Information Centre : Content and Editorial Policy - Authors
Searches from the Search: Authors page draw on a database of authors and author information that grows with every monthly release of the service: currently, over 17,000 authors are included, of over 100 different nationalities. Authors are selected and indexed by specialist researchers, who assign a range of index information to each author: a name authority file (derived from the Library of Congress catalogue name form, where available), dates of birth and death, gender, nationality, the literary periods with which the author is associated, and, where relevant, alternate name forms, literary movements and ethnicity. This allows users to search for authors and their works using advanced search fields on the Search: Authors and Search: Texts pages.
Name forms: the form of the author's name that is displayed in browse lists and lists of results is taken from the Library of Congress name authority record, and often includes birth and death dates, e.g.: 'Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616'. We use Library of Congress name forms in order to have an authorized unique identifier for authors, and therefore always use the exact form as it appears in the Library of Congress authority files. Please note that in some cases these name forms may have missing date fields; for example, authors who have died may have a birth date but no death date. This is because the Library of Congress's policy is not to modify these name forms once they have become established in cataloguing (for further details, see http://www.loc.gov/help/contact-libarch-report.html#birth). As a result, we do not add death dates to these name forms; however, users can always find up-to-date information, including death dates and variant name forms, on the author's Author Page.
Coverage: the author database contains two main categories of authors:
- All authors of primary works from the Chadwyck-Healey Literature Collections that are included in Literature Online. This includes authors from the eighth century to the present day, and from throughout the English-speaking world. The editorial policies of the Literature Collections are detailed on the Content and Editorial Policy: Texts page.
- Authors writing in any language, and in a range of media and disciplines, who are relevant to scholars and students of literary studies. Any author from this category for whom Literature Online contains criticism or reference materials will be included in the database. This material could be a Literature Online biography, articles from reference works, or full-text journal articles that are subject-indexed under that author's name. Our editorial policy is therefore partly informed by the subject matter of current scholarship, since new authors that are being discussed in the latest issues of journals will be immediately added to the author database. The contents of our journal and reference resources are detailed on the Content and Editorial Policy: Criticism & Reference page. The breadth of authors covered by the resources in Literature Online reflect the broad and interdisciplinary nature of contemporary literary studies, encompassing:
- Literary authors. This category is understood very broadly, with the aim of encompassing all authors who could be considered relevant to literary study and research: poets, playwrights, novelists (including genre fiction and children's authors), and selected authors of non-fiction works such as memoirs, essays, journalism and travel writing (examples include Margery Kempe, Primo Levi, Hunter S. Thompson, Frederick Douglass, Henry Mayhew and Isabella Bird).
- Theorists and scholars whose work is studied in the context of literary and cultural studies. This includes literary and cultural theorists from Aristotle to Slavoj Zizek, plus feminist theorists, philosophers, psychoanalysts, social and political scientists and other relevant figures.
- Filmmakers whose work is discussed in our library of full-text journals. This includes figures such as Jane Campion, Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, Fritz Lang, Ang Lee, Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg.