Information skills for English Literature

  • Information for English Literature, Drama and Creative Writing

    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

  • Headington Library

    The Headington Library in the JHB is the main library at Oxford Brookes and covers all subject areas, including English Literature, Creative Writing and Drama.

    • Headington Library opening hours The Library is open 24 hours a day during semesters 1 & 2.
    • Headington Library floor plan - this leaflet will help you find your way around. You can also pick up a copy from the Help Zone on Level 1 of the Library. Don't be afraid to ask Library staff 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.
      The Library has 6 floors and books are on Levels 2, 3 and 4. Books are on Levels 2, 3 and 4. Most of the books for English Literature, Creative Writing and Drama are on the top floor Level 4 in Zone D, with foreign literature in Zone E (Silent Study room). Use the self-service machines on these floors to borrow books.
      There are 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.

    Getting 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, Moodle, 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.

    Library help throughout your course

    Students of English Literature, Drama and Creative Writing are welcome to contact their Academic Liaison Librarian, Joanna Cooksey for individual help.

    Using LibrarySearch: collection of quick guides showing you how to find books, journals and databases through LibrarySearch

    If you feel daunted by the prospect of searching for sources for an assignment, it can be helpful to plan what you want to look for and where you could search (databases and other tools you could use). Download a copy of this Literature search plan for English Literature, Drama and Creative Writing (Word) and use it to add your own notes and plan your literature search.

    For help with searching for sources, contact your Academic Liaison Librarian to make a 1-to-1 appointment.

    Useful guides on finding sources:

    Undergraduate students doing dissertation-level research and MA students are eligible to apply for reference access to the  Bodleian Library. You will need to get an application form from the Library Help Zone ( Level 1) or  download it from our web pages.

    Check  Library Research Guide 11: Applying for admission to the Bodleian Library (PDF)  for guidance on completing the form - there are sections for the student, a university lecturer and library staff. The guide also tells you which libraries you can access.

    Note that you will not be able to take the completed form to the Bodleian until their term has finished. From 9th December 2019 you can take your completed application form to the  Admissions Office in the Weston Library and your application will be processed on the spot. They recommend going on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday when the office is quieter.  

    Students wishing to renew their membership to the Bodleian need to obtain a new application form and get it checked and signed at Brookes as with their original application. Take your completed application form to the  Admissions Office in the Weston Library and your application will be processed on the spot. They recommend going on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday when the office is quieter. 

    Using the Bodleian
    Use  SOLO the Oxford University Libraries' Catalogue to check what is available and where it's held.  English Literature, Creative Writing and Drama students will find most of the material they need is held by the main Bodleian Library. Books may be on the shelves in the  Upper Reading Room, or down in the  Gladstone Link area. Many books will be listed as 'Stored Offsite' but can be  requested online via SOLO
    Students researching European writers may also be interested in the  Taylor Institution Library  
    You will also be able to access their e-resources while on site. 

    Researchers and staff  
    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. 

    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. See above for details of access to the Bodleian Library.


    • 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 LibrarySearch 
      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.

    • 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. 

    • Library Hub Discover: a database of 115 UK and Irish academic, national & specialist library catalogues, including the British Library Public Catalogue.

    • Staff and students may apply for a British Library Readers Pass. Further information is available from the British Library website where you can also search their catalogue.

    • 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.

    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 LibrarySearch and can be requested them at the JHB Library Help Zone. To find them, do a search for MA English or MA Humanities (includes some older dissertations on literary topics).
    •  All Oxford Brookes University PhD and MPhil theses are held in the Library and are indexed on LibrarySearch. 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).