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English Resources

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Background Information

Credo: A collection of encyclopedias with background information on works, authors, characters, time periods, historical figures, and so much more!

Gale Literature Criticism Online: The Topic Finder can help you get a sense of what words, phrases, works, other topics, or subtopics are related to your topic.

WISE: You don't have to check out or read every book or article you find in WISE, but it will help you to get an idea of how much (or how little) is available on a topic.

Recommended Databases

MLA International Bibliography: The top database for literature, language and linguistics, folklore, film, literary theory & criticism, dramatic arts, and the history of printing. Compiled by the Modern Languages Association, this database includes over 2.5 million citations.

Humanities Source: Articles, abstracts, and/or citations of over a thousand journals across the humanities.

JSTOR: Large, multi-disciplinary repository with thousands of scholarly articles and primary sources.

Project MUSE: Great humanities and social science database with a focus on the interdisciplinary.

The Library can get you a copy through ILL!

What is ILL?

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a service where libraries borrow and lend books, microfilm, DVDs,  journals, magazines, and newspaper articles to other libraries.  Librarians want everyone to be able to access information, so they work together to get the information to the people who need it!  

If you need something that isn't owned by McGill Library, we may be able to borrow it from another library. 

If you have questions about Interlibrary Loan, or have any trouble using the request form or setting up your ILLiad account, please contact John Garrison

Please note that ILL service is not available when the library is closed for Winter Break.  

Interlibrary Loan How-To


Let us know what you need!!  Please see the video above, and step-by-step instructions below, and contact the library if you have any questions or concerns.

  1. Search WISE to see if we have the item you are looking for.
  2. Click "Request via Interlibrary Loan" on the item in WISE.
  3. If you are looking for:
    • Article/book chapter: fill out the form (your name, email address).
      • Look for an email from with instructions to download your article/book chapter when it is ready (usually 1-2 days).
    • Book/DVD/physical item: you will be taken here, where you can check to see if one of our partner libraries can lend the item to you.
      • Look for an email from when it is ready to be picked up at the library front desk.
      • None of our partner libraries have the item you need? Don't worry - fill out our alternate ILL form and we will try to get it for you another way.