The Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature (ABELL) lists monographs, periodical articles, critical editions of literary works, book reviews and collections of essays published anywhere in the world; unpublished doctoral dissertations are covered for the period 1920–1999. The bibliography consists of 80 volumes, beginning in 1920 and issued annually; a number of items published between 1892 and 1919 has been indexed retrospectively.
ABELL is compiled under the auspices of the Modern Humanities Research Association (MHRA) by an international team of editors, contributors and academic advisors. It has been published in book form since 1920, and ProQuest publish the electronic version in both CD-ROM and web format. While the print volume is published annually, new bibliographic records are added to the web version in advance of their appearance in the annual versions. The CD-ROM edition of the bibliography was also published annually but has now ceased with the publication of the 2007 instalment.
This release of ABELL covers the complete volumes from 1920–2007.
Bibliographic experts have long agreed that ABELL is an essential tool for the literary scholar, and have stressed its coverage of unique material that is not included in other bibliographic sources. In comparing ABELL with the MLA International Bibliography, Evan Ira Farber, Librarian Emeritus of Earlham College, Richmond, Indiana, concluded that 'every comparative study of the two bibliographies shows that the overlap between them is surprisingly far from complete', and that 'every academic library supporting serious work – and certainly graduate work – in English or American literature should make both ABELL and MLAIB available to users'. This is supported by standard reference works such as Michael Marcuse's Reference Guide for English Studies (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990) and James L. Harner's Literary Research Guide, 2nd edn. (New York: MLA, 1993). Visit the MHRA website for more information on ABELL.
Subject areas covered by ABELL include:
It should be noted that the electronic version of ABELL differs from the printed version in the following ways: