Worcester’s premier college-preparatory co-ed day school serving students from Central MA and MetroWest, Pre-K–Grade 12
Overviews of Literary Eras

Begin your exploration of American Literary Eras here. Watch this entertaining, at times irreverent video.


Reference and Research

     Listed below are Reference books that may be useful in your research. They are available in print on the shelves and as eBooks online. Check the catalog to find books about your specific author. Please let us know if you would like help!

     Suggested subject search terms-- “American literature ” + “history,” or a personal name, i.e. “Alice Walker.”  To browse shelves, begin at Call # 810.9.   American History is at Call # 973…

Beat Culture: Lifestyle, Icons, and Impact - REF 810.9 BEA 

Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia of American Literature - REF 810.9

Black Literature Criticism: Classic and Emerging Authors Since 1950 - [eBook]

Concise Dictionary of American Literary Biography - REF 810.5,  6 Volsby era

Facts on File Companion to the American Novel - REF 813.003, Vols. 1-3 FAC

Gale Contextual Encyclopedia of American Literature - [eBook]

Harper Collins Readers Encyclopedia of American Literature - REF 810.9 HAR

Literary Themes for Students: The American Dream -  [eBook]

Masterpieces of American Literature - REF 810.9

Literary Criticism and Commentary on Your Writer


These resources contain biographies, book reviews, magazine and newspaper articles, videos, and literary criticism about your authors. If you are off campus you may have to use a password to gain access.

Academic One File

Biography in Context

Classroom Video On Demand

Expanded Academic ASAP

Literature Resource Center


American Authors 

Professor Donna M. Campbell has compiled information about authors in America from the early 1500s through the 1920s.

Ipl2: Literary Criticism

The ipl2 Literary Criticism Collection contains critical and biographical websites about authors. Browse works by author, by title, or by nationality and literary period. Scroll down for a list of authors.

The Literature and Culture of the American 1950s 

Links about the history and culture of the '50s, in alphabetical order collected by Professor Al Filreis. 

PAL: Perspectives in American Literature

Find your author’s era and click on the Introduction link to get more information.

Additional Research Help
For help with citation, formatting, and general research, check out the Library Research Tools page.
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