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English 310/410: History of the English Language: Research databases

Research Guide for English 310/410, History of the English Language

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Oxford English Dictionary Online

OED online

The Oxford English Dictionary is the definitive record of the English language and how the language has been used over time. In the latest online version, the dictionary integrates content from the Historical Thesaurus as well.  It is a powerful and fun tool to use for finding information about words in English.


In addition to using the OED as a traditional dictionary- to look up individual words- one can use other tools within the dictionary.

MLA International Bibliography

The MLA International Bibliography is the research databases for modern languages, literature and many other related fields.

You would use the MLA International Bibliography if you want to find articles, book chapters or dissertations written on topics related to the English language.  For example, if you want to find out what people have written about the Great English Vowel Shift, you might use the database to find articles and book chapters on this topic.

Note that you can search your topic by keyword or by using the thesaurus of subject terms used in the database (these terms are like "tags" applied to the articles indexed that describe what the article is about).

Also note that under the heading More (in the blue toolbar at the top) you can browse all of the index fields used by the MLA database.  So, for example, you can search or browse the database's index of linguistic terms for articles that are indexed with the linguistic term "American English dialect".

Remember that if the item is not available full text within the database, you can use the "Find It" button to locate the item, either online through another source or in paper in our library or via OhioLINK.

Lexis-Nexis