There are several resources in the library and online that can help you start your research on specific authors and their works. Background information can be found in reference sources, such as encyclopedias, author biographies, and literature guides.
There are general literature reference tools as well as author- or subject-specific resources in the Reference Collection, located on the first floor of the library. It could be useful to browse the PN (general literature), PR (English literature), or PS (American literature) call number ranges to see if your topic is represented in a specialized reference work.
When searching for books about authors, type in the author's name in the search box and use the drop down box (to the right of the search box) to choose "SUBJECT (SKEY)" instead of the default, "Keyword Anywhere." You can then locate books ABOUT the author (biographies, critical reviews) not by the author.
To find literary criticism, use the search method suggested above (the author's name as a subject search), and add the term "criticism."
The Dictionary of Literary Biography Online offers comprehensive literary biographies written by scholars of more than 140,000 authors. Entries include information on authors' lives, careers and critical reviews of their works.
Academic Search Complete can be searched by author's name and the PE (People) box checked in the "Select a Field (optional)" drop down box to the right of the search box.
Gale Literary Sources from the Hawaii State Public Library System contains critical reviews for over 130,000 authors. You must have a public library card in order to access this database. Choose the Literature Resource Center near the bottom of the database list, after you have logged i