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Literature Online (LION): About

A guide to all aspects of Literature Online (LION) including content, searching, and viewing results.

Subject Coverage

  • Poetry
  • Prose
  • Drama
  • Criticisms
  • Reference material
  • Essays
  • Biographies
  • Encyclopedia entries

Publication Types

  • Bibliographies
  • Full Text Academic Journals
  • KnowledgeNotes™ student guides
  • Poets on Screen
  • Reference Works
  • Shakespeare Audio Plays

What is Literature Online (LION)?

Literature Online (LION) contains more than 350,000 works of poetry, prose and drama from the 8th century to the present day, in English language. This is a unique assembly of primary works, re-keyed from first editions or scholarly editions, based on recommendations from academic specialists. The method of production ensures 99.995%+ textual accuracy, meaning that researchers can be confident that irrelevant matches are not included in result sets. The Literature Online platform offers a clean, simple advanced search page, with key search fields clearly visible at the top, and browse lists easily accessible.

LION’s primary works represent the indispensable collection of thousands of works by the most influential and studied authors as well as the works of lesser known or now forgotten literary figures. This vast corpus is supported by a full library of up-to-date, fully searchable criticism and reference resources, in addition to the best collection of full-text scholarly journals covering all aspects of literary studies.

The full text of current literature journals is made discoverable through two renowned literary indexes - the Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature (ABELL) and the Modern Language Association Index (MLA) for those who subscribe to this resource as well.

  • LION’s journal collection offers access to more than 430 journals and 460,000 full text articles
  • LION’s journal collection has deeper back files than other resources; the average journal has coverage for 15 years
  • 75% of LION’s journal collection is peer reviewed
  • 90% of LION’s journal collection is actively indexed by the MLA

Customers who subscribe to LION AND to MLA International Bibliography can cross search the MLA with ABELL, an index created by the Modern Humanities Research Association (MHRA), which is exclusively available from ProQuest. When combined, researchers have access to more than 4.2 million index records covering every aspect of literary scholarship. The two bibliographies are highly complementary – ABELL indexes books reviews, for instance, which the MLA actively exclude – and many researchers believe that a full critical survey cannot be conducted without consulting both. For example, in the most recent edition of Prof. James L. Harner’s (Texas A&M University) much respected Literary Research Guide, he notes “any search of MLAIB must be complemented by a search of ABELL, and vice versa, for each […] of these two resources includes scores of works omitted from the other.” (5th Ed. New York, MLA: 2008, p.51)

Literature Online also includes audio and video content through its Poets on Screen recordings of poets reading their own and others' works and the Shakespeare Audio Plays collection.

With the combination of primary works, exclusive or authoritative third-party literary criticism bibliographies, digitized reference volumes from academic presses such as OUP and CUP, specially commissioned author biographies and unique literary audio and video content, LION Premium + MLA International Bibliography is the best and most comprehensive online resource for the study of any aspect of literature and language at all levels.

Literature Online finally provides search tools such as the Variant Spelling and Forms indexing, which open up new possibilities for academic research, teaching and undergraduate learning No other literature resource offers the content and functionality of Literature Online. It gives users immediate access to a specialist library of current scholarship and world-leading reference titles, and, with new material added to each monthly release, is unrivaled for coverage, quality and currency. Literature Online is dynamic, growing regularly as new texts are converted to electronic form. The content of the service is developed with the advice of internationally known scholars, making LION a complete environment  for research, teaching and undergraduate study.

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Publication Coverage

To view the latest title list and publication coverage, please visit:


Jane Austen

W. Shakespeare

Virginia Woolf

Walt Whitman

James Joyce

Primo Levi

Jack Kerouac