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Literature Online (LION): Texts

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

Search Texts

Search Texts is divided into different search pages:

Search: Texts All 

This page allows you to search works belonging to any literary category, including literary works in journals, and entries in Early English Books Online (accessible to subscribers to this service)

1. Keyword in Text

Retrieves texts results which contain any of the search terms. Please note, if you search for €œhost of golden daffodils€ you will find the poem by Wordsworth and other works which contain that exact phrase, as well as results for the individual terms of the phrase. Using double quotation marks will aide in the precision of the search by searching exclusively for the phrase: "host of golden daffodils"

2. Keyword in Title

Searches only the titles of works for the keyword(s) entered into this search field.

3. Include variants

Due to the inclusion of search functionality enabled by the CIC CLI Virtual Modernization Project, users can retrieve instances of spelling variation by selecting the 'Variant spellings' checkbox or using the 'Check for variants feature.

Wherever possible Literature Online features the first authorized edition of any given literary work and preserves the spelling and punctuation of the copy text. Users should be aware when searching that the spelling of some words has changed and that a modern-spelling search term will not in itself be adequate to retrieve all the relevant results from historical texts.

For instance, entering the search term virtue will not retrieve occurrences of vertuesensibility will not match with sensibilitie orsensibillity, and honor will not pick up honour.

Literature Online provides 2 ways to search for variant spellings:

  • Using the ? or *characters, referred to as a wildcards. For example, v?rtuehono?r or sensibil?it* Typing the word you are looking for in the Keyword(s) in Work field and then clicking the Look up link. You will then be able to scroll through an alphabetical list of all the words, including all old spellings, in Literature Online texts and select the ones you are interested in.
  • Alternatively, you can use the new Variant spellings check box. If you enter a modern English word in the Keywords in text box and check the Variant spellings box, you will automatically retrieve all instances of your search term and its early modern variant forms in Literature Online. For example, if the box for Variant spellings is checked and you type the word soldier in the Keywords fields, when you submit your search you will retrieve all occurrences of the word soldier and its early modern variants such as soldiour,souldioursouldyer, and sovldiovr.

The variant spellings search will automatically search for typographical variants of your search terms also. If you check this box and submit your search, Literature Online will find variant forms of your search term in which the following characters have been substituted:

  • v for u
  • u for v
  • j for i or y
  • i for j or y
  • y for i or j
  • w for vv or uu
  • s for f

For instance, a search for Keyword(s) in Work: "Julius Caesar" with the Variant spellings checkbox checked will retrieve occurrences of Julius Caesar and variant forms such as Iulius Cæsar and IvlivsCæsar (common in early printed editions of works by Shakespeare, Marlowe and Webster).

Searching for variant forms

The Variant forms checkbox allows users to lemmatize their search terms and takes the process of standardization one step further. Lemmatization is the linguist's term for the practice of bundling the different forms of a word under the form in which the word is likely to appear in a dictionary. Thus lovesloved andloving are forms of the lemma love. Lemmatization is part of the Virtual Orthographic Standardization project, which will allow users to look for all variant spellings of the standard spelling loveor search for the lemma love, which would retrieve all variant spellings of the standard spellings loveloveslovethloving, andloved.

4. Authors

Search for specific authors or works or articles using this field and/or its Look Up.

Text Search Options

5. Publication Dates

Specify a date of publication as a search limit. 

6. Genre

Specify one or more genres of poetry or drama, such as haiku, epic poem, or farce,  as a search limit.

Author Search Options

7. Living in the years (date range)

Include a range of years during an author's life, a genre's height in popularity, or a historical era as a search limit. Only the year (YYYY) need be entered into the search fields.

8. Gender

Indicate the gender of the author which you seek information about. 

9. Nationality

Specify the nationality of the author you seek information about. Select multiple nationalities from the Look Up to search if needed.

10. Ethnicity

Use this field to indicate the ethnicity of the author you seek information regarding, or select multiple ethnicities from the Look Up for a more complex search.

11. Literary Movement

Enter a single known literary movement or use the Look Up to include multiple literary movements in your search.

12. Literary Period

Enter a single known literary period or use the Look Up to include multiple literary periods in your search.

The Search: Texts Poetry, Drama and Prose pages limits your search to works of that category and provide more genre-specific information.

Search texts -All