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Medieval West - Reference Sources: Guides to the Literature - General and History

This is a guide to reference sources on the medieval West: guides to the literature, periodical indexes, encyclopedias/dictionaries, atlases/maps, biography, book length bibliographies. Last updated 06-13-2023

Guides to the Literature - General and History

Handbook of Medieval Culture, Fundamental Aspects and Conditions of the European Middle Ages, ed. by Albrecht Classen  Reference CB 351 .H227 2015 v. 1-3 

Alphabetically arranged topical chapters through the three volumes, by individual scholars.  Topics included: animals/birds/fish, architecture, visual arts, astrology/alchemy/occult sciences, astronomy, Bible/Biblical exegesis, children/childhood, chivalry/knighthood, church and clergy, cities, communication, convivencia/conquest medieval Spain, courts/aristocracy, daily life, death, dreams/dream theory, dwarves/trolls/ogres/giants, education/schooling, execrement/waste, fashion, fairy/elves, feudalism in lit. and society, foods/cookbooks, foreigners/fear, forest/river/mountain/field/meadow, friendship, games/pastimes, God, Greek Orthodox Church, hell/purgatory/Heaven, horses/equitation, hunting/hawking/fowling/fishing, illness/death, Islamic Spain, Jewish culture and lit. in England, languages, law in lit. and society, literature, love/sex/marriage, magic/divination, medicine, medieval manuscripts, memory/recollection/forgetting, merchants, metrology, millenarianism, monasticism, money/banking/economy, monsters, music, numbers, numismatics, old age, Papacy/Pan-European culture, patrons/arts/audiences, poverty, public opinion/popular culture, religious conflict, revolt/revolution, roads/streets/bridges/travelers, rural world/peasants, saints/relics, senses/sensing, sermon, ships/seafaring, threats/dangers/catastrophes, time/timekeeping, travel/exploration, university, war/peace, weapons/warfare/seige machinery/training in arms, witchcraft/superstition.  Chapters are extensive, with select bibliographies.  Bibliography at end of vol. 3 includes both primary and secondary sources and is 303 pages!  3 indexes: personal name topics, general topics, titles of works of the period.

Handbook of Medieval Studies, ed. by Albrecht Classen  Main D 116 .H37 2010 v. 1-3

Interdisciplinary.  "Provides extensive information about research in medieval studies and its most important results over the last decades.  4 parts: 1. articles on all of the  main disciplines and discussions in the field. 2. articles on key concepts of modern medieval studies and debates therein.  3.  lexicon of most important text genres of the Middle Ages.  4.  international bio-bibliographical lexicon of the most prominent medievalists in all disciplines.  Comprehensive bibliography at end.  Exhaustively documents current status of research in medieval studies and brings the disciplines and experts of the field together."

Inventory of Late Antique Historiography (A.D. 300-800) ed. by Peter Van Nuffelen and Lieve Van Hoof.  Main Z 7791 .C53 2020

Part of Corpus Christianorum.  Table of contents at back refers to discussion of the topics in the Introduction which has pagination in Roman numerals.  These topics cover genres of history: secular, ecclesiastical, sacred, chronicles.  Then, "neighboring" genres: oratory, poetry, epistolography, reports, geography, exegesis, biography, novels.  And then there is a section of Forms: epitome, translation, excerpt collection, compilation. Arrangement of the entries of the book is alphabetical by historian name.   Provides very brief biographical information and a list of the works of the person.  For the works of the historians, ancient title is provided, genre, language, date, place, preservation status of work, length, coverage, remarks, bibliography of editions/translations and bibliography of secondary sources on it.  Several indexes, among them: author names, authors per century, authors per social status, all titles, titles per language, works per genre, coverage per century, works per place, works per state of preservation, manuscripts.   Entries are signed by initials of the scholars who wrote the entries.

SULAIRL: Medieval Studies

Research guide by John Rawlings from Stanford University.  Research tools: primary source collections, subject bibliography, manuscript guides and auxiliary references.  Cross-disciplinary within topics covered.  In progress.

American Historical Association's Guide to Historical Literature, Ref. and Main, D 20 .A55 1995 v. 1, section 20 "Medieval Europe." Also online: American Historical Association Guide to Historical Literature. See the layout of the section on p. 625. Chronological approach with sub-sections on geographic areas. Short annotations. Points to book length material only. Information on reference sources is limited. Emphasis is on good books in the field to read. No references to materials published after 1995.

Cahiers de Civilisation Medievale  Remote Storage CB 351 .A1 C3 (back issues).  Current issues in PRR, 2nd floor West wing. 

DMC, 4 West has CD Rom of content 1983-2002.  Published since 1958 by Universite de Poitiers this aims to provide a comprehensive, current bibliography of monographs worldwide and listings of miscellany volumes (conference proceedings, essay collections, festschriften.) Full texts of  1958-2007 available online via PERSEE.  There will be overlap in content between this and International Medieval Bibliography (see the Annual Bibliographies and Index to Articles section of this research guide), but the latter is just an index to material, whereas the Cahiers... has some articles and a great many book reviews in each issue.

History Highway: a 21st Century Guide to Internet Resources Reference and DMC 4 West (CD) D 16.117 .H55 2006

An annotated bibliography of web sites.

Hamm, Term Paper Resource Guide to Medieval History Main D 118 .H235 2010

Chapters on famous events and people, arranged chronologically.  Each has a summary of the event, sample term paper topics, alternative topics, bibliographies of primary and secondary sources on the event, web sites, multimedia sources.

Paetow, Guide to the Study of Medieval History, 1931, rpt. 1959, rev. 1980. Main. Z 6203 .P19 1931 and 1980. Bibliographical works, reference works (dated), modern works (also dated), large collections of original sources, general history and medieval culture (dated).

Boyce, Literature of Medieval History, 1930-1975, a Supplement to Louis John Paetow's Guide to the Study of Medieval History, Main Z 6203 .P25 1980 Supp. V. 1-5. Similar arrangement to Paetow. Now also dated. But, as history resources seldom become completely useless overtime, depending on your project, this and Paetow are still worth knowing about and using.

Crosby, Medieval Studies, a Bibliographical Guide, Main and Fine Arts, Z 5579.5 .C76 1983. General bibliography on the period. Both topical chapters and chapters on the period in different countries. Points to other bibliographies, general works, collections of sources, in many disciplines, not only just history.

Powell, Medieval Studies, an Introduction, Main, D116 .M4 1992. Bibliographic essay format, with chapters on a range of medieval topics: Latin paleography, diplomacy, archaeology, art, English literature, law, science and natural philosophy, music, chronology, numismatics, Latin philosophies, computer assisted analysis of statistical documents of medieval life. Each chapter concludes with a bibliography of the works discussed.

Caenegem, Guide to the Sources of Medieval History, Main D 117 .C2213. Points to traditional primary, medieval sources from church records, legal records, charters and administrative records, governmental records, fiscal and socio-economic records. Info on libraries and archives and their holdings, as of the late 1970s. Great collections and repertories of sources. Reference works.

Caenegem, Manuel des Etudes Medievales, Main, D 117 .C23313 1997. Guide to Sources of Medieval History in French, a revision of the above, I think. Unfortunately, no table of contents. Mysteriouse! Useful to those whose French is tres bon!

History Highway 2000, a Guide to Internet Resources, Ref. D 16.255 .D65 H58 2000. Chapter on medieval history web sites, pp. 43-57. Look for the new 4th edition, 2006, on the shelf.

European History Highway, a Guide to Internet Resources, Main D 104 .E87 2002. No specific chapter on medieval history. See chapters on British history, French history, etc.

ORB, Online Reference Book for Medieval Studies, Electronic Resources page. Contains 1) ORB Encyclopedia, a chronological and geographical index of essays, bibliographies, images, documents, links and other resources, 2) ORB Textbook Library of full-length texts in medieval studies for classroom use, 3) ORB Reference Shelf of links to excerpts and full texts from primary and secondary sources in ORB or elsewhere on the internet, 4) Resources for Teaching, such as subject bibliographies, 5) external links to other web sites, 6) resources for non-specialists, 7) E-Texts, new transcriptions and/or translations of important medieval texts that have not previously been accessible in print or electronic format. There are also links to several other principal medieval studies web sites: Labyrinth, Internet Medieval Sourcebook, Netserf, Argos, World Wide Web Virtual Library Medieval.

Internet Medieval Sourcebook, Electronic Resources, Primary Sources. Extensive collection of medieval texts and excerpts for teaching and student research. Saints' lives, law material, secondary sources, medieval maps, texts in Spanish and French, links to other medieval web sites, a guide to medieval-themed films, and a guide to music from ancient times to Baroque, with recommended recordings.

Labyrinth: Resources for Medieval Studies, Electronic Resources, Primary Sources. From Georgetown University. Links to: databases, full texts of primary sources, images, bibliographies, catalogues, course materials, discussion lists, organizations, secondary books and articles, and video. Use either keyword searches or a combination of subject category and type of material desired.

Netserf: the Internet Connection for Medieval Resources, Electronic Resources, Primary Sources. A metasite of 1707 medieval-related links developed by Catholic University of America. Glossary of medieval terms. Simple and advanced searches. Topical arrangement. Sample topics: art, architecture, Arthuriana, civilizations, culture, drama, history, law, literature, music, people, philosophy, religions, science and technology, women. Research Center has links to libraries, museums, archives, bibliographies, organizations, journals.