Printed collections : Book collections and periodicals, Films
Electronic collections : Indexes and abstracts, Primary sources, Electronic journals, Exam papers, Internet resources
Book collections The Library has
its own classification scheme for arranging books on the shelves; a typical
classmark for an open-access book will consist of the name of a subject
(indicating a section of the library) followed by letters and numbers denoting
its classified position on the shelves in that section; e.g.
ENGLISH E 320.6 PEA for a book about Chaucer.
ENGLISH P 200 BLA for an introduction to the Victorian novel.
Some of the other main sections you are likely to need are:
HUMANITIES PERIODICALS (known as ARTS PERIODICALS up to Sept 2007), (Main Library, upper level): a collection
of mainly interdisciplinary periodicals in Arts and Humanities subjects.
POETRY STORE (Special Collections Department, 140 Hampstead
Road and in remote storage in Stores): small-press editions of contemporary
poets, mostly English and American.
LITTLE MAGAZINES (Special Collections Department, 140
Hampstead Road) : alternative press and specialist literary journals.
The GEORGE ORWELL ARCHIVE and the JAMES JOYCE COLLECTION are available for consultation
in Special Collections at the Hamsptead Road site.
PHONETICS & LINGUISTICS (Main Library, south end, and Chandler House): books and periodicals supporting the theory and practice of language study. The original collections of Linguistics and Phonetics books and journals are in the Main Library. However, in 2008 the Phonetics & Linguistics department moved to Chandler House, so from 2008 onwards, new Phonetics & Linguistics material is to be found there in the Language & Speech Science library. Some of the existing Phonetics & Linguistic books and journals have also moved to Chandler House; some remain in the Main Library, south end collection, but no new stock will be added to this collection.
Back runs of ENGLISH PERIODICALS are shelved in the Main Library, in the gallery above the Scandinavian reading room at the north end of the building. Recently-published issues of periodicals are displayed in racks in the English library on the first floor. Periodicals are usually available for loan, although this may be restricted to overnight access. For electronic journals, see below. The location of all volumes of periodicals is indicated on eUCLid. Those held on closed access in Stores may be borrowed on request
Performances of William Shakespeare's plays are available on DVDs and these are available for loan. Videos and DVDs are shelved in the Main Library near the Issue Desk. To search for films, use eUCLid's 'Audiovisual' search option on the home screen. To search for DVD format, include the word <DVD> in your search, e.g. <JULIUS CAESAR AND DVD>. To search for videocassette format, substitute <VIDEO> for <DVD>. There is a viewing suite for films, off the Main Library Reference Room. Headsets and remote controls are available for loan from the Issue Desk during serviced hours.
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Material held in electronic form is available to
registered members of UCL: you will usually need your user ID/password for Information Systems in
order to gain access to them. Most of our electronic resources (exception: some e-journals) are available within our electronic gateway, Metalib. To use e-resources from home, enter Metalib from UCL Library Services home page, and login. A leaflet on Metalib's facilities is available in print and electronic format.
When you have connected to Metalib, see the left-side menu. Under 'Subject' select 'English'. The default display is all the relevant resources, though you can narrow these down using the 'Sub categories'. To find out more about a resource, click the 'i' button on its right.
These indexes contain citations to articles in thousands of journals. There are several, as they tend to specialise in certain aspects of a discipline, or are interdiscplinary. There is some duplication in content, especially for core journals. Some index other publications also, such as multi-author books and reports. They do not include ordinary textbooks. Several contain abstracts (summaries) of articles. None contains the full-text, but citations may have hypertext links to other resources via the SFX button. SFX offers you links to full-text if we have access to it, plus links to library catalogues in other institutions including University of London Research Library Services (Senate House). Bibliographic Indexes require search terms in a particular format. This varies among the Indexes, so you should check the online help to find out how to use the resource effectively.
A range of electronic versions of journal titles is available. Start from the list on the Library's web pages at:
where you will find details of access arrangements for each title. This is our most up-to-date list of e-journals with the dates of their availability. This list is updated monthly, as more titles and more years become digitized. They also appear on the catalogue, though it takes longer to create the records.
Of particular importance in English is the range of titles available in JSTOR - an archiving project to store long back runs of selected journals in electronic form, e.g. Review of English Studies 1925-1996. Recent issues are not available on JSTOR but may be available in another package. Access is available on the Web at: www.jstor.ac.uk/
Among the full-text
databases now available are:
English Books Online :
electronic facsimiles of books published in English between 1473 and 1700.
Poetry : works of over 1,300 poets written between 600 and 1900. This resource is within LION (Literature Online dataset).
- English Drama : over 1,700 works of drama spanning the 13th to the 19th
centuries. This resource is within LION (Literature Online dataset.
- Shakespeare Collection : 11 major editions from the first folio of 1623 to the
Cambridge edition of 1863-66. (The link goes to Metalib 'Find resource' - select 'S' then locate the title and click it. On the resource home page, click the subscriber login button on the right of the screen.)
- Shakespeare Survey Online: yearbooks from 1948 onwards, on studies and productions. (The link goes to Metalib 'Find resource' - select 'S' then locate the title and click it. On the resource home page, click the subscriber login button on the right of the screen.)
(Please note: there are many e-books in these databases which are not listed individually in eUCLid. E.g. see Literature Online)
'Theatre in video' includes filmed BBC productions of all of Shakespeare's plays (we also have these on DVD/video, for loan), plus plays by other authors, and documentaries. Metalib provides a link.
As well as viewing our database lists alphabetically in Metalib (see 'Find resource' button), you can see alphabetic lists through a link on the library home page.
There are several public websites for archives and special collections. See our website for links. A good starting point for research is
The National Archives website (Public Record Office) which has a catalogue of its own holdings, and also links to websites worldwide.
If you are searching for manuscripts the following may be useful. The National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections covers collections in US and elsewhere, which contribute their holdings records to the database (so is not comprehensive). Also see Location Register of 20th Century Manuscripts and Letters.
Copies of UCL examination papers for undergraduate courses
(from 1997 onwards) are available on the web at http://exam-papers.ucl.ac.uk/
Printed copies of the English papers are held in the Main Library.
- Intute : Arts & Humanities, English section is an interdisciplinary gateway which provides access to a series of Internet resource catalogues containing descriptions of high quality Internet sites, selected and described by specialists from within UK academia and affiliated organisations. There is also a link in Metalib. The following may also be useful to you.
- BUBL is another interdisciplinary gateway that provides access to Internet resources selected for academic value, and arranged hierarchically using a book classification system used in many libraries (not UCL). See the 'Literature and rhetoric' section.
- The following are gateways to many other resources:
- Online books, out of copyright:
- Project Gutenberg
2. Language tools
- There is a multilingual online dictionary on the European Union website.
- Several search engines offer online translation tools, including Google.
3. Other useful links
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The Senate House Library (University of London in Malet
Street) has a strong collection in English, and is especially strong in periodicals holdings.
Any registered member of UCL can join the library and borrow from there.
For more information about the use of other libraries, see the full information at
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If you have any problems using the Library, please come to the Enquiry Desk, or contact the Subject Librarian for English:
Telephone: internal: 32964; external: 020 7679 2964
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