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American literature will usually be assigned a call number in the "PN" or "PS" range; here's a quick outline of call numbers and their classifications:
PN1-6790 - Literature (General)
PS1-3576 - American Literature
PS126-138 - Biographies
PS147-152 - Women authors
PS185-195 - 17th-18th centuries
PS201-217 - 19th century
PS301-326 - Poetry
PS330-353 - Drama
PS360-380 - Prose
PS430-439 - Humor and satire
PS451-478 - Folk literature
PS700-3576 - Individual
Topic Overviews: Encyclopedias and Handbooks
These books are in the reference collection and prove to be good places to find authors, background information and topics which may help you start your research.
Online Book/Text Collections
Eighteenth Century Collections Online
Contains transcribed historical books and texts from the eighteenth century. Made available from the Text Creation Partnership.
Evans Early American Imprint Collection
Contains text files of transcribed historical books and documents. Made available from the Text Creation Partnership.
Shakespeare Quartos Archive
An online collection of pre-1642 editions of William Shakespeare's plays.
A collection of free online ebooks (primarily in the public domain).
Early English Books Online
Some transcribed historical books from the Early English Books Online database have been made freely available online. Made available from the Text Creation Partnership.
Hathi Trust Digital Library
Provides access to millions of digitized texts from academic and research institutions across the world.
Folger Digital Texts
High-quality texts of Shakespeare's sonnets, poems, and plays for free. Available in five formats: XML, HTML, PDF, DOC, and TXT.