American Studies @ The University of Virginia





and Religion

Popular Culture

Regional Studies

Social Sciences

Science and



The Yellow Pages--Literature

E-texts of Fiction and Poetry

E-texts of Non-fiction

On-line Journals

E-Texts of Fiction and Poetry


Presently, a variety of different organizations, ranging from large publishing houses to universities, maintain on-line libraries. Combined, they contain untold thousands of works of American fiction (as well as literature from other fields of study). On the downside, people might spend hours or even days trying to find a particular e-text if they have to access each site individually. In order to help alleviate this problem, the website provides a brief list of the major e-text search engines which allow users to access many of the major on-line archives simultaneously. In addition, this section of the "Yellow Pages" provides information concerning some on-line collections of American fiction that will appeal to scholars in specialized fields of study.

Large, On-line Compendiums of E-text Sites:

Digital Book Index

Digital Book Index is connected to a number of the largest on-line archives, thereby allowing its users to access over 80,000 e-texts by noted American and foreign writers. People can search for a particular work by author, title, subject, publisher, or Dewey Decimal number. On a less positive note, only around 48,000 of these texts are provided free of charge.

The Online Books Page

Maintained by the University of Pennsylvania. The site is connected to a number of on-line libraries, which provides users with access to over twenty thousand e-texts covering a number of fields of study. Users can conduct searches by author, title, and subject.

Other Important E-text Sites:

American Hypertexts Collection

Maintained by the University of Virginia. This site containes a number of seminal, American works by fiction as well as non-fiction writers. More importantly, many of the e-texts contain links to secondary sources which provide expository information on that particular piece of fiction.


Like other on-line libraries, Bartleby contains a large collection of literature and poetry that can be accessed via the Web. However, unlike most of the other sites, users can search for specific words or phrases within specific e-texts.

Documenting the American South

Maintained by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A repository of Southern literature.

Electronic Text Center

Maintained by the University of Virginia. In addition to its other resources, the on-line archive possesses a large collection of American poetry.


Maintained by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Center for the Public Domain. Ibiblio contains biographical information on a number of American authors, especially minorities. In addition, the site provides access to many of other sites dealing with American literature.

Library Electronic Text Resource Service

Maintained by Indiana University. The site contains a fairly sizeable database of 18th and 19th century American poems, especially African American poetry.

Project Gutenberg

Maintained by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Center for the Public Domain. The site contains a significant number of e-texts, mostly classics, which can be downloaded for off-line viewing. In addition, users can take part in the website's ongoing digitization project.

The Schoenberg Center for Electronic Text and Image

Maintained by the University of Pennsylvania, the site contains e-texts of the school's rare books and manuscripts

On-Line Books Page at the University of Pennsylvania

A sister site for the Schoenberg Center. Includes some texts not there or in Project Gutenberg.

A Celebration of Women Writers

Mary Mark Ockerbloom's comprehensive site includes links to texts, pictures, and bibliographies for American women writers as well as authors from many other countries.

Wright American Fiction, 1851-1875.

This searchable site features works 1752 texts by 842 authors; its object is to include every novel published from 1851-1875 in the United States. Some familiar works are included, but many are rare or otherwise unobtainable online.

Perseus Project.

Although this site's principal focus is ancient and Renaissance literature, the Perseus Project at Tufts University also includes a collection of California and Midwestern online texts.

The American Verse Project at the University of Michigan.

Includes works by lesser-known authors such as John Hay and Lydia Sigourney.

The Internet Public Library Online Texts Collection. 

Links, information, and timelines about literature for librarians and students of literature.

The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

This site includes online versions of  texts by African American women writers.

Alex Catalogue of Electronic Texts. 

This site supports the searching of its texts for keywords and terms; also, its documents may be printed in .pdf format.

American Literature on the Web

This set of American literature resource pages is mainly a collection of links to sites on the Internet especially dealing with American literature and its social, cultural contexts. It includes homepages and documents on over 300 authors and electronic texts of their works. It is maintained by Akhito Ishikawa at Nagasaki University.

American Literature

Maintained by Gonzaga University, this site provides a series of timelines, biographies of American authors with hypertexts of their work, and a breakdown of various American literary movements. Also includes an extensive page with links to other sites on American literature.

American Authors on the Web

An extensive resource on American literature and authors, Professor Mitsuhara Matsouka maintains this site at Manchester University. The authors listed on this site are arranged chronologically by date of birth.

E-texts of Non-fiction


Many people would not classify non-fiction as literature, and perhaps that is the case for some of these works. However, newspapers and magazines that are written for the general public are different. The atuhors of these articles, however much they may rely on factual information, perform the same acts as fiction writers--they tell stories. Dailies, weeklies, and monthlies are cornucopias of literature which contain a variety of different story formats--from front page news stories to editorials. This website offers access to some of the portals that connect to a large number of these publications. This section of the "Yellow Pages" also lists some particular sites which may be of special interst both to scholars and to laypeople.

Large, On-line Portals:

Journalism Net

Users can access thousands of newspapers, which have on-line sites, by typing in the publication's name, city, and country of origin.

Kidon Media Link

This site contains links to thousands of American magazines and newspapers.

Public Pioneer

Maintained by the State of Utah. Allows users to access Utah newspapers which provide on-line access (of varying levels).

The Voice of the Shuttle

Maintained by the University of California, Santa Barbara. Contains links to a number of magazine and newspaper archives.

Important Magazine and Newspaper Sites:


The Historical New York Times Project

This free, public access site is still under construction. At the moment, users can view e-text copies of all New York Times issues published between 1860-1867 and 1900-1907.

Making of America: American Social History Documents at the University of Michigan. 

This site also contains links to nineteenth-century periodicals such as Appleton's, The Southern Literary Messenger, and The Overland Monthly. Note: Files at this site are graphics files rather than text or HTML.

Cornell University's Making of America site

is an extensive, searchable collection of major periodicals of the nineteenth century. The full collection lists 114 books and 24 periodicals, including Harper's, The Atlantic, Scribner's, and many other important journals. Files are now available in several formats: page images, .pdf (Adobe Acrobat), and uncorrected plain text.

The FictionMags index

This site provides the tables of contents for popular periodicals of the twentieth century such as The Saturday Evening Post; it is cross-indexed by author and periodical. Although it focuses on genre fiction (science fiction and mysteries, primarily), it provides useful information on other types as well.

Freedmen and Southern Society Project

This site at the University of Maryland contains online versions of primary sources such as proclamations, letters from slaves, court testimony, and other documents from the National Archives as well as essays on the period 1861-1867.

The University of Pennsylvania's Online Books Page: Serials

This page lists many freely accessible archives of serials (such as magazines, journals, newspapers, and other periodicals). It includes links to the titles in the Making of America sites, but contains other titles as well. Partial list of serial titles not included in Making of America.




Last update 
January 12, 2004