English: Studying Remotely

Resources for English Studies

Finding online materials

Your reading list

Where possible digital copies of primary texts have been purchased and made available. Not all primary texts are available for Libraries to purchase electronically and as in previous years you are encouraged to buy your own print/electronic copies of these where this is the case.

All other essential readings (those which are required to meet the learning outcomes of a module) are provided digitally. In addition to electronic books and electronic journals the Library has digitised chapters from print books where possible.

Many of the module reading lists also include items which are only available in print, these are not essential but provided as additional readings for you to explore if you wish and so you are aware of the range of publication in the subject area. If you are studying remotely and have no access to a physical library then the video below shows you how to filter your reading list to digital items only.

(Click on the arrow at the bottom of the video to view the video and captions in Panopto)

Online primary texts and literary criticism - freely available materials

There are many sites which provide access to freely available texts especially older works for which copyright has expired. Below are three large resources which will allow you to search across thousands of titles at once. 

Note also that many libraries and archives have digitised items in their collections similar to our own St Andrews Digital Collections. Examples include the British Library's Treasures in Full and Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts, the National Library of Scotland's Digital Gallery. Manuscripts in the Parker Library at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge and online resources from The Folger Shakespeare Library and the Scottish Poetry Library's Digital Collections. If you know of a specialist library or archive then it is always worth checking their website to see if they have made any of their collections available for free online.

Open Access materials

Open access materials are research outputs (such as books and journal articles) which are distributed online with no access fee

Finding open access books

See a list of open access books published by Open Book Publishers, Open Humanities Press and others.

Search the OAPEN Online Library: The OAPEN Library contains the full text of peer reviewed OA books which are 'free to read' online.

Search Directory of Open Access Books below to find freely available books. 



Finding open access journal articles

Search CORE database below to find open access journals: 

Library search

A number of new refinement options have been added to library search to help you find out quickly which resources are available online. These can be used when searching for a specific book or if you are searching for alternative resources on a topic and can't browse the shelves in a physical library.

(Click on the arrow at the bottom of the video to view the video and captions in Panopto)

Online primary texts and literary criticism - library resources

Many of the Library's primary texts have been catalogued and individual titles can be found using library search. You can also choose to search within individual primary text databases. 

In addition to the 3  major databases below the Library also has access to other collections of primary sources. These include the full-text of prose, drama and poetry, manuscripts and letters and are usually focused on one particular author, literary period or genre. Examples include Drama Online, African Writers Series, British Literary Manuscripts Online: Medieval and Renaissance. All of these can be found on the Specialist Databases for English tab on this subject guide

Many of the books and journal articles which you have access to can be found by using library search. However, if you prefer to search a database for literary criticism then here are some tips on how to refine your search to items you immediately have online access to.

Note that the linked full-text only works for journal article records. If you find books referenced in MLA then you should search for these in the library

Finding theses online

Many institutions now provide archives of electronic theses, and a large number are open access.

Help with accessing resources

You can chat  online with a member of Library staff, Monday - Friday 9.00-17.00. Alternatively e-mail library@st-andrews.ac.uk

Scan & Deliver Service from the Library

If you are studying remotely and require access to resources which we only hold in print then under the terms of our copyright licence we can scan 1 chapter from a book or 1 article for a journal issue. Please contact us at library@st-andrews.ac.uk with details of the chapter or article you need.

Setting up Google Scholar

If you are using Google scholar to find academic materials then as well as accessing the freely available material you can set it up so it recognises the journals held at St Andrews - see our instructions on how to do this.