Research tools and their pitfalls for Donne studies
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This article discusses the strengths, shortcomings, and significance of some fundamental research tools for Donne studies both in print and online. Included are assessments of the commentary in the Donne Variorum, some online tools and electronic repositories, various concordances for studying linguistic patterns, bibliographies, and research guides. A cautionary word: while these short-cuts can streamline the process of gathering materials, reading an index to the Sermons cannot replace careful study of Donne's writings, just as reading an annotated bibliography cannot substitute for engaging with the critical tradition that has interpreted Donne's writings. Combs and Sullens's A Concordance to the English Poems of John Donne has provided yeoman service since 1940. Combs and Sullens list guide-words in bold type followed by the full line in which the word appears along with an abbreviated reference. Another online resource for Donne studies is the electronic archive of John Donne Sermons in the Digital Collections at Brigham Young University Library. Oxford University Press 2011. All rights reserved.
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The Oxford Handbook of John Donne