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Monmouth College Hewes Library

Themes, Motifs


Anthologies (collections) of literature may be organized by author, time period, genre, theme, or even country of origin

Sample searches to locate literary anthologies in the library catalog:

  • literature AND anthology
  • gothic AND anthology
  • "american literature" AND collections
  • feminism AND literature AND collections
  • islam AND literature AND bibliography 
  • "african american" AND literature AND (anthology OR collections OR bibliography)
  • (ireland OR irish) AND literature AND (anthology OR collections)


Selection of anthologies in Hewes Library:

Library and Book Trade Almanac: lists award winning books in several categories annually  Reference Z 731 .A47 

Magill's Literary Annual:  reviews of the most important books published in a year  Reference Z 1219 .M33  (1954-2013)

Short Story Writers: biographical and critical information  Reference PN 3373 .S398 2008

Short Story Index: list of short stories that have appeared in collections, periodicals    Indexes / Main Level Z 5917 .S5 C6 (1950-1988)

Norton Anthology of African-American Literature  PS 508.N3 N67 1997

Cambridge History of Twentieth-Century English Literature:  literary history and bibliography of works; additional Cambridge literature histories can be found in the Hewes Library catalog by searching "cambridge literature history" in the TITLE field. Note the publication date, subject/topic heading, and table of contents to understand coverage of particular volumes.  PR 471.C36 2004


Literary Criticism Collections

These resources INDEX literary criticism - the entries in these resources lead to critical texts in other sources.

The collections publish portions of critical analysis of authors and their works. Use the series index near each print collection to locate a specific author. Using the citations found in these volumes, you will be able to locate the article or book in the Hewes Library (or via interlibrary loan or I-Share) and obtain the original critical source.


These items are found in either REFERENCE or LITERARY CRITICISM collections on the main floor (as noted).  Contact a reference librarian for assistance in using these materials.

  • Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism, LITERARY CRITICISM COLLECTION PN681.5.C57 (latest volume 1988)
  • Contemporary Literary Criticism,  LITERARY CRITICISM COLLECTION PN771.5 C59 
  • Drama Criticism, LITERARY CRITICISM COLLECTION PN1601.D59 (latest volume 1991)
  • Encyclopedia of Literary Critics and Criticism,  REFERENCE PN 75. E53 E53 1999
  • Hispanic Literature Criticism,  REFERENCE PQ7081.A1.H573 1994
  • Literature Criticism from 1400 to 1800,  LITERARY CRITICISM COLLECTION PN700.L56 (latest volume 2002)
  • Nineteenth Century Literary Criticism, LITERARY CRITICISM COLLECTION PN 761. N5 (latest volume 2002)
  • Poetry Criticism, LITERARY CRITICISM COLLECTION PN 1010. P499 (latest volume 1992)
  • Short Story Criticism,  LITERARY CRITICISM COLLECTION  PN3373.S386 (latest volume 2003)
  • Something About the Author,  LITERARY CRITICISM COLLECTION  PN451.S6 (latest volume 2012)
  • Twentieth-century Literary Criticism,  LITERARY CRITICISM COLLECTION PN771.G27 (latest volume 1994)


  • Cambridge History of Twentieth-Century English Literature  PR471.C36 2004 (Upper Level Books)

Additional Cambridge literature histories can be found in the Hewes Library catalog by searching "cambridge literature history" in the TITLE field. Note the publication date, subject/topic heading, and table of contents to understand coverage of particular volumes.

Themes, Motifs

Selection of critical texts and bibliographies of literary themes and motifs

Sample searches to locate thematic or comparative sources in the library catalog:

literature theme 

comparative literature search


Selections of thematic titles in Hewes Library:

Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry:  organizes poetry in anthologies by first line, author and subject; in several editions  REF PN 1022 .G7 

Books and Beyond: The Greenwood Encyclopedia of New American Reading:  Defines literary themes, provides criticism, author lists, and source bibliographies.  REF Z 1003.2 .B64 2008

Dictionary of Literary Themes and Motifs (1988): available via I-Share

Encyclopedia of Themes in Literature  REF PR 19 .E53 2011

Dictionary of Literary Symbols  REF PN 56 .S9 F47 2007

Literary Criticism Databases

Recommended databases for language and literature research

  • Read explanatory notes for each resource to evaluate the effectiveness for your topic.
  • EBSCO platform databases can be searched simultaneously; see how.
  • The library catalog should also be searched for books containing literary analysis.
Hewes Library at Monmouth College | 700 East Broadway, Monmouth, IL 61462 | Phone: 309-457-2190 | Fax: 309-457-2226 | |