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Especially notable sites are marked by the Ship's Wheel



Literary Directories

Google Arts Directories:
Selections from the largest online staff edited directory
Writer's Resources Literature Arts Directories:
Guided tours of staff selected literary resources
Children's Lit.
Classic Literature
Contemporary Lit.
Yahoo Literature Directories:

Yahoo Groups: Literature
General Literature

General & Full Text

The Library of Congress:
THE online literary resource. This site has incredible depth and too many useful tools, texts, and resources to list here. Be sure to explore it thoroughly.

The Library of Congress Catalog
Probably the single most useful site within the extensive general LOC offerings above.

Project: Gutenburg:
If its copyright's expired, there's an excellent chance the text is in here. Also, the site's philosophy is right on. Similar to the Internet Public Library below, except Project Gutenburg actually transcribes and produces these electronic texts.

The Internet Public Library:
Collection of over 35,000 online texts in the public domain. Also, don't miss the extensive Literary Criticism collection.

World Wide School Library:
Collection of a few thousand public-domain texts. Useful as a supplement to the IPL

Period Specific

The Modern Word

Excellent elegant portal to many articles on 20th century and modern authors and novels, interviews and author sites, and much more.

The Labyrinth:
Excellent Medieval Studies page. Includes full texts in Old and Middle English, as well as literature of other Medieval languages.

The Perseus Project:
Innovative, in depth, and well-designed collection of literature and texts ranging from Greek classical to the Renaissance and more. Not limited to fiction, the site tries to include as many important documents of global history as possible. Includes an interesting map showing physical location of the documents.


Dictionaries & Thesaruses

The Oxford English Dictionary:
The complete OED 2nd edition online. The OED has been called the "greatest continuing work of scholarship that this century has produced."
A useful translation dictionary covering dozens of languages.

Merriam-Webster Online:
A very good free searchable English dictionary and thesaurus, features a word of the day complete with etymology, as well as other tools and services.

Webster's Online Dictionary

While the presentation and layout of this site is barebones, the depth of content it offers at a click of a button is unsurpassed. From basic definitions to help with crosswords
to anagrams of the selected word,
this site has it all.

Word Assault:
Simple powerful dictionary meta-search (searches multiple sources with one click)
A remarkable site with multiple online dictionaries for nearly 300 languages and much more.


Altavista's Babel Fish
Excellent multi-language translation service.
Webmasters, be sure to check out their free site tools here:

Other Translation Tools
Google's Language Tools

World Lingo

Lost in Translation
What gets lost in translation? Try out this tool to see.
The British Center for Literary Translation
Articles & resources on literary translation

An elegant site on Greek and other translations.


The Linguistic Fun Page:
Interesting and amusing collection of links to linguistic websites.

Although I find the basic name and premise of this site and its affiliates frustrating, it does function as an excellent tool for quick research. Search for a title and it will list the "Cliff Note" style sites that summarize it. I've briefly reviewed the best of those sites immediately below. This site also offers essays and term paper for quick and easy plagarism; I believe this is done with the implicit consent of the author but it still bugs me. Professors, turn the concept on its head and use the site to search for fake papers.

Book Rags:
Excellent in depth summaries over 100 classic works in their Book Notes section. The site offers a message board on each book summarized. Also, 1500+ Ebooks in PDA format are available for free download.

Spark Notes:
Similar to Book Rags in quality and content, Spark Notes doesn't limit itself to classic literature and includes notes for several academic fields. Has some full texts online.

is another "Cliff Notes" type of site. It distinguishes itself by offering nearly 250 reviews, including over 100 Barron's Book Reviews. & Campus's book reviews:
More book summaries and analysis. Awerty is affiliated with Ask

Etymology/Word Origins

Focusing on Words:
Fascinating, if haphazardly arranged, website devoted to exploring vocabulary, Latin & Greek word roots, and general language investigation.

Pandora's Word Box
: Etymology of medical terms. Focused and well done.

What's the Meaning of This?:
Column devoted to the discovery of word origins.

The Word Detective:
Witty and good-natured newsletter exploring the origins of words and all things etymologic, lexicographic, linguistic, and logomaniacal.
A brief history of the English language and a searchable database of word origins.
A thriving community site primarily primarily dedicated to discussing word origins. The site goes beyond exploring etymology, functioning as an in depth literary resource portal of broad scope. Notable offerings include: news about words and writing, coinages, quotes and insults, files on authors, as well as a Public Scribe helps with letter writing and Slang Street where you can update a vast slang dictionary.

Origin of Phrases:
Etymology of Phrases.

Buy Texts,, & Barnes and
These are the biggest and the best retailers of literature on the web right now.

and it's affiliate,,
Excellent sources for hard to find books, although you have to go through auctions with one and individual sellers with both, so it's a bit less reliable.

& Abe Books are good services for finding rare, used, or out of print books.

Search the major bookstores for their deals on this site.

Other book retailers
The World's Largest Used Book Store Online
Some bargains here.
Discounted overstocks.
Note: Selection varies wildly
A lesser known Amazon style bookstore. Good selection and large discounts.

You should also compare prices at
Yahoo: Shopping: Books
Yes, amusements...that's it...amusements. . .
Yahoo Category: Word Games:
Over 300 word game sites of varying quality. Endless amusement. Also a good place to find other literary sites.

Simple Hangman game. Some pop-ups.

Choose the correct word origin to advance. Unique and very well done literary game.

Word Safari:

A vocabulary guessing game that leads you across the web.


The Anagram Genius Server:
Enter a word, name, or phrase and its anagrams will be emailed to you.

Anagram Hall of Fame:
Well, so the authors claim. Good stuff though.

Commentary & Analysis: Literature


The Jolly Roger:
Aggressively pro-classical pirates of the pen prone to pushing post-modernism off the plank. Watch out, deconstructionists, these guys give the canon cannons. To be fair, read a harsh but more or less accurate review of the site here: Princeton Alumni Weekly's review of The Jolly Roger.

World Wide Words:
Excellent site by a British author and OED contributor Michael Quinion. Not only is nearly all the content original to Quinion, he links to many other literary sites and offers substantial thoughtful commentary on them. Truly a valuable and inspiring site.

Literary Criticism

IPL Literary Criticism :
The Internet Public Library's Literary Criticism section. Covers global literary criticism. For more sources, check out: the IPL Online Literary Criticism Guide

Acronyms, Jargon, & Slang


See entry above.


A huge list of online chat abbreviations and acronyms:

Hacker, Cracker, and general computer jargon:

A glossary of computer oriented abbreviations and acronyms:

Internet Slang Dictionaries:


The Dialectizer
Converts standard English into
one of several amusing dialects.

Boston, Massachusetts eccentricities:

The slang of various North American cities:


A bit of etymology on nautical sayings:

Sailor Talk:
Find out how scuttlebutt, dressed to the nines, and more came about.

Emergency medical terminology:

Investment banking deciphered:



The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy:
Searchable database of philosophers and philosophical terms and concepts.

Internet Archive: Wayback Machine:
Simply the most amazing Internet tool/database out there. Type in the URL of a webpage that cannot be found or has been deleted and all the way back to 1996, there's a good shot this archive has it, sometimes even including pictures and even small movies if they were present. This is what the Internet is all about.

Commentary & Analysis: Cultural


The Onion:
So, far, this is the superlative satirical newspaper. Also, the Onion A/V Club has some of the best film, music, and literature critics around

A grammar sensitive Flash cartoon wrestler with an oversized head replies to fan email. Part of

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