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The study of Literature at MIT is supported by a variety of on-campus and external resources, some of which are listed below. Please note that many of the databases central to literary study are restricted to the MIT community – users require site certificates to access these.

For Faculty Resources, please click here. Access is restricted to members of the Literature faculty and teaching staff. (Personal MIT certificates required.)


On-Campus Resources

First and foremost, of course, is Barton, the on-line catalogue for the MIT Library System, and then MIT's Library Guide to various Literature Resources.

Some Electronic Databases central to the study of literature include:

Project Muse: Offers a selection of top-tier, heavily indexed and widely-held journals in the arts, humanities and social science. Contains complete content of most recent issues, as well as a gradually growing archive of back issues.

JSTOR Scholarly Journal Archive: Contains high-resolution, scanned images of journal issues and pages as they were originally designed, printed, and illustrated. Spans a number of disciplines, but is not a current issues database (there is a gap of between one to five years between the most recent journal issue and the back issues available here).

ABELL: The Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature on line. Contains full texts of both scholarly journals and literary works.

EEBO: Early English Books Online. Contains almost every book printed in England between 1473 and 1700 (over 100,000 of them). All texts have been scanned in as images that can be downloaded from the site or viewed on screen.

MLA International Bibliography: an electronic database that provides the bibliographic information for scholarly books and articles on modern languages, literature, folklore and linguistics. The listing reaches back to 1926 and contains citation information not only of works in English but of articles and books in a number of modern European languages as well. It does not contain the full text of articles and books – though if a book or article is available at MIT, the citation information usually notes the fact and often provides a link to the Barton entry.


External Resources

We note here a brief selection of useful and interesting archives available online and free of charge.

English Handwriting 1500-1700: a delightful online course allowing you to explore and learn about different types of handwriting through a series of texts that are graded by difficulty level.

Eurodocs: Primary historical documents from Western Europe that are transcribed, reproduced in facsimile, or translated. They shed light on key historical happenings from the broad perspectives of political, economic, social and cultural history.

Project Gutenberg: A library of 20,000 (and growing) free books whose copyright has expired and which are made available in electronic form.

For the period from 1350 to 1700, the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies makes available a number of books and texts, and also maintains a meta-database of links to sites useful for the study of literature in this period at http://www.crrs.ca/library/webresources/webresources.htm.


Educational Support

Writing essays on literature requires that students know how to use the standard bibliographic conventions for citing texts. The two primary style guides used in literary studies are:

The MLA Style Guide

The Chicago Manual of Style

In addition, MIT students can avail themselves of tutorial assistance on their essays and papers. To sign up for tutorial hours and for more information of tutorial support, please consult the following:

The Writing Center

The Writing Across the Curriculum Office


MIT Academic Integrity

Massachusetts Institute of Technology students are here because of their demonstrated intellectual ability and because of their potential to make a significant contribution to human thought and knowledge. At MIT, students will be given unusual opportunities to do research and undertake scholarship that will advance knowledge in different fields of study. Students will also face many challenges. It is important for MIT students to become familiar with the Institute’s policies regarding academic integrity. Please go to the website below to view the Institute’s policies on academic integrity and to review the various resources available to students in this regard. http://integrity.mit.edu

A Handbook for Students on Academic Integrity: http://integrity.mit.edu/print-demand

The Literature Section has formulated this statement and policy for all plagiarism cases:

Plagiarism - the use of another's intellectual work without acknowledgement - is a serious offense. It is the policy of the Literature Faculty that students who plagiarize will receive an F in the subject, and that the instructor will forward the case to the Committee on Discipline. Full acknowledgement for all information obtained from sources outside the classroom must be clearly stated in all written work submitted and in all oral presentations, including images or texts in other media and for materials collected online. All ideas, arguments, and direct phrasings taken from someone else's work must be identified and properly footnoted. Quotations from other sources must be clearly marked as distinct from the student's own work. For further guidance on the proper forms of attribution, consult the style guides available in the Writing and Communication Center, http://humanistic.mit.edu/wcc and review their link http://writing.mit.edu/wcc/avoidingplagiarism.


Affiliated Departments and Programs

The following links take you to other academic units at MIT that regularly joint-list subjects or more generally co-ordinate their offerings with the Literature Section:

Comparative Media Studies

Foreign Languages and Literature

Women's and Gender Studies