Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Question of the week: Who’s Aurora Leigh and where is she?

Picture of Elizabeth Barrett Browning poetry books
Richland holdings of Aurora Leigh
How many times have you found yourself digging around looking for a copy of  Aurora Leigh by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, but you just couldn’t seem to find one? 

You’ve looked in the library catalog, but the Richland Library copies are checked out. Other district libraries have copies, but you don't have time to pick one up or to wait for a copy to come to Richland.

You could surf over to Amazon.com and purchase it for your Kindle, or you could search another library for a copy. You could go online to the Gutenberg Project to see if there is a copy there. You can Google it and find the University of Pennsylvania's digital library holding.

But...You will also need some literary criticism and maybe some biographical information about Elizabeth Barrett Browning, so just finding the digital version may not be enough. What if you easily could find a website that compiles multiple facets of literature and literary research?

Literature Online is one database that fits the bill. It is a web resource that contains full-text prose, full-text poetry, literary biographies, and literary criticism.

To get to Literature Online, follow this path: 

1. Go to the Richland library webpage at http://www.richlandcollege.edu/library.
2. Look for the green tabs in the middle of the home page and click on “Databases.
3. Click on the “L” on the A-Z list.
4. Scroll down and click on the “Literature Online” link.
5. Use the “Quick Search” box at the top left to find your work or author.

If you search Aurora Leigh, the database will give you results under the “Poetry,” “Criticism,” and “Reference” headings. For the poem, choose the first result under “Poetry.”

When you click on it, the title information looks like this:

Browning, Elizabeth Barrett, 1806-1861:  [from Poetical works (1897)]
Volume section

Browning, Elizabeth Barrett, 1806-1861 :


A POEM IN NINE BOOKS. 1856. [from Poetical works (1897)]

Here, you can scroll through and start reading, click on the “Table of Contents” link to find the section you want, or you can print the 256 pages that comprise this selection. You may also click on the author page to find biographical information, bibliographies, and literary criticism.

Now, not only have you found Aurora Leigh, but you have also found a place where you can read all about her and her creator, Elizabeth Barrett Browning. 
Keep searching,

Here’s the durable link to  Aurora Leigh in Literature Online. Students, instructors, and staff with current DCCCD I.D. can log on with their I.D. information.

This is the first of several entries about finding literary works and related information and criticism.

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