Encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other resources to help you discover basic information—names, dates, definitions, summaries, etc. These are good places to start when narrowing or choosing your topic, and when beginning research on an unfamiliar subject.
Dictionaries, language reference, and subject encyclopedias published by Oxford University Press. Includes literature reference (and you can use the "Search within my subject specializations" feature to narrow your results), but also great for researching topics in any subject area that's new to you.
Literary Terms and Concepts
Dictionary of Concepts in Literary Criticism and Theory
by Wendell V. Harris
Call Number: MH Reference PN41 .H36 1992
Publication Date: 1992-04-30
A Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory
by J. A. Cuddon; C. E. Preston (Editor)
Call Number: MH Reference PN41 .C83 1998
Publication Date: 1998-10-23
Encyclopedia of Contemporary Literary Theory
by Irena R. Makaryk (Editor)
An indispensable resource for scholars and students of literary theory and discourse. Compiled by 275 specialists from around the world, the Guide presents a comprehensive historical survey of the field's most important figures, schools, and movements and is updated annually.
For more recent individuals who are less famous or have yet to make it into reference works or other books, newspapers and magazines are a possible source of information. Some news databases even allow you to limit your search to interviews and biographical information.