Finding information for English and Drama

  • Your Academic Liaison Librarian, Joanna Cooksey is here to help you find and use library resources for your course, for example finding books and journal articles, using electronic services like databases, and referencing in your written work. Joanna is based on Level 3 of the Library and you can make an appointment by emailing

  • Introduction to the Brookes Library

    The Headington Library in the JHB is the main library at Oxford Brookes and covers all subject areas, including English Literature and Drama. It's open 24 hours a day for most of the week during semester. The Library has 6 floors - for help with finding your way around, pick up a floor plan from the Help Zone on Level 1. You can also ask here if you need any help when using the library. Near the Help Zone you’ll find the Welcome Desk, book returns slots, reservations collection point and Short Loan. Books are on Levels 2, 3 and 4. Most of the books for English Literature and Drama are on the top floor - Level 4 in Zone D, with foreign literature in Zone E (Silent Study room). Use the nearby self-service machine to borrow books on this floor.

    The Library has different zones for quiet and silent study. If you want to do group work and/or chat, head to The Platform (Level 3) or The Forum (Ground Floor). You can also book one of our Student Presentation Rooms online.

    To get online in the Library, log onto one of the Library PCs with your student number and portal password – these computers will give you access to Internet, Google Mail, Brookes Virtual, Word etc. Printing is available via the Print Anywhere service. The IT Service Desk is located in The Forum and provides IT help. 
    To get online with your laptop, tablet or other device, sign up for the University’s Wi-Fi service Eduroam via the IT Services Web pages.

    Subject guides

    English literature study skills resources - online list of books & other help. This list includes useful reference sources such as specialized dictionaries and encyclopaedias.

    Tools for expanding your search

     is a search service that covers our Library Catalogue and many – though not all – of our electronic resources. A search on Discover will bring up books, journal articles and a variety of other sources. To expand your search to cover sources not included in our Brookes subscriptions, run a search on Discover and then tick the box next to 'Expand My Results' on the left of the results screen.

     provides an archive of full-text articles from a range of academic journals with good coverage of literary journals. It also offers these features to help you expand your search:

    • Use the Advanced Search option in JSTOR and below the search boxes you'll see an option to 'Select an access type'. From the drop-down menu you can choose 'All Content' to expand your search to cover sources not included in our Brookes subscription.
    • Text Analyser tool (BETA) available within the database. You can upload an article and the tool will find similar content in the database. It works with topics but unfortunately doesn't seem to cover titles of literary texts at the moment.
    • JSTOR Labs have also developed this Understanding Shakespeare tool which lets you look up quotations from a Shakespeare play and find JSTOR articles that reference them. Highly recommended for anyone studying Shakespeare. 

    Accessing material from other libraries and universities


    When doing research for an in-depth project such as your dissertation you are likely to come across references to publications which are not held at Brookes Library. There are a variety of options for obtaining material that we don't hold:

    • You can use the Interlibrary Loans service to request books, articles and other publications which aren't in stock. Each request costs £3.00 and articles usually arrive within 3 working days. You can make your requests via the Library Catalogue 
      Charges for requests made by staff and research students are recovered from Faculties / Directorates. You need to include your financial code on each request made.
    • Undergraduate students doing dissertation-level research and MA students are eligible to apply for reference access to the Bodleian Library. Use SOLO the Oxford University Libraries' Catalogue to check what is available and where it's held.  You will need to get an application form from the Library Help Zone ( Level 1) or download it from our web pages.
      Researchers and staff should follow the procedures outlined on the Bodleian Library Admissions webpages, using Form A and should apply in person directly to the Bodleian Admissions Office. 
    • The SCONUL Access scheme allows Brookes students to use many university libraries across the UK. You may find this useful if you live at some distance from Oxford and would like to use an academic library in your local area. To apply, go to the SCONUL website and check first whether the library you wish to visit is a member of the scheme, then complete the online application form. Once your application has been authorized by Brookes Library, you will be sent a confirmation email from SCONUL access and will need to take this along when you first visit the member library. 
    • COPAC contains the merged online catalogues of more than 20 of the largest university research libraries in the UK and Ireland, including the British Library Public Catalogue. It's a good place to search for material available in the UK.
    • The British Library's EThOS systemallows you to search across 250,000+ UK PhD/MPhiltheses for free and download / order full text where available. You will need to register and log in if you want to download a thesis or to order digitisation of a thesis. 
    • Access to research is a scheme run through public libraries, where academic publishers have made many of their journals freely accessible to the general public. Access to these e-journals is only available through computers in one of the participating libraries.These include Oxfordshire County Library. Check the Access to research website to see which libraries are participating and use the search option to see whether a specific journal title/issue is available through the scheme.

    Exam papers

    2015/2016 academic year onward: These are available for download by Brookes students and staff from RADAR. Check this quick video guide Finding past Oxford Brookes exam papers on RADAR

    Earlier years: Printed copies are available in the Library at Headington (Short Loan area, Level 1).

    Dissertations and theses

    • Some undergraduate dissertations are available from the Brookes Virtual site for English Literature on Moodle. To check whether other hard copy dissertations are available, contact the Programme Administrator for English, Drama and Creative Writing (Tel. 01865 48 3748. Tonge Building, Room T302) 
    • The Library holds around 20 past MA English dissertations from 1999-2009 . These are all listed on the Library Catalogue and can be requested them at the JHB Library Help Zone. To find them, do a search for MA English, then limit your search results by Collection to 'Dissertations and Theses Catalogue'. You can limit your results further by subject to see 'MA English Studies' or 'MA English'. You can also search for MA Humanities which includes some dissertations on literary topics.
    •  All Oxford Brookes University PhD and MPhil theses are held in the Library and are indexed in the Library Catalogue. The British Library's  EThOS system is a free service which allows you to search across 250,000+ UK PhD/MPhil theses. You can download / order full text where available (you will need to register and log to do this).