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Great Books

by Christian S. Pham last modified Apr 03, 2017 11:51 AM

Need help citing sources? If you're using MLA style, check out the guide from OWL at Purdue for help formatting your citations. You can also bring your reference list to the Ask Jack desk, and a librarian will check your citations.

College of Liberal Arts, Great Books

Course Guides

GBK 101 Thomas, Fall 2016


Discovery - an EBSCO service allowing you to search multiple databases and the library catalog simultaneously. This is a great place to start searching, but I strongly recommend checking the databases listed below, as well.

JSTOR - This database provides access to complete back files of core journals in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. NOTE: JSTOR is primarily useful for locating older articles. This database is included in Discovery, but I recommend searching it separately.

Project MUSE (Standard Collection) — This is an interdisciplinary collection of high quality, peer reviewed journals extensively in the humanities and social sciences.

Arts & Humanities (ProQuest) — Includes hundreds of titles covering Art, Architecture, Design, History, Philosophy, Music, Literature, Theatre and Cultural Studies.

Web of Science (Web of Knowledge) - Provides detailed citations and abstracts for the most highly respected scholarly periodicals in the sciences, social sciences, and arts and humanities. This database is not included in Discovery.

Research Librarya general database providing access to scholarly journals and general magazines, many of which are available in full text. This database is not included in Discovery.

MLA International Bibliography - Recognized as the premiere literature database, this resource offers a detailed bibliography of journal articles, books, and dissertations. Produced by the Modern Language Association (MLA), the electronic version of the bibliography dates back to the 1920s. This database is included in Discovery.

Oxford Biblical Studies Online - A comprehensive resource for the study of the Bible and biblical history. Integrates authoritative scholarly texts and reference works with tools that provide ease of research into the background, context, and issues related to the Bible. This database is included in Discovery.

Literary Reference Center - This full-text database combines information from major reference works, books, and literary journals as well as original content from EBSCO Publishing. Included are thousands of plot summaries, synopses, and work overviews; literary criticism; author biographies; literary journal articles; book reviews; poems and short stories; full-text classic novels; and author interviews. This database is included in Discovery.

Oxford English Dictionary Online - Recognized as the accepted authority on the evolution of the English language over the last millennium, the OED provides definitions, etymological analysis, and quotations to demonstrate the use of words in the English language over time. The publisher, Oxford University Press, provides extensive information about the dictionary and its use on their website. This database is not included in Discovery.

Dissertations and Theses Full Text - This multidisciplinary database includes dissertations and theses from around the world from 1861 to the present day. The database offers full-text for most of the dissertations added since 1997 and strong retrospective full text coverage for older graduate works.  This database is not included in Discovery.

E-Books and Online Texts

Many e-books are available in Discovery. Most Great Books texts can also be found online through the following websites:

Alex: Catalogue of Electronic Texts on the Internet - This is a collection of public domain and open access documents with a focus on American and English literature as well as Western philosophy. The stated purpose is "... to help facilitate a person’s liberal arts education."

British Library - Early Printed Collections - This page will link you to the various documents held by the British Library, including catalogs, digitization projects, and more. "Holdings date from 1454 to the early 20th century. They include items printed in Britain, Ireland, Continental Europe and many overseas dependencies, including English colonies in North America."

English Short Title Catalogue - Provides extensive descriptions and holdings information for letterpress materials printed in Great Britain or any of its dependencies in any language, as well as for materials printed in English anywhere else in the world, including all recorded English monographs printed between 1475 and 1700. 

Project Gutenberg - Over 33,000 free e-books, those whose copyright in the United States have expired, are available to read and/or download.

Internet Classics Archive - Offers works of classical literature, mainly Greco-Roman works (some Chinese and Persian), all in English translation. 

Bartleby Great Books Online - This resource includes full-text of selected poetry and short story anthologies, fiction classics, dictionaries, thesauri, and more.

Perseus Digital Library - Sponsored by Tufts University, this site includes a digital library that provides a variety of resources on the ancient world from primary texts to site plans. Note that many of the materials here are provided in their original language, although translations are often also available.

Other Resources


Browse Literature periodicals in the Mercer Library Catalog to view our print journal holdings. Journals related to Great Books topics are available electronically in full text. Search by journal title or browse by subject in the Full Text Electronic Journal List.


Books read in the Great Books Program can be found by looking for the Genre heading "Great Books Program materials." To locate specific titles or authors, search for the Genre first, and then add a limit for the title or author from the results page.

Search the library catalog to find books available in the University Libraries as well as electronic books. Items not available at your location can be requested from another library. Please check to make certain items you want are available at your location; if the item you need is at another location, view this guide on how to request it. See what's new in your subject area by viewing New AcquisitionsIf you don't see a title in the online catalog, you may request books via Interlibrary Loan, or suggest new or additional titles that the library should purchase.

English literature books available in the University Libraries include these Library of Congress classification numbers:

  • PA 1 - 8595 Classical
  • PN 1 - 6790 Literature (General)
  • PQ 1 - 9698 Romance
  • PR 1 - 9680 English literature
  • PS 1 - 3626 American literature
  • PT 1 - 8574 Germanic Literature

Reference Sources Online and in the University Libraries

Literary Reference Center - This database includes full-text access to several literary reference sources. This database is included in Discovery.

The following title in the Tarver Library Reference Collection may also be useful:

Science, Religion, and Society: An Encyclopedia of History, Culture, and Controversy

Other reference sources are available at the Swilley Library and the Regional Academic Centers. Please visit these locations to review these materials, as they do not circulate, and must be used in the building.

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