titles

Oxford English Dictionary --Now available online. The OED is a historical dictionary of English, covering the language from the earliest times to the present day and showing the development of meanings through time.

Dictionary of Literary Biography (DLB) : Includes 20+ page essays on many early American women writers.  Simply search for a writer using the "named author" option--beginning with first name.  Several early American women writers are included in these print DLB volumes:  American Colonial Writers, 1606-1734 (Ref PS185.A39 1984); American Colonial Writers, 1735-1781 (Ref PS193.A38 1984); and American Women Prose Writers to 1820 (Ref PS149.A55 2001).

The Chronology of American Literature:  America's Literary Achievements from the Colonial Era to Modern Times--year by year listing of literary publications (with brief explanatory paragraphs.  Author and subject indexes can also be used to get to a known publication.  Also available in print in the reference stacks:  Ref. PS94.C84 2004.

Women Writers in the United States (Ref. PS147.D38 1996)--another chronology, this time of just women writers.  Lists texts by year and gives "context" for each.

The Cambridge Guide to Women's Writing in English--includes brief entries for many early American women writers.  Also available in print in the reference stacks:
Ref. PR111.C353 1999.

Colonial America: an Encyclopedia of Social, Political, Cultural, and Economic History (Ref. E162.C88 2006)--short entries on specific people, ideas, events, etc. Be sure to refer to the general index near the end of volume 5.

Library Contact
Picture: Emily Spunaugle

Emily Spunaugle
Assistant Professor, Humanities Librarian

Keeping Up with Your Sources in RefWorks

 RefWorks--a reference management tool that allows you to create a personal database of references and automatically generate formatted bibliographies for your projects.

RefWorks logo

Step 1 —Log in to RefWorks. (If you do not have an account, first create one. Be sure that you give your OU e-mail account when you register.)

Step 2 —Export records from the MLA Bibliography. Instructions for exporting.

Step 3 —Create folder/folders for your bibliographic records.  (View “Organizing your references” tutorial.)

Step 4 —Put your imported references into appropriate folders.  A reference can be placed in more than one folder.

Step 5 —Export references from other sources—the Library Catalog [directions are for Firefox], JSTOR, and ProjectMuse (links take you to instructions).

Step 6 —Add references manually.  Sometimes you have references that you find in books and bibliographies that you need to add “by hand.” 

Step 7 —Share folders.  You can share folders with your fellow students, with your professor, or with anyone.  Be sure to click on “Allow users to post comments on references” when you share a folder with your instructor. 

Step 8 —Save a folder shared with you to your own RefWorks account.  This involves “exporting” the shared folder to your RefWorks. 

Step 9 —Create a bibliography from your references.

Potential Problems

1.Pop-ups. You may have to change your pop-up settings--in Google or Yahoo toolbar, in browser settings, and/or your internet security software (e.g., Norton).

2. You may get a screen indicating that "there is a problem with this website's security certificate." Click on "continue to this website."

3. When exporting a shared folder to your RefWorks from off campus, you will need to use the access code for OU (RWOakUniv) and log into RefWorks.

Other Info

Does the library have access to a journal online? Easiest way to find out is to check the "E-Journals A to Z " from the library's "Find Articles" page.

Where do you find lists of databases and other online resources available at OU? The easiest way to find these is to check "Databases by Subject" or "Databases A to Z" from the "Find Articles" page.

MLA 2009 Formatting and Style Guide, from OWL, the writing center at Purdue University--The web site reflects the 7th edition of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers.

get it link

When you are using the library's databases, be sure to click on the blue link get it link when the article you want does not have a full text link in the database. get it linkwill then take you to the article from another source or take you library catalog record for print holdings or take you to a form to request a copy of the article via interlibrary loan (Illiad).


OU Libraries | 100 Library Drive, Rochester, Michigan 48309-4479 | (248) 370-2471
Accessibility | Sitemap | Hours | Location | Comments | Webmaster

Hours | Location

OU Libraries on Facebook OU Libraries on Twitter OU Libraries on Instagram OU Libraries News