Journals and databases for English and Drama

  • Databases can help you to trace journal articles and other publications on topics, authors and literary works. Follow the links below to connect to useful databases and log in when prompted with your Brookes username and password.

    LibrarySearch - a good place to start
    LibrarySearch is our new search platform which allows you to find a mixture of books, articles and other resources in one place. Check this quick guide Using LibrarySearch to find journal articles on a topic
    NB LibrarySearch doesn’t cover all of our e-resources. We recommend using a database for more in-depth research.

    Key databases

    • MLA International Bibliography covers international literary and language studies and can help you find books, book chapters and articles.
    • JSTOR This database provides an archive of full-text articles from a range of academic journals with good coverage of literary journals. Try the new Text Analyser tool available within the database. You can upload an article and the tool will find similar content in the database. 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.
    • Academic Search Complete  A multi-disciplinary database with good coverage of English Studies journals. Much of the content is full-text. 
    • Performing Arts Periodicals Database Mainly full-text database covering performing arts including theatre and film. Good for articles on plays in performance

    Need help?

  • Box of Broadcasts (BoB) gives you access to thousands of recorded radio and TV programmes including films from an online archive. You can also record programmes, create clips and playlists. Log in when prompted with your Brookes username and password. First-time users have to register. You can search for programmes or look for playlists and create your own.
    Take a look at this playlist Drama Oxford Brookes for a range of drama productions and discussions, such as:

    • TV and film versions of Shakespeare's plays, including the BBC 2012 and 2016 series The Hollow Crown; Hamlet starring David Tennant and Patrick Stewart; Richard Eyre's production of King Lear. Also The Globe's 2014 production of The Duchess of Malfi
    • Modern drama such as Joe Penhall’s Blue/Orange, Beckett's Krapp's Last Tape, Michael Frayn’s Copenhagen
    • Documentaries on The National Theatre, Shakespeare, Harold Pinter, Samuel Beckett and the National Theatre of Scotland's Black Watch

    Digital image databases:

    • ARTstor - over a million images from collections world-wide.
    • Bridgeman Education - a digital image library which includes paintings, drawings and photographs.

    Books from 1450-1900

    • Historical Texts has the full text of over 350,000 books published in Great Britain from 1475-1900. It consists of 3 databases which can be searched individually or together:
      • Early English books online (EEBO) Contains digital facsimile page images of virtually every work printed in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and British North America and works in English printed elsewhere from 1473-1700. Full text.
      • Eighteenth century collections online (EECO) Contains digital images of 150,000 books published during the 18th Century. Full text.
      • British Library 19th Century collection Gives full-text access to over 65,000 19th Century books, covering philosophy, history, poetry and literature.
    • Early European Books - digitised collection of works printed in Europe between 1450 and 1700.

    Periodicals from the 19th Century

    • British Periodicals provides access to the searchable full text of hundreds of periodicals from the late seventeenth century to the early twentieth. Among the periodicals included are titles founded, edited or regularly contributed to, by a host of important figures - Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Henry Fielding, Ford Madox Ford, Oliver Goldsmith, Leigh Hunt, Samuel Johnson and Margaret Oliphant to name but a few. The database gives access to the original periodical versions of many landmark texts like De Quincey's Confessions of an English Opium-Eater and Gaskell's North and South.
    • Nineteenth century UK periodicals online (via Gale Databases) contains digital editions of some 100 UK periodicals published between 1800 and 1900. Coverage ranges from Boy's Own to the British Women's Temperance Journal, and from Punch to the Racing Times.

    Current news sources:

    • LexisLibrary This is a legal database which also includes articles from UK national and regional news sources. To search the database for news articles, click on News in the top menu bar on the initial screen. At the news search screen you can use the Select Sources drop-down menu to search all UK newspapers or just broadsheets, for example.
    • Factiva is an international news database providing an archive of 10,000 sources from 152 countries in 22 languages. Note that Factiva is a huge database so it is best to put limits on your search. For tips, see our PDF guide How to search Factiva

    Historical news sources:

    • ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Guardian and The Observer The complete digital edition of the Guardian (1821 - 2003) and the Observer (1791 - 2003) with all articles, advertisements and illustrations.
    • The Times Digital Archive (via Gale Databases) The complete digital edition of The Times (London), 1785-1985, with all articles, advertisements and illustrations.
    • Nineteenth century British Library newspapers (via Gale Databases) contains digital editions of a wide variety of national and regional British newspapers from the 19th century. The database also provides contextual essays about the role of newspapers during the period.
    • Seventeenth & Eighteenth century Burney Collection newspapers (via Gale Databases) a digital archive of 17th and 18th century British Newspapers gathered by the Reverend Charles Burney. It includes pamphlets, proclamations, newsbooks and newspapers published in England, Ireland and Scotland, plus a selection of papers from British colonies in the Americas and Asia.
      Note: It is possible to search these 2 databases (Nineteenth century British Library newspapers and Seventeenth & Eighteenth century Burney Collection newspapers) simultaneously. To do this, follow the bottom link to British Newspapers 1600-1900 on the Gale Databases page.
    • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography - an illustrated collection of articles providing the life stories of over 50,000 people who have shaped the history of the British Isles and beyond, from the earliest to modern times. Includes novelists, poets and playwrights.
    • Oxford Reference Online - a collection of Oxford University Press reference books on a variety of subjects including Literature. Titles covered include The Oxford Companion to English Literature; The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms; A Dictionary of Writers and their Works and many others.
    • OED online version of the Oxford English Dictionary.
    • Arts and Humanities Citation index available via Web of science- subject coverage: art and humanities.
    • Communication & mass media complete - provides full text links to more than 200 journals and indexes many more. Covers linguistics.
    • One-stop search for key Education databases - worth searching if you are looking for articles on children's literature.
    • Historical abstracts - major history database.
    • Periodicals archive online - an archive of 80 scholarly journals published between 1891 and 2000. The collection covers the arts, humanities, and social science disciplines.
    • ZETOC - the British Library's electronic table of contents. Covers about 20,000 current journals and conference proceedings in a diverse range of subjects, including the humanities. You can also join the ZETOC Alert service to receive details of when journal details in your subject area are added to the database.

    English students and those doing the MA in Creative Writing may also be interested in looking at our list of Databases for Publishing