English Language: Print, Web & Database Resources

James Murray at work editing the first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, circa 1900.  Only the electronic version  of the OED continues to be revised: OED Online.

IC Library Print & Multimedia

English Language: Society & Culture

Language and languages
Language and languages--Origin
Language and languages--Political aspects
Rhetoric--Political aspects
Rhetoric--Political aspects--United States
Language and languages--Psychology
Language and languages--Religious aspects
Sociolinguistics--United States
Language and culture
Language and culture--United States
Intercultural communication​

Communication--Social aspects
Communication--Social aspects--United States
English language--Social aspects
English language--Social aspects--United States
Speech and social status--United States
English language--Political aspects
English language--Political aspects--United States
Language policy--United States
Language and education--United States
Linguistic minorities--United States
Linguistic minorities--Education--United States
Mass media and language--United States
Hate speech
Hate speech--United States
Freedom of speech
Freedom of speech--United States

English language--Dialects--United States
English language--Variation--United States
English language--Spoken English--United States

African Americans--Language
African Americans--Languages
Black English
Hispanic Americans--Language
Immigrants--United States--Language
Racism in language
English language--Study and teaching--Foreign speakers
Bilingualism--United States

Communication--Sex differences
Language and languages--Sex differences
English language--Sex differences
Sexism in language
Sexism in language--United States
Nonsexist language

Communication and technology
Language and the internet
Online authorship
Electronic mail messages
Text messages
Instant messaging
Electronic discussion groups
Online chat groups
Social Media
Online social networks
Internet--Social aspects

Not in the IC Library??

     WorldCat via FirstSearch  is a "union catalog" that allows you to search the holdings of over 10,000 libraries from accross the country and around the world. Check WorldCat to discover what the entire universe of possible resources looks like for your topic. 
User Advisory:
  • Because this is such an enormous database you need to choose a "Limit Type to" before you begin. Most commonly you will be looking for "Books," "Visual Materials" (for example DVDs), or "Sound Recordings."
  • I recommend you avoid the "Author phrase," "Title phrase," and "Subject phrase" search fields and use "Author," "Title," or "Subject" instead. The "phrase" searches must be exact and are unforgiving.
  • If your topic is time-sensitive, try focusing on a recent time span under Year.
  • When you find an item you want you can request an interlibrary loan by opening the WorldCat record and clicking on "ILL (order via interlibrary loan)," which you'll find toward the top of the record under "External Resources." This will connect you to Ithaca College Library interlibrary loan, where you log in using your usual Netpass name and password. Logging in opens a form where all the identifying data will have automatically been transferred from the WorldCat record. All you have to do is click "Submit."

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Lisabeth Chabot

College Librarian
(607) 274-3182

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Reference Resources

Web Resources

History of English

  • Words in English: Good collection of English resources from Suzanne Kemmer at Rice University. Use the drop-down menus along the top to navigate, beginning with "History."
  • English Timeline: Use the flash version of this British Library site with well-selected specimens of English and its evolution from the 11th century to the present.
  • The Labyrinth: Old English: A gateway to Old English and Anglo-Saxon Resources.
  • Middle English Dictionary: From the University of Michigan--the biggest, one of the best, and all electronically searchable.
  • Early Modern English: A useful collection of links from Carol Percy at the University of Toronto.

Rhetoic & Composition

  • Bartleby.com Reference Collection: Full text access includes the American Heritage Dictionary, Roget's Thesaurus, the American Heritage Book of English Usage, The Columbia Guide to Standard English, Fowler's The King's English, and Mencken's The American Language.
  • Common Errors in English: Devoted to common mistakes in word usage, especially terms confused with one another. Scroll down the home page for alphabetical index.

Best Bet Databases (journal articles)

Citation Help

MLA Citation

MLA is the citation style used by most disciplines in the Humanities. Here is my guide to the latest (2016) update of the MLA style.