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MLA: Introduction

MLA - introduction

Although the MLA is an excellent online database it will always needed to be supplemented with language-specific databases.  For medieval research the International Medieval Bibliography also available on OxLIP+ is an important source.

MLA - an introduction

The MLA bibliography has been with us since 1926. It was originally published as part of the PMLA (Publications of the Modern Language Association) becoming a separate publication in 1969. There was an electronic version as far back as the late 1970s and it became e-only in February 2009. Since 2006 all articles going right back to 1926 have been indexed.

Since 2010 the MLA bibliography has moved from the FirstSearch family of databases where it was cross-searchable with a wide range of other databases using a very user-friendly interface and which included WorldCat and FRANCIS to EBSCO where it is cross-searchable only with ABELL (Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature) with its 130 full-text journals.

The Modern Languages Association bibliographical database (MLA) aspires to cover all languages irrespective of whether they are European, Oriental or African. The only conditions are that they should be currently spoken and should have scholarly articles written in them and about them.

English Language and Literature are covered in just the same way as Thai or Chinese - except that there is possibly a great deal more written in and about English language and literature than any other language. There is therefore no false dichotomy between English and 'Foreign Languages' although that distinction is useful for academic administration. The only distinction is between living languages which are covered and 'classical' and extinct ones which are not.