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Frequently Asked Questions

If your question is not covered here, please use our Webmaster service.

Topics covered:

New Interface

  • Which collections have been upgraded?
  • Are the other collections going to be upgraded?

In September 2004, we launched new editions of eighteen of the Chadwyck-Healey Literature Collections. These were: Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature, 1920– , African American Poetry, American Poetry, Canadian Poetry, English Poetry, English Poetry, Second Edition, The Faber Poetry Library, Twentieth-Century African American Poetry, Twentieth-Century American Poetry, Twentieth-Century English Poetry, Early American Fiction 1789–1850, Early American Fiction 1789–1875, Early English Prose Fiction (1500–1700), Eighteenth-Century Fiction, Nineteenth-Century Fiction, American Drama (1714–1915), English Drama and Twentieth-Century Drama. This programme of upgrades was continued in 2006 and 2007 with the launch of new editions of Bibliography of American Literature, The King James Bible and Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged.

Like the third edition of Literature Online (launched January 2004), the upgraded Literature Collections have a new, bolder and cleaner interface, more intuitive navigation, new background technology and a range of unique features to meet the needs of current users. This upgrade is part of a programme of improvements to the Literature Collections.

Usage Statistics

  • Are usage statistics available for the Literature Collections?
  • Can I access statistics for all the collections that my library subscribes to in one place?
  • How can I access my usage statistics?
  • In what formats can I see them?

Usage Statistics are available for the Literature Collections. To access them, click on the Information Centre link and go to the Administration area, where you should see a link to download your usage statistics. From here you can chose to access combined usage statistics for the Literature Collections that your institution subscribes to or only view the statistics for the collection you are in. If you need to confirm your username and password, please get in contact with us via the "Webmaster" link in the page footer.

The statistics are based on ICOLC standards, and offer daily and monthly breakdowns of sessions, searches, hits, full text accesses and other information; these are available in 'User-Friendly', 'For Spreadsheet Import', 'Display Directly in MS Excel' and 'Printer-Friendly' formats.

MARC Records

  • How many MARC records are there in the Literature Collections?
  • Are they available for each work or volume of work?
  • What name form is used in the records?
  • How much do they cost?
  • Where can I download them?

MARC records are accessible via the Administration Resources Administration Resources area of the site. They link directly to volume level, rather than to work (poem, short story) level. The Library of Congress name form is used as a name authority field within the Literature Collections, and is also used in the MARC record author fields. When more content is added, we add corresponding records that can be downloaded at the same place. We do not charge a fee for these records.

Literature Collection Number of UK MARC Records Number of US MARC Records
Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature, 1920– 1 1
African American Poetry 98 98
African Writers Series 319 319
American Poetry 1289 1289
Canadian Poetry 841 841
English Poetry 4327 4327
English Poetry, Second Edition 4980 4980
The Faber Poetry Library 145 145
Twentieth-Century African American Poetry 155 168
Twentieth-Century American Poetry 706 728
Twentieth-Century American Poetry, Second Edition 1376 1411
Twentieth-Century English Poetry 616 616
Early American Fiction 1789–1850 579 579
Early American Fiction 1789–1875 882 882
Early English Prose Fiction (1500–1700) 211 211
Eighteenth-Century Fiction 96 96
Nineteenth-Century Fiction 250 250
American Drama (1714–1915) 1564 1564
English Drama 3933 3933
Twentieth-Century Drama 2213 2213
Bibliography of American Literature (BAL) 1 1
King James Bible 1 1
The Bible in English (990–1970) Not Available Not Available
Editions and Adaptations of Shakespeare Not Available Not Available
Literary Theory Not Available Not Available
The W.B. Yeats Collection (1895–1995) Not Available Not Available
Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged 1 1

OpenURL Bookmarking

  • Can I save links to pages or texts in a Literature Collection?

Yes. All full-text pages, Author pages, Biographies and Tables of Contents pages now have links to 'Durable URL for this page' or 'Durable URL for this text'. These give access to durable links that can be used for linking in to a Literature Collection from course pages or other web sites.

Accessing the Literature Collections off-campus

  • Is it possible to access the Literature Collections off-campus?
  • Are the Literature Collections Athens compliant?

There are several ways for users to access the Literature Collections off-campus. If you have a secure area of your library website that library members need to log into to access information then you can add a link to this area that will take members directly into the Literature Collections, with no need to enter further passwords. If you are interested in enabling this, please contact our technical support team to discuss this further with them on 0800 220 710 or email

UK users can also access the Literature Collections remotely using Athens. Further information is available on the Athens website.

Citation Information

  • How do users cite works and/or journal articles in Literature Collections?
  • Are the Literature Collections compatible with citation software?

Please see our information page on How to Cite Texts from the Literature Collections. We now offer downloading of citations in formats compatible with the following reference management software packages: EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager and RefWorks.

Concurrent Usage

  • How do you control the number of concurrent users?
  • Can concurrent use be increased temporarily, say for a training workshop or demo?
  • I'm getting the concurrency message and I'm sure it's an error.

When a user goes into a database and sends off a request (search, open a browse, follow a link etc.) a user slot opens which lasts for between 5 and 15 minutes. Within that time period the user can continue to use that particular database and each time a request is sent the slot is renewed. If the user does not send any more requests during that slot, it expires - leaving access available to another user. Once a user has finished accessing one of the Literature Collections, he/she can now click on the link 'End Session' at the bottom of the page to immediately allow another user to log in. If users are seeing the 'too many users' message, it may be that more people are using our service than anticipated.

If you are concerned that you are receiving the Concurrency Reached page in error, please email us and we will look into the matter for you.

We are happy to increase the number of concurrent users temporarily for a training day or demonstration of the service. Please get in contact with us via the "Webmaster" link in the page footer with the relevant details.

Download Size Warnings

  • What is the 'Full Text download size warning'?

The 'Full Text download size warning' is designed to offer our users choice about the amount of text they download at a given moment. Users with fast internet connections can safely download an entire novel or poetry collection in a single operation by clicking 'Confirm' on the warning screen; those with slower connections can access smaller sections of the work by clicking on the Table of Contents link which appears on the same screen. If you are confronted with the 'Full Text download size warning' screen while attempting to download the text of Barnaby Rudge, and are uncertain about the speed and reliability of your connection, you should click the Table of Contents link. In the satellite window that appears, click the + icons to the left of the hyperlinked titles of the complete work and its constituent parts. You can then choose to download a smaller section, such as a volume or chapter, by clicking the relevant title link. The data size in kilobytes (KB) of each subdivision appears as part of the hyperlink. All texts in the Literature Collections are subdivided into smaller, more manageable portions where the structure of the original literary work allows this.

If you need to keyword search the whole of a lengthy text you can do this using the Search screen by entering the title in the title keyword field and your keyword(s) in the keyword field. There is no need to download the entire text.

Library Branding

  • How do I activate library branding in the Literature Collections?

Library branding allows customers to create a link to their own library page, which will appear on every page within the Literature Collections. From the Administration Resources Administration Resources page, click on the Library Branding link and follow the instructions provided. You will need to enter the url of the logo that you would like to appear, plus the destination url of the page to which you wish to link. The default setting of Library Branding is for it to be turned off.

Complete Contents

  • Can I see the complete contents of a Literature Collection?

Yes. On the left hand tool bar there is a COMPLETE CONTENTS link. The COMPLETE CONTENTS page lists all authors alphabetically with the works that are available in the collection.

ABELL (Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature)

  • How often is the ABELL Literature Collection updated?
  • Which is more up to date, the print or online version of ABELL?
  • Is there a difference between the ABELL Literature Collection and ABELL within Literature Online?

ABELL records are added to the collection on a monthly basis in advance of publication of the annual print edition. 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. For more information you can visit the MHRA website.

Exactly the same ABELL records are added to the ABELL Literature Collection and Literature Online. The difference in bibliographic records occurs because Literature Online also contains corresponding bibliographic records for the full text articles that it contains.

Promoting the Literature Collections

  • Do you provide promotional and training material for librarians?

We are delighted to be able to provide training materials for librarians to use. You can download and request brochures, posters and other marketing and training materials. If you need any other materials to be mailed to you, please get in contact with us via the "Webmaster" link in the page footer.

New Collections

  • How do I find out more about the new collections?
  • Can you give me some information on the contents of Twentieth-Century Drama or African Writers Series?
  • How do I trial one of the collections?

Detailed content and editorial information on all the Literature Collections is available from the About Literature Collections page. If you have an enquiry that is not answered there, please get in contact with us via the "Webmaster" link in the page footer.

The premium Literature Collections are the MLA International Bibliography, Twentieth-Century Drama, African Writers Series and Twentieth-Century American Poetry, Second Edition. To request a trial for these or any other Literature Collections, please complete the trial request form.

We are continuously developing the Literature Collections and welcome feedback on them. In addition, if you have a suggestion for a new collection please get in contact with us via the "Webmaster" link in the page footer.

Printing and Posting Links

  • Am I allowed to create printouts from material from the Literature Collections?
  • Am I allowed to post durable links on a department VLE?

Subscribers may create printouts of material retrieved through the Literature Collections, as long as distribution of such printouts is limited to your own internal or personal use. You may also use OpenURL links or other durable URLs in order to facilitate access for authorised users, and these links may be posted on web pages or Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs). Please see our Terms and Conditions for further information.

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