Literature on the Web

Donna Neutze

This Web Watch is reprinted by permission of the author from Thinking Classroom, 1(2), 44-45. For more information on Thinking Classroom and the Reading and Writing for Critical Thinking (RWCT) project with which it is associated, read Larry Miller’s “Getting to Know You” elsewhere in this issue of Reading Online.

You would like to use more literature in your classroom, but you have limited access to books? The solution to this problem may be as close as your computer. The complete texts of Shakespeare’s plays, Pushkin’s poetry, Homer’s classics, and Twain’s novels are just a few of the thousands of works you can locate on the Internet. What follows are just a few suggested sites you might choose to visit.

The Alex Catalogue of Electronic Texts
This site, a collection of English literature, American literature and Western philosophy, allows you to browse and select according to title, author or file name. A distinctive feature of this site is the Alex Bookcase. The “bookcases are a means for you to create, manage, annotate and recall sets of Alex texts. This way you can have your own ‘study carrel’ of frequently used documents.”

The Internet Public Library -- Online Texts Collection
This site, with over 12,000 titles, allows you to search by author, title or Dewey decimal classification. This one includes lots more than English and American literature/authors, and features both non-fiction and fiction. There is also a link to “Other Online Text Collections”.

The Online Books Page: Books Listings
Find more than 11,000 English texts. Visitors may view the “New Listings” to see what texts have been added recently. There is also a list of online “works-in-progress” -- archived serials that are available online.

Project Gutenberg
The e-texts in the Project Gutenberg Library generally fall into three categories: light literature (Alice in Wonderland, Aesop’s Fables), serious literature (Shakespeare, Milton) and references. Volunteers help this site to publish “an average of one e-text every day”. Search by author, title, subject, notes, language or Library of Congress classification. Stay informed of the latest additions to the Project Gutenberg Library by subscribing to their mailing list.

Aesop’s Fables
This site currently contains over 600 fables from various sources. There are 127 fairy tales by Hans Christian Anderson [sic], and future additions will include the works of the Brothers Grimm. Some of the texts include images/illustrations, while others may be listened to via Real Audio.

The All-Poetry Encyclopedia at
Search for “links to books, full text resources, and information on thousands of the most important poets of the past few millennia.” Categories of links include poetry e-zines and magazines, poetry discussion groups and forums, personal pages, poetry references and anthologies, as well as additional poetry resources. Subscribe to the site’s newsletter.

Looking for something with a more regional focus? Visit the following. (Please note that some of these sites offer political commentary, and inclusion on this list does not imply agreement or disagreement with the perspective offered.)

Armenian Literature
This site contains Shant Norashkharian’s translations of selected works by ten Armenian authors, including Gostan Zarian and Baruyr Sevag.

Croatian E-Text Project
The foreword on this site reads: “The Croatian E-Text project is an effort to bring Croatian books to the Internet”. The site contains a brief history of Croatian literature, and numerous links to online Croatian texts. From this site, visitors may link to sources containing, among others, Croatian children’s poetry, Croatian folk songs, and Croatian books.

Czech Literature on the Internet
This site includes links to other sites, which feature historical texts, classical literature and contemporary literature.

The Hungarian Electronic Library
(This address takes you to the welcome page: to reach the homepage, click on the house icon.) A project by the Hungarian National Infrastructure Development Programme and the Hungarian National Library, this site intends to be “the central collection of the public-domain Hungarian electronic texts for educational and scientific research, and cultural purposes.” Visitors can read the electronic library news on the Library Bulletin Board, search the Catalogue, relax in the Reading Room, or link to other sites in their World Wide Virtual Library.

Lithuanian Classic Literature Anthology
Developed by the Institute of Scientific Society and part of UNESCO’s publications series, this “anthology of Lithuanian classic literature covers 64 masterpieces by Lithuanian authors, from the oldest documents up to the present day.”

The Online Russian Library at Oregon State University
The works of 39 authors may be accessed at this site. Featured authors include Pushkin, Solzhenitsyn, Tolstoy and Chekhov. The site also contains links to publishers of Russian books and Russian news. [Note: Subsequent to original publication of this article in Fall 2000, the Russian library site ceased to be maintained. A redirect page refers visitors to libraries created by Maksim Moshkov and Evgenii Peskin.]

The Virtual Library of Bulgarian Literature -- Slovoto
Created and developed by the Slovoto Non-Profit Association, this site is “dedicated to publishing all significant works of Bulgarian fiction on the Internet.” At the present time, the featured authors are Hristo Botev, Nikola Vaptsarov, Hristo Smirnenski, Chudomir and Petya Dubarova.

If you know of other such literature sites, please write a letter to the editor to let us know about them.

Donna Neutze is a PhD student in the Language, Literacy and Culture Programme at the University of Maryland, USA.


For an index of International Perspectives Web Watches, click here. To print this article, click anywhere on its text; then use your browser’s print command.

Citation: Neutze, D. (2000, Autumn). Web site reviews: Literature on the Web. Thinking Classroom, 1(2), 44-45. Available:

Reading Online,
Posted February 2001