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Literary and Language Studies: Books

Guide to information sources

Use the Online Oxford English Dictionary!


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Guides to I Catalogue

Yes we do have fiction in the library!

The UKZN libraries collect a wide range of fiction as part of the literature collections. Most popular fiction may only be accessible from your local public library. The guide below indicates the numbers on the shelves at which you can find fiction.

Collections in English language fiction are strong along with Zulu language fiction.


Print books


Books may be borrowed for particular time periods depending on your year of study. They are arranged according to subject matter, using the Dewey Decimal Classification system. The online library catalogue will help you find the books you need.

Some basic numbers for finding literature texts and commentaries are given below (Note that numbers may vary per campus library): Consult the catalogue for a fuller listing.

                                                                 Poetry         Drama       Fiction        Other

American literature in English:          811               812             813              814-819

English literature:                                 821               822             823              824-829 

(Shakespeare's works and criticism can be found at 822.33...)

South African literature in English:  Pmb at 828.99361....  Dbn at 823...

German literature:                               831               832             833              834-838

French literature:                                 841               842             843              844-849

Italian literature:                                   851               852             853              854-859

Afrikaans literature is found at           839.36

Dutch literature is found at                  839.31

African literatures are found at          896

Xhosa literature:                                  896.3985..

Zulu literature:                                     896.3986...


All libraries stock a range of print language dictionaries which are usually kept in the reference collection of the library.






Key reference works for Literary Studies

Reference books

These are books that are not loanable and may only be used in the library, for example, encyclopaedias and dictionaries. They are identified by the letter 'R' preceding the dewey number on the spine.

Language dictionaries can be found in the reference sections of each library at the 400's numbers.

The books listed below are available at the E.G. Malherbe Library (Dbn) and the Cecil Renaud Library (Pmb)

Some examples of literary dicitonaries and encyclopedias are:

eBooks and DVDs

The library has a growing collection of electronic books which can be found by searching on the online library catalogue . Some examples are listed below. In addition, links are provided to collections of electronic books.

The library also houses a varied collection of literature in DVD format such as Shakespearean plays, works of Jane Austen and others. All DVDs are listed in the catalogue.

Academic Reserves

Prescribed and recommended books in high demand are placed here. A two hour loan period is available during the day in order to provide access by as many people as possible. Material may not be removed from the library but may be borrowed overnight or weekends  and must be returned on Monday by 9am. An advanced booking system is available.

The books listed below are available at the E.G. Malherbe Library (Dbn) and the Cecil Renaud Library (Pmb)

Be warned! Late material is subject to heavy fines!

Some examples:

Generous bequest to Pmb library

The Pietermaritzburg campus library has been left a large sum of money by the late Elizabeth Paterson who was once head of the English department on the campus. The bequest stipulates the purchase of 'classics of English literature during the period 1300 AD and 1950 AD in book form'. The bequest will be useful for bolstering various modules particularly that of the English novel,  will help fill gaps in the library collection and buy more recent editions of texts.

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