Chapter 14. Irish Literature

Table of Contents

This section is limited to works devoted exclusively to Irish literature (primarily in English). Because Irish writers are frequently included in works on English or British literature, researchers must also consult section M: English Literature. In addition, many works listed in sections G: Serial Bibliographies, Indexes, and Abstracts and H: Guides to Dissertations and Theses are useful for research in Irish literature.

Research Methods


Matthews, J. Greg. Literary Research and Irish Literature: Strategies and Sources. Lanham: Scarecrow, 2009. 213 pp. Lit. Research: Strategies and Sources 5. (Updates appear at PR8711.M38 820.9′9415072.

A guide to research strategies and reference sources for the scholar working with Irish literature. Although covering literary works in English, Gaelic, and other languages, the resources discussed are—with very few exceptions—in English. Following an admirably clear explanation of the basics of online searching are chapters on general literary reference sources; library catalogs; print and electronic bibliographies, indexes, and annual reviews; scholarly journals; periodicals, newspapers, and reviews; microform and digital collections; manuscripts and archives; and Web resources. (Many of the preceding chapters discuss works devoted to individual authors.) The last chapter demonstrates how to use some of the works and strategies previously discussed to develop a research plan; however, the representative research problem is not as aptly chosen as in preceding volumes in this series. An appendix lists sources in related disciplines. Indexed by names, titles, and subjects (entries in the appendix are indexed only by subject). Describing fully the uses of kinds of reference tools (with more evaluation than is common in other volumes in this series), providing illuminating examples in discussions of key individual resources, detailing techniques for finding kinds of information (including primary works), and illustrating research processes, Literary Research and Irish Literature admirably fulfills its intent: “to describe some of the best practices for researching Irish literature and to address some of the challenges scholars may face working in such a vast and evolving subject area.”