Researchers and staff in English and Drama

  • Please contact your Academic Liaison Librarian Joanna Cooksey for advice on Library resources and services to support your students, teaching and research. Joanna is happy to see students, staff and researchers 1-to-1 and can offer training for groups on finding resources for assignments and referencing in the MHRA style. 

    • If you want to order books for a module you are teaching, please contact your Academic Liaison Librarian Joanna Cooksey 
    • Find out about using the Library scanning service to provide reading materials via Moodle. 
    • Books in the Library are usually available for 1 or 2 week loan and we also have an automatic renewal system meaning that most items will be automatically renewed on the date they are due to be returned unless they have been reserved by another user. If you are concerned that recommended books might be in high demand, you can ask for copies to be placed in the Short Loan Collection where they can be borrowed for 4 or 24 hours. Please contact your Academic Liaison Librarian Joanna Cooksey if you want to do this.
    • It may be possible to buy an e-book instead of a print copy. Contact your Academic Liaison Librarian if you would like to check if a specific title is available as an e-book. 

    Aspire is the online reading list system used at Brookes. Academics can create Aspire lists for their modules which students can access via the 'Reading lists' link on the Library Web site and through Moodle. Aspire lists can contain links to books on LibrarySearch and web-based resources such as articles, web pages and even programmes on the BoB (Box of Broadcasts) database. If you would like to start using Aspire, contact your Academic Liaison Librarian Joanna Cooksey who can set up your account. Here are some useful links and guides that can help you with using Aspire: 

    • When you get to the Aspire home page, log in. The first thing you'll need to do is to get the bookmark tool for your Web browser on the PC that you're using so that you can bookmark resources. Our 'Getting started' guide shows you how to do this.
    • If you want to update an existing list which was created by someone else, search for it on Aspire and then click on the 'Add to my lists' button on the right of the screen.
    • If you need to create a new list, go to 'My Lists' and then choose the 'Create new list' option on the right.
    • This guide steps you through bookmarking books & e-books in Aspire
    • This guide shows you how to bookmark online journal articles
    • You can either save your list as a draft or publish it when you're happy for it to go live. This will trigger an email to Library staff so it can be checked.
    • The full set of Aspire guides for staff are available on Moodle here: Engaging students using Aspire reading lists
    Students of English Literature, Drama and Creative Writing are required to use the MHRA referencing style. Check Referencing in MHRA for links to the Library's print and online guides to MHRA as well as the official MHRA Style Guide.

    For a list of relevant search services, see Journals and Databases for English and Drama

    Tools for expanding your search:

    JSTOR 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. 


    Web of Science - in spite of its name, this database covers all subject areas and includes the Arts and Humanities Citation Index. It's particularly useful for tracking citations to key articles. On Web of Science you can view an article and see a list of the author’s 'Cited References' - those sources that influenced the author. You can also see the article's influence on subsequent publications via the 'Times Cited' option. Find out more.

    • Researchers and staff can apply for access to the Bodleian Library. You will need to follow the procedures outlined on the Bodleian Library Admissions webpages, using Form A and should apply in person directly to the Bodleian Admissions Office. Use SOLO the Oxford University Libraries' Catalogue to check what is available and where it's held. Undergraduate students doing dissertation-level research and MA students are eligible to apply for a Bodleian reader's card using an application form available from the Library Help Zone ( Level 1) or our web pages. Students need to have section B of this form completed in full by an academic and then bring the form to the Library for authorization.
    • You can use the Interlibrary Loans service to request books, articles and other publications which aren't in stock. Charges for requests made by staff and research students are recovered from Faculties / Directorates. You can make your requests via LibrarySearch and you need to include your financial code on each request made.
    • The SCONUL Access scheme allows Brookes users to access 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.
    • Staff and students may also apply for a British Library Readers Pass. Further information is available from the British 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 system  allows you to search across 250,000+ UK PhD/MPhil theses 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.
    • The Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre Collection has been set up in collaboration with the Poetry Centre to promote contemporary poetry from the UK, Ireland, United States and beyond. It can be found in the JHB Library (Level 4, Zone D) and all the books can be borrowed.
    • For more information on our special collections, including the Booker Prize archive, see our Special Collections pages - publishing and literary prizes