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  • Wong Shu Min

Author and Film Studies Research - New Databases

An author study is an in-depth analysis of a literary author's body of work in relation to his or her biographical history or cultural context. This allows the reader to draw connections between the author's life and his/her work, which creates a deeper understanding of how the author's work relates to the reader's own life and work. Additionally, the reader can also identify, compare, and contrast themes and motifs in the author's body of work.

Gale Literary Sources

Gale Literary Sources is a database with an integrated search function that allows you to cross-search several of Gale's collections for literary criticism, essays, and author biographies. Content coverage includes academic scholarship on literary works as well as authors from different time periods and countries. Gale Literary Sources can also retrieve biographies of classic, contemporary, and emerging authors and illustrators of children's and young adult literature.

To do a search, simply type the title of a novel, play, or short story in the search bar. Select from an automatically generated drop-down list of suggested terms.

Search interface of Gale Literary Sources database

(Above: Integrated search function of the Gale Literary Sources database enables users to search for literary criticism, essays, and author biographies.)

The results retrieved are further categorised into Content Types such as: Literary Criticism, Biographies, Topic & Work Overview, Reviews & News and Bibliographies.

Results classified under Literary Criticism contain books and articles on literary criticism, as well as citations, reviews, and dissertations from the following literary databases:

  • Literature Criticism Online

  • Contemporary Authors Online

  • Literature Resources Center

  • LitFinder

(Above: The Relevant Pages tool enables users to skip to the sections where the search term is located.)

Results grouped under the Biographies category contain biographical and bibliographical information on authors and children's book illustrators from Gale's literary databases such as:

  • Dictionary of Literary Biography Complete Online

  • Something About the Author Online

  • Contemporary Authors Online

The Biographies tab under Context Type menu will automatically retrieve results on the author of the literary text you are searching for.

You can navigate to the relevant pages which contain your search term through the Tools on the right-hand column.


What is Film Studies?

Film Studies is an analysis of the interplay between the written word and the moving image on the screen, or the relationship between literature and cinema. Due to the visual nature of film, the 'reader' of the 'text' will engage with both literary and visual history, as well as cinematography, in his/her analysis of the medium.

Screen Studies Database

Screen Studies is a database from Bloomsbury Publishing. It contains over 240 screenplays, critical and contextual books, covering major films released from the late 19th century to the present.

(Above: Search for books on major films from 19th century to the present in Screen Studies database.)

To do a search, you can either use the title or director of the film as a search term, or keywords of your choice.

To download the book chapter, click "Print" to save the page as a PDF.

(Above: Book chapters available for downloading.)

You can also search for the screenplays of films, which contain the film dialogue, setting, and directions on the action. This can be useful as a reference when comparing the literary narrative to the visual cinematography of the film.

(Above: Sample screen play from the film "102 Boulevard Haussmann".)

To access Gale Literary Sources or Screen Studies, please visit the List of Databases on the NIE Library portal.


Shu Min is a Liaison Librarian for ELL who has conducted a workshop on literature search skills for BA/BSc (Ed) English Literature. She is currently pursuing a MSc in Information Studies.

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