Want to browse through some of what we have in the library's collections related to American literary periods, authors, and works prior to the Civil War? Need some inspiration to help you decide on a specific topic to research? See some highlighted resources below.
Interested in borrowing one or more of these items? Our physical collections are not accessible to the public this semester, but you can request items using our Library to Go and Library to Go PLUS service. Entries and chapters of titles in the reference collections will need to be digitally scanned. Work with a librarian if you have questions or need help.
Trends & Events: diaries, histories, practical and straightforward nonfiction, focus on religion, derivative of literature in Great Britain, future-focused, political writing, philosophy, the American Revolution, rationalism, the Age of Reason, the Enlightenment, the American landscape and society, the emergence of distinctive American literature characteristics
Authors: John Smith, Nathaniel Ward, John Winthrop, Cotton Mather, Jonathan Edwards, Anne Bradstreet, Benjamin Franklin, Phillis Wheatley, William Hill Brown, Washington Irving, James Fenimore Cooper, William Cullen Bryant, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, Joel Barlow, Philip Freneau, others
Trends & Events: the Age of Transcendentalism, the emergence of American literary criticism, abolitionist, utopian, women’s suffrage movement, the Civil War.
Authors: Edgar Allen Poe, James Russell Lowell, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Walt Whitman, William Wells Brown, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Harriet E. Wilson, Harriet Beecher Stowe, others