Literary Reference Center

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This resource includes both in-library-use and at home access

This rich full-text database provides a broad spectrum of information on thousands of authors and their works across literary disciplines and timeframes. It gives students, professors and researchers a foundation of literary reference works to meet their research needs.


“Literary Reference Center is a literature student’s dream…It provides a wealth of information for students doing author or biography reports, not to mention librarians performing readers’ advisory.”

~Library Journal


Database Content Includes:

  • More than 36,000 plot summaries, synopses and work overviews
  • Nearly 80,000 articles/essays of literary criticism
  • More than 250,000 author biographies
  • More than 460 literary journals
  • Nearly 900,000 book reviews
  • More than 98,000 classic and contemporary poems
  • More than 26,000 classic and contemporary short stories
  • More than 9,600 author interviews
  • More than 7,400 classic novels


Superior Content

Combining information from major respected reference works, books, literary journals and original content from EBSCO, Literary Reference Center features an expansive collection of author biographies, plot summaries and full-text essays from leading publishers. It also includes literary reference books and monographs, cover-to-cover full text for literary magazines and book reviews from the most prestigious publications. It offers poems from hundreds of sources, short stories, classic texts, author interviews and much more.


Additional Highlights Include:

  • Reference texts including Beacham’s Research Guide to Biography and Criticism (six volumes), The Oxford Illustrated History of English Literature, and all of MagillOnLiterature Plus
  • Merriam-Webster’s Encyclopedia of Literature & Criticism featuring nearly 10,000 entries
  • Informational texts on numerous literary genres, themes and forms, as well as critical essays on specific works and authors
  • Research Guide to Literary Research, Writing and Critical Reading
  • Literary glossary featuring more than 1,700 terms
  • Lesson plans to support classroom instruction
  • Rich multimedia content to enhance curriculum delivery


Superb Functionality

  • Mobile-friendly interface available 24/7 via desktop, smartphone or tablet — both at school and at home
  • Simple search box for keyword, author and title searching
  • Autocomplete and spell checker to ensure the correct search terms are applied
  • Easy-to-browse categories of most studied authors and works
  • Ability to sort search results by content type, publication date, subject or publication
  • Text-to-speech for HTML articles to assist auditory learners, struggling readers or those learning English
  • Personal folders for saving and sharing content
  • Ability to browse publications and other search indexes (such as images)
  • Citation tool to help students format bibliographic references
  • Ability to save, print and e-mail citations directly from the interface
  • Google Classroom integration, allowing educators using Google Apps for Education to quickly share content with students


For help navigating the Literary Reference Center, click here


You will need a valid WPLS library card to access the resource at home;

please contact your local branch library for assistance in applying for a card.


To begin browsing the Literary Reference Center,

please click the banner above or the button below.