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Michigan State University

Renaissance or Early Modern Material Culture: ONLINE CATALOG

This is a guide to researching the Renaissance/Early Modern Period, in the West, especially material culture.


It is possible to do a quick and dirty, one box keyword search of the contents of the MSU Libraries' web site, starting at the top left of the Libraries' home page.  The results will be sorted into several categories to follow up on:  articles from journals, books/media from our online catalog, databases, library research guides like this one, other.  To do a more traditional search, read on.

Use Books and Media (online catalog). The Library of Congress List of Subject Headings tells the headings to use for a subject search.  It is a set of fat, red books found in the Reference Collection, first floor East, at Z 695...

Or, use keyword searches until finding a really useful book on the topic. Then, near the bottom of the catalog record, notice the subject headings for that book. Click on the most useful subject headings in the record to be taken to more books on that/those topics.

The sub-headings “social life and customs”, “social conditions” or “social and economic conditions” are sometimes used under the main subject headings to describe daily life kinds of topics.

Another way to find useful material is by following up on the suggested further readings found in encyclopedias, dictionaries, and general texts in this field.  These are recommended in other sections of this research guide.  Look up the author (surname first) and/or title of the work in the online catalog.

Here are some potentially useful and commonly used subject headings for this kind of research, taken from the LCLSH. These topics may also be helpful in thinking of a subject to research. Use subject search.

Architecture history
Beverages history
Book industries and trade [country]
Books and reading
Books and reading [country] history [period]
Child rearing
Children history
Christmas history
Church architecture
[City name] history
[City name] social life and customs
City and town life [country]
Clothing and dress
Conduct of life
Consumption economics social aspects
[Country] courts and courtiers drama
Country homes [country]
Country homes [country] history
Courts and courtiers drama
Coffee early works to 1800
Conduct of life
Conduct of life early works to 1800
Cookery early works to 1800
[Country name] civilization
[Country name; i.e. Great Britain, France, etc.] history [15th c. or 16th c. or 17th c.]
[Country name] social conditions [time period, as above]
[Country name] social life and customs [time period, as above]
Dance history
Dance folk and national dances
Dance music
Education history
English drama 17th century
Family history
Food history
Funeral rites and ceremonies [country]
Gardens history
Globe theater
Guilds [country name; city name]
Guilds history
Historic buildings [country, town, county, or place]
Home economics
Home economics early works to 1800
Home economics history
Home economics [country]
Infants [country]
Infant care [country]
Landscape architecture
Military weapons Europe
Military weapons history
Moral education
Needlework [country]
Needlework history
Pets history
Public architecture
Recipes early works to 1800
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616 dramatic production
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616 stage history
Spice trade
Sports history
Tea early works to 1800
Tea [country]
Theater architecture
Theater history [period]
Toys history
Toys in art
Women history [15th c. or 16th c. or 17th c.]
Women social conditions
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