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VIVA Outreach Committee

The Outreach Committee promotes and publicizes VIVA and its resources and advocates VIVA's funding needs and the benefits that VIVA confers to appropriate agencies, organizations and legislative groups.



Comprehensive Literary Database, Literature Resource Center, Now Available To All VIVA Institutions

The Virtual Library of Virginia

For Immediate Release (July 27, 2004):

For Virginia college students and faculty needing biographical essays of writers, contemporary and current literary criticism, and authoritative author websites, few resources can match the wealth of material readily available in Thomson Gale’s Literature Resource Center. This comprehensive full-text literary collection is the latest database made available through VIVA, the Virtual Library of Virginia, for Virginia’s non-profit academic institutions of higher education.

The Literature Resource Center contains 415,000 full-text articles from more than 250 journals, some 122,000 author biographies, almost 6,000 links to carefully evaluated websites, and 50,000 critical essays, overviews, and works of explication. Researchers have access to scholarly commentaries from the Dictionary of Literary Biography and Twayne’s “Authors” Series, selected criticism from Gale’s literary reference works, and biographical essays from Scribner’s “Writers” Series. What this means in practical terms is that a history student can find a biographical sketch of Robert Caro (who won the Pulitzer Prize for his 2002 volume on Lyndon Johnson, Master of the Senate), an English major can locate early-nineteenth-century reviews of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, a student in a women’s studies course can obtain critical works on Charlotte Perkins Gilman as a feminist and social philosopher, a journalism major can peruse a transcript of an interview with newspaper columnist Jimmy Breslin, and a faculty member can zero in on a primary bibliography of the works of Eudora Welty.

With LRC’s easy-to-use interface, researchers can search by author, title, keyword, and type (genre, nationality, and other classifications). Advanced searches allow users to narrow or broaden queries using Boolean logic. And well-labeled index tabs sort results into categories such as Biographies; Literary Criticism, Articles, & Work Overviews; Bibliographies; and Additional Resources (i.e., websites).

Another index tab leads to Merriam-Webster’s Encyclopedia of Literature, which features definitions of 10,000 literary terms. Need to focus on a literary period or specific year? Click on the “Literary-Historical Timeline” tab. And a link to the MLA International Bibliography lets the user search over a million and a half bibliographic citations dating back to the early 1960s.

With the in-depth coverage of the Literature Resource Center, faculty and students can explore the lives and works of novelists, essayists, poets, journalists, and other writers from virtually every literary age.

VIVA, the Virtual Library of Virginia, is a consortium of the libraries of 69 non-profit institutions of higher education in Virginia, including 39 state-assisted colleges and universities at 54 campuses within the Commonwealth of Virginia, 30 independent private, non-profit institutions, and The Library of Virginia. VIVA’s mission is to provide, in an equitable, cooperative, and cost-effective manner, enhanced access to library and information resources for Virginia’s academic libraries serving the non-profit higher education community. VIVA is funded by the State of Virginia through the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) and by investments from participating institutions.

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For additional information contact:
Katherine A. Perry
VIVA Director
George Mason University
Fairfax, Virginia 22030-4444
Tel: 703-993-4652




VIVA is funded by the Virginia General Assembly and the VIVA member institutions, and is sponsored by the State Council of Higher Education (SCHEV).