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EN 104 - Dark and Supernatural Literature


This is a guide to selected sources of information related to "Dark and Supernatural Literature." It is meant as a starting point for your research. For further research assistance, please take advantage of the reference services available to you in Geisel Library.


Reference Sources for Background Information

Use the following  reference resources to find background information on your authors, including biographical information, bibliographies of published works, and critical synopses of their work.

Electronic Reference Materials

Literature Resource Center

Credo Reference

Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL)

Oxford Reference Online (ORO)

Print Reference Materials

American Writers:  A Collection of Literary Biographies (13 volumes, 1974–98)
     Ref PS129 .A55

Classics of Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature
     Ref PN3433.4 .C565

Critical Companion to Flannery O'Connor
     Ref PS3565.C57 Z735

Critical Survey of Short Fiction (7 volumes)
     Ref PN3373 .C7

Encyclopedia of Gothic Literature
     Ref PN3435 .S58

Guide to Supernatural Fiction
     Ref PN56.S8B57

Icons of Horror and the Supernatural (2 volumes)
     Ref PN56 .H6 I26

Modern American Women Writers
     Ref PS151 .M54 1991

Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales
     Ref PN3437 .O94

Science Fiction Writers
     Ref PS374 .S35 S36

St. James Guide to Horror, Ghost and Gothic Writers
     Ref PN3435 .S246

Supernatural Fiction Writers: Contemporary Fantasy and Horror (2 volumes)
First edition is in General Collection
     Ref PN3435 .S96

Supernatural Literature of the World
     Ref PN56 .S8 S86

William Faulkner A to Z
     Ref PS3511.A86 Z459


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Books/Secondary Sources

To search library catalogs you will need to use Boolean Operators. For a review on Boolean Operators watch our Boolean Operator video tutorial.

Search the library catalog by keyword or subject heading to locate books in Geisel Library. Many English Criticism books are located on the Upper Level of the library, in the P–PZ section.

Examples of subject heading searches relevant to this course include:

  • Supernatural in literature
  • Superstitions
  • Horror tales
  • Fantasy literature, American
  • Gothic revival (Literature) — Great Britain

Examples of possible keyword searches:

  • Science fiction and criticism
  • Gothic and (authors or writers)
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne and bibliography  
  • Frankenstein and (criticism or interpretation)  

If you searched the Geisel Library Catalog but could not locate a book on your topic try searching WorldCat, a database that allows you to search the collections of libraries throughout the United States. If you find a book that you want you can request it through Interlibrary Loan (ILL) by clicking on the "Request Via Interlibrary Loan link" in the book's catalog record.


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Journal Articles

To search for journal articles you will need to use Boolean Operators. For a review on Boolean Operators watch our Boolean Operator video tutorial.

Before you start searching for articles in online journal databases there are a two things you need to be aware of:


When examining your search results you may come across the WebBridge  icon. This icon means that the full text is not available in the database you are currently searching. To locate the full text, simply click on the icon to determine whether the journal is available in Geisel Library or in another electronic database. If the article isn't available, click on the Interlibrary Loan link to request a PDF copy of the article from another library. Articles requested via ILL will be delivered to your email inbox in approximately 3-7 business days. To learn about how to use WebBridge, please watch our video tutorial (3.5 mins; includes audio).

Journal Finder
If you find a citation to an article in the bibliography of a book or article you can use Journal Finder to see whether or not Geisel Library has access to the volume and issue that you need. Simply type in the name of the journal in Journal Finder and click search. If we have access to that title Journal Finder will tell you where you can locate it (either electronically or in print). If we do not have access to the journal you need you can place an interlibrary loan request for that item. To learn more on how to use Journal Finder watch our video tutorial.

Core English Research Databases

MLA International Bibliography

Literature Resource Center

Academic Search Premier

Additional English Research Databases


Project MUSE

ProQuest Central

Reader's Guide Retrospective


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Selected Internet Resources

Searching the Internet can yield a vast amount of information, but in terms of quality and reliability, your results may be uneven at best. The ease and speed with which individuals can publish information on the web, regardless of accuracy or quality makes it imperative that when doing research on the web you know how to evaluate the information you find. To learn more, see our Evaluating Websites page.

If you locate books or articles on the Internet that you would like to view please check with a reference librarian to see if the items can be located in Geisel Library's print or electronic collection or through Interlibrary Loan.


CLF: The Council for the Literature of the Fantastic
Use CLF to locate definitions and background information on literature of the fantastic.

Le Fanu Studies
An online journal that publishes essays on the works of Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. Essays on similar authors may appear but the focus in on Le Fanu.

Literary Gothic Page
The Literary Gothic Page is devoted to online resources concerned with literary Gothicism, including ghost stories, "classic" Gothic fiction (1764-1820), and related Gothic and super naturalist literature prior to 1960. Links to a great number of author pages.

Literature of the Fantastic
An online library with fantasy, science fiction, and horror works in the public domain, including works by Bierce, Blackwood, Chambers, Dunsany, O'Brien, LeFanu, Poe, Shelley, Stoker and others.

Fantastic Fiction
Use Fantastic Fiction to browse titles and authors of gothic, supernatural, science fiction, and horror novels.

Gothic Literature Page: The English Gothic Novel from 1764 to 1820
This web page contains an introduction to the Gothic novel, collected summaries, papers, critical and bibliographical information, and related sites.

The Irish Journal of Gothic and Horror Studies
An electronic journal that focuses on horror and the gothic in literature, film, television, and culture.

The Sickly Taper
The Sickly Taper is a Gothic bibliographies website prepared by Gothic authority, Frederick S. Frank.

Selected Authors of Supernatural Horror
Includes links to resources on a select number of "Gothic" authors, including a very useful page on Ambrose Bierce.

Sublime Anxiety: The Gothic Family and the Outsider
This University of Virginia website provides an excellent introduction to Gothic literature. It includes a link to the Sadleir-Black Gothic Novel Collection.

Victorian Literary Studies Archive: Hyper-Concordance
Online concordance to Victorian Gothic authors from England, Ireland, and the United States including Le Fanu, Wharton, Poe, Dickens and Hawthorne.


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Citing Sources

For assistance with formatting your citations in MLA style, consult your copy of Doing Honest Work in College or ask for the MLA Handbook at the library's reference desk. You can also find links to online citation guides on the library's Citing Sources webpage.


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