Library Resources

About the Libraries


There are 8 libraries at the University of Maryland. The main library for literature and related materials is:     

McKeldin Library         Hours         301-405-9075     



The English Department has a subject specialist librarian who is ready and willing to help you with your research. She can help you identify the best  databases, brainstorm keywords, navigate library services, and more. Call or email to consult with Pat Herron, the English subject librarian.

Pat Herron      











You may also find materials of interest at these other campus libraries:

Art Library
(Visual Arts)



Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library
(Theatre, Music and Dance)


Hornbake Library
(Archives & Manuscripts;  Media Services)   


  301-405-9058 (Archives)
  301-405-9236 (Media Services)







Course Pages & Guides

The following guide includes the most important research tools for the undergraduate English major:

These guides are might also be of interest to English majors:

The Librarians also create research guides in other subject areas that may be valuable for your topic.   See the complete list of research guides,


Helpful Hints

This page offers helpful hints for your research--ways to save time and increase the effectiveness of your searching.

Research Tip #1: Working with WorldCat

WorldCat UMD is a powerful tool that allows you to search for materials in academic, special, public, and research libraries around the world. WorldCat records will tell you whether an item is owned by College Park libraries, another University System of Maryland campus, one of the Big Ten Academic Alliance Libraries, or by WorldCat (i.e., other) libraries. Items not owned by the UM System Libraries can be requested via Interlibrary Loan.

Research Tip #2: Follow the Trail - Backwards

Research can be difficult, but you don't have to start from scratch if you follow the clues left by scholars who have gone before you! Two ideas:

  • Trace Footnotes: When you find a useful book or article, look at the footnotes and bibliography to find more sources on your topic.
  • Find Published Bibliographies: Search WorldCat for published bibliographies on your author. Use the "subject word/s" search option and enter your author's name and the word "bibliography." A quality bibliography may point to hundreds of primary and secondary sources on your author.

Research Tip #3: Follow the Trail - Forwards

Locate an important book or article that you know is important to your research topic in Google Scholar and use the "Cited by" and "Related articles" to locate additional sources.

Research Tip #4: Use Your Subject tags

When you find a useful book in WorldCat, click on the full record of the book, and then click on the Description.  This will take you to the "Subjects" links which you can use to search for other books on the same topic. These links are called Library of Congress Subject Headings, and they can save you lots of time. Databases such as the MLA International Bibliography also have subject terms (sometimes called Descriptors) that you can use in the same way.

Research Tip #5: Find the Full Text of Your Article

When you find an article you like in any of the Libraries' databases, just click on Find@UMD to locate the full text wherever it is available. Find@UMD will connect you to the Libraries' e-journals and other databases to find the article in electronic form, if available, or to the Catalog to find it in print form.

If the article is not available either electronically or in print, you can use Interlibrary Loan to request it from another library.

Research Tip #6: Email Your Articles

Save time and headaches by emailing from the Libraries' Catalog and databases to yourself. That way, you'll have the complete citation when you need it, and you'll know where it came from in case you need to look it up again!

Research Tip #7:  Cite your Sources

It is important to properly cite your sources to avoid plagiarism and to lend credibility to your work. These sources can help: