All American Resources

The staff of All American has reviewed all of the following print and electronic resources. While some material on the World Wide Web is less reliable than standard print reference materials, we have tried to list only authoritative resources.


Academy of American Poets
Among other things, this site features recordings of Robert Frost, Langston Hughes, and many other poets reading their work.
American Authors on the Web.  Ed. Mitsuharu Matsuoka.  1 Feb. 2000. 6 Feb. 2000
This site features two sections.  The section called "General Resources" contains about 100 links to information about American literature.  The "American Authors" section, which lists more than 700 authors, begins with date ranges for easy access to chronological listings of authors.  Under most authors, there are two to three links to sites containing information about these authors.  In addition to featuring links to these two sections, the site's home page lists the most recent postings under the heading "What's New?"  The editor of this site, Mitsuharu Matsuoka, is a member of the Department of English at Nagoya University in Nagoya-City, Japan   Overall, this site is detailed and easy to access.
Annotation submitted by Sarah Wright, editorial assistant for All American
American Literary Scholarship. Ed. Gary Scharnhorst. Durham: Duke University Press, 1995. PS3 .A47
Begun in 1965, this annual survey is a leading guide to critical books and articles written about American authors.
American Literature Online. Ed. Michael O’Conner.  Oct. 1999.  6 Feb. 2000 <>.
A compilation of links to Web sites on specific information, such as Native American literature or nineteenth-century women writers, American Literature Online is divided into sections based on periods of literature throughout American history (Romanticism, Realism, etc.).  There are instructions to get on the discussion list for this particular web site, as well as sites for other discussion lists.  This site contains some broken links, but gives an e-mail address to which to report these. The author of this web site received his master's degree and Ph.D. in areas of English from the University of Missouri and is an assistant professor at Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois.  There is limited information about the credibility of this site, yet it is posted under an education URL.  Overall, the site is useful and easy to access.  Annotation submitted by Sarah Wright, editorial assistant for All American

An American Reader. Ed. Daniel Anderson. 3 February 1996. University of Texas at Austin. 4 February 2000 <>.
An American Reader is different from many other literature sites in that all of its information is held on site. The site also has the distinction of containing material written totally or almost totally by students, as it is a collection of critical essays written for a college English class. Of course, this format means that the site may not be the collection of scholarly essays that other sites might be. However, the students' writings on the variety of pieces presented at the site (pieces of varying genres and times, but all American Literature classics) do lend a certain insight into the student mindset. Each literary work is dissected more than once, as different students have examined various topics, thereby ensuring a variety of points of view on each work. Also, each page has several links to more "scholarly" offsite sources as well. Unfortunately, this site seems to have fallen into update limbo, as the site's editor has apparently chosen not to update it with more student pieces. But the material here can't be considered dated, as they are critical works. This site, although not as obviously useful as some other sites might be, can be used to help foster project ideas or to predict some issues or problems that students might have when facing either specific works or criticism in general.
Annotation submitted by Steven Byrd, editorial assistant for All American
Hart, James D. The Oxford Companion to American Literature. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995. PS21 .H3 1995
A standard guide to American literature, this encyclopedia contains alphabetized entries on authors, works, historical events and figures, literary clubs and movements, characters, periodicals, critics, terms, and real and fictional places of significance in American literature, as well as a list of Pulitzer Prize winners.
Herbert, Earl P., and Robert A. Rees, eds. Fifteen American Authors Before 1900. Madison, Wis.: University of Wisconsin Press, 1984.
This book contains extensive bibliographical information about Henry Adams, William Cullen Bryant, James Fenimore Cooper, Stephen Crane, Emily Dickinson, Jonathan Edwards, Benjamin Franklin, Oliver Wendell Holmes, William Dean Howells, Washington Irving, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, James Russell Lowell, Frank Norris, Edward Taylor, and John Greenleaf Whittier.
Holman, C. Hugh, and William Harmon. A Handbook to Literature. Sixth Edition. New York: Macmillan, 1992. PN41 .H6 1992
A standard dictionary of literary terminology, this reference book contains hundreds of literary terms, such as "symbol" and "naive narrator," along with definitions and illustrative examples. It also features an index of authors and a timeline of literary history.
Kirkpatrick, D.L., ed. Reference Guide to American Literature. 2nd ed. Chicago: St. James Press, 1987. PS21 .R43
This book contains extensive information on authors' lives and works, as well as an introduction, bibliographies, and a chronology of American literature.
Kuiper, Kathleen. Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature. Springfield, Mass.: Merriam-Webster, 1995.
Like Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia, this book has alphabetized entries on authors, works, characters, terms, and periods, but it also contains numerous pictures of important writers.
Kunitz, Stanley J., and Howard Haycraft, eds. American Authors 1600-1900: A Biographical Dictionary of American Literature. New York: H.W. Wilson, 1938. PS21 .K8
While it is not as up-to-date as many other literary reference tools, this book nonetheless is a useful guide to the lives and works of early American writers. Like Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature, it contains pictures of many important writers.
McArthur, Tom, ed. The Oxford Companion to the English Language. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.
This encyclopedia of linguistic information can help readers study "dialect" and other terms relavant to literature.
Nelson, Randy F. The Almanac of American Letters. Los Altos, Calif.: William Kaufmann, 1981. PS 92 .N37
A unique source of information on American literary trivia, this book contains lists of literary clubs, authors' pseudonyms, collectors' items, bestsellers, worst sellers, and banned books, as well as anecdotes, quotations, a calendar of birthdates, a chronology of American literature, accounts of literary hoaxes and forgeries, and background information on works such as Evangeline and Charlotte Temple.

Siepmann, Katherine Baker. Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia. New York: Harper-Collins, 1987. PN41 .B4 1991
One of the best encyclopedias of world literature, this book contains alphabetized entries on authors, works, characters, and terms.

The Voice of the Shuttle: English Literature Main Page. Ed. Alan Liu. 28 January
2000. University of California at Santa Barbara. 6 February 2000 <>.
A part of the much larger Voice of the Shuttle humanities research database, this page has links to extensive information on "English" literature, which it defines as literature written in English. One of the most popular literature research pages on the World Wide Web, it serves as a catalog of reliable information on various topics. The listing of topics is unusually inclusive, covering such typically ignored topics as creative writing theory and genre-specific studies. Cross indexing information by country, genre, time period, and literary movement helps researchers find something about the topics they are researching, while the frequent updates help to ensure that the information is current and credible. While it does not focus explicitly on American literature, it does deal with it in enough depth to be considered a useful resource on American literature. All in all, it is a very well-done site with interesting and useful information. However, its layout is a little cramped, and its content, while covering theory very well, is a little too light on factual information.
Annotation submitted by Steven Byrd, editorial assistant for All American
Last modified November 3, 2000 | | © Mark Canada, 2000 | University of North Carolina at Pembroke