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Women in Medieval Society: Encyclopedias and Subject Dictionaries

This is a guide to researching women in the Middle Ages in England and Western Europe

Encyclopedias and Subject Dictionaries

Daily Life of Women an Encyclopedia from Ancient Times to the Present  Reference HQ 9 .D324 2021

3 volumes.  Only online.  Detailed chronology.  Section on medieval period is pp. 324-355 and has sections on arts, economy and work, family and community life, recreation and social customs, and religious life.

Brill's Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages Main CB 351 .E5913 2017 v. 1-2

English translation of a German work.  Most entries by German scholars.  It is interdisciplinary, thematically arranged, critical, and is about the European Middle Ages.  Complete table of contents in both volumes.  214 pp. unannotated, overall bibliography at back of volume 2, contains references to books and articles in German, French, English, Italian.  V. 2, at back, also has alphabetical list of the topics covered, with vol. and page references.  Articles are signed by their authors.  No overall index.  Volume one contains the material on Society and Faith and Knowledge.  Volume two contains the entries on Literature, Fine Arts and Music, Economy, Technology, Living Environments and Conditions, and Constitutive Historical Events and Regions.  Table of contents is very detailed; start there.  Information on women:  see v. 1 pp. 151-175; 222-231 to start.

All Things Medieval, an Encyclopedia of the Medieval World  Main CB 351 .J675 2011 v. 1-2

Focus is the material culture of the Middle Ages. Further reading references.

Oxford Dictionary of the Middle Ages Main D 117 .O92 2010 v. 1-3

Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Anglo-Saxon England

Ancient Europe 80000 B.C.-1000 A.D.: Encyclopedia of the Barbarian World  Reference D 62 .A52 2004 v. 1-2

V. 1 covers Mesolithic to Copper Ages, c8000-2000 B.C.  V. 2 covers Bronze Age to early Middle Ages, c3000 B.C. - A.D. 1000.

Greenwood Encyclopedia of Global Medieval Life and Culture  Main CB 351 .G743 2009 v. 1-3

Covers the whole world during the period called medieval in Western Europe. v. 1 covers Europe and the  Americas.  V. 2 covers Africa and the Middle East.  V. 3 covers Asia and Oceania.  For each, there are: chronology, maps, overview and topical essays (historical overview, religion, economy, arts, society, science/technology, global ties), short entries for: people, ideas, events and terms, primary documents, and an appendix about dynasties of rulers.

Encyclopedia of Love, Courtship, and Sexuality through History  Reference HQ 21 .G67125 2008 v. 1-6

Women in the Middle Ages, an Encyclopedia. Main HQ 1143 .W643 2004 v. 1-2. Esp. good for its further reading references, which are in two categories, primary and secondary sources.

Women and Gender in Medieval Europe, an Encyclopedia. Main HQ 1147 .E85 W664 2006.

Reader's Guide to Women's Studies, Remote Storage HQ 1180 .R43 1998. Although titled "Reader's Guide" is more of a one volume dictionary, albeit with several further reading references at the beginning of each entry. Topical and biographical entries.

Lawler, Encyclopedia of Women in the Middle Ages,  Main HQ 1143 .L38 2001. Online ed. is 2007. Both topical and biographical entries, with further reading references.

Women's Studies Encyclopedia, Main HQ 1115 .W645 1989, v. 3. V. 3 has a series of articles on medieval women (noble/lay, peasants, religious, treatment of rape in literature and law, urban). Some further reading references.

Holy Roman Empire, a Historical Encyclopedia Main DD 125 .P385 2019 v. 1-2

Not actually very good on women; but new.  220 entries in 8 topical sections: government and politics, organization and administration, individual biography, groups and organizations, key events, military, objects and artifacts, key places.  Selection of primary documents at back of v. 2.  Chronology covers 800-1806.  Short, overall bibliography of secondary sources.  Bibliographic references follow the articles.  About the history and culture of the longest lasting European empire.  Each section has an overview essay followed by more specific topical essays.  All the work is by two scholars, Brian A. Pavlac, professor of history, King's College, Wilkes-Barre, Pa. and Elizabeth S. Lott, former dean of graduate programs of a liberal arts college, with a PhD in medieval Latin from Harvard, a translator and cataloger of medieval documents, college level Latin teacher, writer and editor.

Dictionary of the Middle Ages, Main  D 114 .D5 1982, v. 1-13

Lexikon des Mittelalters, Main D 101.5 .L4, Bd. 1-9

Cantor, Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages, Remote Storage D 114 .E53 1999. One volume, by a senior scholar and author of many books on the medieval period.

Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages, Reference D 114 .E53 2000 v. 1-2

New Dictionary of the History of Ideas, Main CB 9 .N49 2005 v. 1-6. Very, very useful for reading up on philosophies, ideas, and the authors associated with them. 

Encyclopedia of the Black Death

New Cambridge Medieval History, Main D 117 .N48 1995. Previous ed called Cambridge Medieval History, also in Main, D 117 .C3 and Remote Storage D 117 .C3 1924. A multi-volume text on the medieval period which is in the process of revision. In the process of revision.  Not all volumes of the latest edition may be online yet.

Oxford Illustrated History of Medieval Europe, Main D 102 .O94 1988. Similar to the above, but only one volume and with pictures. Using this or the New Cambridge... or one of the dictionaries or encyclopedias might help you choose a topic or get some ideas of how to narrow a topic to make it doable.

Medieval England, an Encyclopedia, Reference DA 129 .M43 1998. Topical and biographical entries. See women, women and the arts, women in middle English literature, women in old English literature. Both primary and secondary further reading references.

Historical Dictionary of Late Medieval England, 1272-1485, Main DA 175 .H56 2002. Biographical and topical articles with further reading references. See women, marriage, monasticism. Also has a subject index.

Dictionnaire de la France Médiévale, Main DC 60.6 .F38 1993. Topical and biographical entries. In French. See femme, mariage.

Duby and Perrot, eds. History of Women in the West, Main HQ 1121 .S79513 1992 v. 1-2. A text. V. 1 from ancient goddesses to Christian saints. V. 2 silences of the Middle Ages. For topic ideas, narrowing, and reading up.

Aries and Duby, eds. History of Private Life, Main HN 8 .H5713 1987. A text. V.1 from pagan Rome to Byzantium. V. 2 revelations of the medieval world. For topic ideas, narrowing, and reading up.

Oxford Classical Dictionary, Main and DMC 4 West DE 5 .O9 2003

Oxford Companion to Classical Civilization, Remote Storage DE 5 .O92 1998

Late Antiquity, a Guide to the Postclassical World, Remote Storage DE 5 .L29 1999. Has chapters on religious communities, the good life, habitat, among others. This is followed by a dictionary portion with both topical and biographical entries.

Lexikon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Art Library Reference NX 650 .M9 L48.

Lexikon der Christlichen Ikonographie, Remote Storage BV 150 .A85 v. 1

Index of Christian Art, Large database of medieval art. Full-text records for over 23, 000 works of art from early apostolic times to 1400. Works classified by details of subject and iconography, as well as artist's name, title of work, and medium. Some color images online. Other images may be found in publications in the bibliographic references accompanying the entries. Bibliography has 18,000 references covering iconography, art history, archaeology, religion, classical studies. For other works in book form, such as the above work, use the subject heading Christian art and symbolism-dictionaries in our online catalog.

Carolingian and Romanesque Architecture, 800-1200, Remote Storage NA 365 .C6 1987. A text in a noted series of art history texts. To read up on a topic and help narrow it appropriately.

New Catholic Encyclopedia, Main BX 841 .C25 2003 v. 1-14. Might be interesting to see how entries to do with women have changed since the 1913 or 1967 editions, which are in Main or Oversize 3 West.

Encyclopedia of Global Historical Writing, Main D 13 .G47 1998 v. 1-2. Useful if you wanted to study the work of a particular historian of the medieval period. Here you can read about him/her, find a list of the author's works, and get further reading suggestions. Also entries for old and new forms of writing about the past.

Dictionary of Military History and the Art of War, Main U 24 .D4913 1994. Should you need a dictionary about these subjects.

Handbook of Dates for Students of English History, Main DA 34 .H29 2000. History of Julian and Gregorian calendars. Lists of English rulers, popes, saints' and other festival days, dates for Easter, legal chronology.