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English: which resources do I use?: 20-21st Century

Unsure which resources to use for your English module or piece of research? This guide will point you in the right direction.


You may find this book useful. See your reading list for the required and recommended reading for your module.


A bibliography is an organised list or digital database containing a collection of references to published literature, including books, journal and newspaper articles, conference proceedings, reports, etc.

Modernism timeline


To find material from 1900 onwards, try searching the resources below:

For help using these resources, see the guides on this page.

Discovering Literature: 20th century

Discovering Literature is a free resource from the British Library:

"This phase of the project features over 400 20th-century treasures from the British Library’s collection including literary drafts, rare first editions, notebooks, letters, programmes, reviews, newspapers and photographs. Reflecting a century of dramatic change, the site reveals the ways in which key writers of the period captured the world around them by rejecting inherited traditions and experimenting with new forms and themes. "

Twentieth-Century English Poetry and Faber Poetry Library (Chadwyck Healey collections)

We have access to a range of poetry collections from Chadwyck Healey now available on the ProQuest platform. The search functionality is the same in each collection: for example, you can search by keyword, title or first line of the poem, poet, or browse the complete contents of the database.

Starting from the home screen select the Advanced Search option.



For example, if you were searching the English Poetry collection, you could enter sonnets OR sonnet* in the Publication Title search box.

Click search to retrieve the results and find the sonnet required.  

Alternatively you can search for the first line or the title of a poem. 

Enter the details in the first line / title search box.  e.g. “Shall I compare thee to a summers day?”


Click search to retrieve the results.

To view the full item click on the link.

You can use the author lookup to find an author or you can also enter the name in the search box e.g. Shakespeare.

In the Additional Author details section, you can add nationality to your search.

To browse everything in the collection, click on the Publications tab:

ProQuest One Literature / Literature Online: search by literary period

When searching ProQuest One Literature, you can refine your search by literary period.

Click on Advanced Search and choose Primary Texts on the left side of the page.

Click on Look up Literary Periods.

Either search for Twentieth Century and Twenty-First Century or browse alphabetically and select Twentieth Century, 1900-1999 and Twenty-First Century, 2000- and add to search.

You can add additional keywords and author details if you like, or just click Search to see everything under this category in the database.

Alternatively you could search by literary movement, if applicable, e.g. Modernism, Postmodernism, Feminist Writers, etc. Click on Look up literary movement to select from a list.

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