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English: Books

A general Research Help guide for students enrolled in English Literature courses.

About Books

At the Centre College Library, we use the Library of Congress Classification System (LOC). Most English literature books are in the "P" call number range.

Types of Books you may encounter: 

Anthology - A  published collection of articles or writing.

Additionally, you may find Literary Criticism anthologies. Literary Criticism is the analysis, interpretation, commentary, and evaluation of authors and their literary contributions. The word "criticism" does not mean a negative review but rather a careful examination of the symbols, historical context, themes, and influences of the author's work or style.

Scholarly Books - Sometimes called 'Monographs', these books are written by scholars and experts in English and intended for other specialists in the field. Scholarly books are typically published by a university press or other scholarly publishing house. 

Primary Sources - Though many books are secondary sources, some books can be considered primary sources.

Some examples of primary source books in English include: 

Original Literature (sometimes called seminal texts such as Plato's Republic) - Secondary sources can also be seminal sources. Seminal just means “universally recognized as something everyone should read.


Reproduction of Diaries, essays, and other personal manuscripts.

Suggested call numbers relevant to the English Literature department are below. 

eBook Collections

Beyond Centre College


Suggested Search Terms for Literary Criticisms

  • su: Criticism, interpretation, etc
  • su: Literature, Modern 19th century History and criticism
  • su: Literature, Modern
  • su:  American Literature - General Criticism, History
  • su:  Literary Criticism

Suggested subject headings: Use the terms listed below to search the library catalog. 

  • su: Literature and history
  • su: Literature and society
  • su: American literature
  • su: english literature
  • su:  Fiction in English
  • su:  English Literature 


Helpful LOC call numbers for English Literature: 

  • PN1-6790 Literature (General)
  • PN1010-1525 Poetry
  • PR1-9680 English literature
  • PR2199-3195 English renaissance (1500-1640)
    • PR3291-3785 17th and 18th centuries (1640-1770)
    • PR3991-5990 19th century, 1770/1800-1890/1900
    • PR6000-6049 1900-1960
    • PR6050-6076 1961-2000
    • PR6100-6126 2001-
  • PS1-3626 American literature
  • JUV PZ(1)-90 Juvenile Fiction (Young Adult included)