LION of a Database

One of our featured databases this month is ProQuest’s Literature Online, or, as it is sometimes known,“LION”.  If you’ve seen Literature Online in the past, you may want to look again.  The database has undergone a substantial face-lift, shedding years off its dated appearance and looking nothing like its 18 years as one of the leading resources in the study of English literature.

If you are going anywhere near an English class, be sure to bookmark this database as a go-to for literary criticism, author information, and full-text for over 350,000 works of poetry,  drama, and other prose in English language.

But wait—there’s more!  Literature Online also includes 880 video clips of poets reading their own works, 38 fully dramatized, unabridged audio recordings of Shakespeare plays, and 921 links to historic video and audio recordings of poetry readings at The Poetry Archive.  So if you ever find yourself feeling low, head to Literature Online and take a listen to The Wasteland, as read by T.S. Eliot in his own peppy, upbeat voice.

Navigation in Literature Online is nearly effortless with one “Google-esque” search box for quick keyword searching.  Boolean operators like AND, OR, NOT will still work in this search, but you can find more advanced search boxes once you choose from one of the large resource categories of Authors, Texts, Criticism, or Reference.

screenshot of LION

In addition to the simplified structure, more emphasis has been added to browsing available texts, author profiles, full text journals, and reference works.  This can be helpful if you can’t quite remember how to spell someone’s name or just want to browse the lists for interesting topics.

If you have more questions about this database, literature, or why T.S. Eliot sounds so dog-gone cheerful, contact your upbeat librarians at