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Medieval West - Additional Web Resources: General and History A-K

This is a guide to free web sites about the Medieval West: general and history, images, law, literature, science, women, philosophy, religion, scholarly organnizations, scholarly discussion lists. Lat updated 06-13-2023

General and History A-K

 A couple of general, significant web sites, followed by an alphabetical list.  At the very end are some links to databases.

Medieval and Renaissance Studies

This guide is a list of scholarly resources in Medieval, Renaissance, and Early Modern Studies. Intended primarily for librarians; it may be useful to scholars in this field.  It is curated and managed by members of the European Studies Section (ESS) of the Association of College & Research Libraries. Users are free to copy and edit content from this guide for their own purposes.

Medieval Academy of America--Medieval Digital Resources

These web resources are offered through the web site of the Medieval Academy of America, the largest organization in the United States promoting excellence in the field of medieval studies. The Medieval Academy supports research, publication, and teaching in medieval art, archaeology, history, law, literature, music, philosophy, religion, science, social and economic institutions, and all other aspects of the Middle Ages.

Alphabetical List begins here.

APICES Association Paleographique Internationale: Culture, Ecriture, Societe

has a developing database called Nouvelles Cotes-New Shelfmarks, International Index of Medieval Books Recently Acquired by Public Libraries [in The United States, United Kingdom, Israel, France, Germany, Italy, Denmark, Belgium, and Australia]. Public libraries here includes university libraries. Has a list of newest acquisitions. Two indexes: holding institution and a general index (authors and titles). APICES members study the history of writing (ancient and medieval scripts), books and documents, both in their physical aspects and in their content, and the persons and institutions connected with making, using and keeping them.

Archives Portal Europe

The Archives Portal Europe provides access to information on archival material from different European countries as well as information on archival institutions throughout the continent.  You can search with keywords.  There is also a directory where you can find institutions by country and type.

Bavarian State Library (Munich. Germany)--Digital Collections

Has a very extensive digital collection of 15th-century material.  Search the "Digital Collections" not the "OPAC" for materials available online.  Complete books can be downloaded as Adobe Reader files.

Bibliotheca Palatina Digital

A virtual reconstruction of the former crown jewel of Germany's libraries.  One of the consequences of the Thirty Years' War was that the most important collection of books in the 17th century Holy Roman Empire, the Bibliotheca Palatina, was divided between two principal locations: Heidelberg and the Vatican. Since 2001, Heidelberg University Library has been working on several projects that aim to digitize parts of this great collection, the final goal being a complete virtual reconstruction of the 'mother of all libraries'.

Bibliotheca Philadelphiensis

The online home for documentation and progress reports on PACSCL’s medieval manuscript digitization project. BiblioPhilly (nickname for the project) includes  high-resolution images of more than 160,000 pages of European medieval and early modern codices — virtually all of the holdings of  PACSCL member libraries ( Public, academic, museum, and institute libraries in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Delaware). Images may be downloaded by the page, by the manuscript, or by the collection, under a Creative Commons license.  Access the images via the OPenn repository, through the searchable interface, and through the collection on the Internet Archive

Bibliotheque Municipale (Lille, France)  

Has some medieval manuscripts concerning Lille's history.

Bodleian Library Oxford England

Some images of 15th-century books.

British Isles Online Primary Resources

This is a guide to the major electronic resources M.S.U. Libraries has bought or is subscribing to about/from the British Isles.

British Library London England

The catalog of the British Library illuminated manuscripts collection includes hundreds of photos of sample leaves.

British Library: Anglo-Saxons

Ongoing digital project focuses on the time period from "the end of Roman rule in Britain to the Norman Conquest of England" and covers "who [the Anglo-Saxons] were, where they came from, their culture, their influence on modern-day Britain, and more."

British Manuscripts Project Database

Lists the contents of 2,652 reels of microfilm containing reproductions of manuscripts and some rare printed materials found in the libraries in England and Wales, covering from medieval times to the 18th century. Based on: British manuscripts project : a checklist of the microfilms prepared in England and Wales for the American Council of Learned Societies, 1941-1945 / compiled by Lester K. Born, coordinator of microreproduction projects. Washington, D.C. : Library of Congress, 1955. xvii, 179 p. ; 29 cm. Includes bibliographical references. During WWII manuscripts removed from London for safe-keeping were microfilmed. University of Michigan Libraries owns copies of the microfilms that were made. The 179 page bibliography shows which mss were filmed. University of Michigan Libraries' Humanities Text Initiative digitized the print bibliography and made it searchable by words in the entry, title, author, repository, and shelfmark. What does MSU Libraries own? Our copy of the print bibliography is in the Microform Guides section, outside the Copy Center, 2nd floor west, Z 6620 .G7 U5 1968. We have some of the microfilms, call number #27736: ALN 40/3,ALN 50/4,ALN 56/2,ALN 67/2,ALN 69/2.

Center for Research Libraries Medieval Studies Topic Guide

A guide online informing users about the medieval studies materials available at the Center for Research Libraries in Chicago.  Materials desired may be borrowed in interlibrary loan.

CORSAIR, the Online Collection of the Pierpont Morgan Library

Provides searchable records for 15,000 plus digitized images from the Pierpont Morgan Library's rich collection of medieval and Renaissance manuscript books, with links to each. 

Daily Life Through History in Primary Documents

Explore the daily lives of people from major world cultures throughout history, as presented in their own words. Bringing useful and engaging material into world history classrooms, this rich collection of historical documents and illustrations provides insight into major cultures from all continents. Hundreds of thematically organized, annotated primary documents, and over 100 images introduce aspects of daily life throughout the world, including domestic life, economics, intellectual life, material life, politics, religion, and recreation, from antiquity to the present.

Dictionary of Medieval Names from European Sources

Writers, historians, linguists, and the generally curious may all enjoy the Dictionary of Medieval Names from European Sources (DMNES). This ongoing project "aims to document all given names recorded in European sources written between 500 and 1600." As its name suggests, visitors to DMNES will find a wealth of information on hundreds of first names that the project's scholars have traced back to Medieval European usage. Many of these names are still commonly used today, such as Anthony and Elizabeth, but many others, such as Brunissende and Dadbert, may be less familiar. Each name's entry contains (when known) its standardized form, gender association, linguistic etymology, and important medieval namesakes. Also included are citations of medieval literature that used the name, including the geographic area, language, year, spelling variants, and any diminutives or nicknames, along with other information. Visitors may browse the dictionary alphabetically, and the project also provides a useful guide to help understand the entries' structure. First published in 2015 and followed by multiple updated editions, DMNES is led by Sara L. Uckelman, an assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy at Durham University in the UK (info. from Scout Report).

Digital Medieval Manuscripts at the Houghton Library

The Houghton Library's distinguished collection of medieval and Renaissance manuscripts represents a significant resource for the study of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance in Western Europe. Assembled through gifts and purchase over the past two centuries, this collection includes works in Latin, Greek, and most of the vernacular languages of Europe that are the primary sources for the study of the literature, art, history, music, philosophy, and theology of the periods. This Web site provides strategies for searching Houghton's medieval manuscripts as well as links to bibliographies related to these materials that were compiled by the Library.

Digital Scriptorium

The Digital Scriptorium is an image database of medieval and renaissance manuscripts, intended to unite scattered resources from many institutions into an international tool for teaching and scholarly research. Medieval and renaissance manuscripts lie at the core of the work of scholars in a great number of fields: medievalists from many disciplines, classicists for the transmission of classical texts, art historians, musicologists, codicologists, paleographers, diplomatists, to begin to name the categories. Special emphasis is placed on dated manuscripts, to provide ready access to these touchstone materials that will ultimately advance the entire field. It fosters public viewing of materials otherwise available only within libraries. Four search methods: manuscript search terms: library, shelfmark, binding, provenance; part search terms: country, date, scribe, artist, etc.; text search terms: author, title, language, incipit, etc.; and by shelfmark. Includes mss from many U.S. academic libraries.

Digitized Manuscripts British Library

Many of the B.L.'s most important medieval manuscripts are being digitized and added to the website on an ongoing basis, as part of the Library’s commitment to the preservation and conservation of these manuscripts, and to providing access to all who would like to do research on them.

Directory of Royal Genealogical Data

This is a searchable database on European royalty from ancient times to the present. Find monarchs’ birth and death dates, dates of accession, places of burial, significant accomplishments, parents’ names, marriages, names of children.

E-Codices, Virtual Manuscript Library of Switzerland

Goal "is to provide free online access to medieval and early modern manuscripts from public, private, and church-owned collections" in Switzerland.  2,200 digitized manuscripts totalling over 800,000 pages from some 100 participating libraries and collections.   Side by side viewing allows comparison of pages.  Index by person.  Index of annotations.  Broad searches can be refined by a facets such as library/Collection, country of origin, and whether a manuscript is illuminated or not.  Few iof them were originally written in English but all static pages and basic metadata on the website are available in English, as well as German, French, and Italian.  Project founded by Christoph Flueler, a prof. of manuscript studies and medieval Latin at U. of Fribourg.  Since 2013 this project is  part of Scientific Information: Access, Processing and Safeguarding, which is a national program of swissuniversities, the umbrella organization for universities in Switzerland.

Early European Books (EEB) Collection 12

These primary sources are only accessible to MSU Community people. Contains about 1,200 titles from the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris. Collection 12 contains works on French history, beginning with the times of ancient Gaul and continuing through the Middle Ages up to and including the early modern period. The titles include royal biographies and genealogy, provincial chronicles, memoirs of senior statesmen, ecclesiastical history, works on classical times, histories of Europe, of the Middle East, of the Holy Land and accounts of the New World, works on military history, antiquities and numismatics.  Dates of printing are from the earliest incunabula (pre 1501 items) to items dating from the late 17th century.  Search by place of publication, publisher/printer, subject heading, USTC classification code, title, author, or keyword.  Most items published Paris.  Full texts may be seen in PDF form or as "image full texts", like a facsimile.

Early Manuscripts at Oxford University

This site provides access to over 80 early manuscripts now in institutions associated with the University of Oxford (Balliol College, Bodleian Library, Corpus Christi College, Jesus College, Magdalen College, Merton College, St. John's College), to create wider availability for fragile materials. The site is now in the care of Oxford Digital Library.

English Historical Documents

Provides modernized English language texts for major primary sources in English history from 500 to 1914, including American Colonial era documents. Browse by subjects (technology, foreign affairs, etc.), chronological timeline, or by original published volume order. Search by keyword or use advanced search for specific document title, personal name, or place name. Based on the print series (Main DA 26 .E55) edited by David C. Douglas.

EuroDocs: Primary Historical Documents from Western Europe  see link at bottom of this page.

European History Primary Sources

Provides links to free scholarly websites of digitized primary documents and online digital archives on European history.  Browse by country, language, period, subject, or type of source.

France-England: Medieval Manuscripts Between 700 and 1200

Joint project between BNF and BL.  Brings together manuscript treasures from a time when the cultural, political and religious interchange between Britain and France was unfolding at many levels.Created by the Bibliothèque Nationale de France based on the Gallica marque blanche infrastructure, using the IIIF standard and Mirador viewer to make the images held by the different institutions interoperable and enable them to be compared side-by-side within the same digital library or annotated.

Free Online Palaeography Resources

Palaeography is the art of reading old handwriting, especially that used prior to 1750.  This is a guide to books on this subject, to free online resources for learning how to, and some places that offer courses/workshops.

French of England Website

Facilitates access to material on the French documents of England, including bibliography, syllabi, translations, lists of scholars in the field, by Maryanne Kowaleski, Fordham University.

French of Italy Website

To increase awareness of French-language texts composed and copied in medieval Italy, by Maryanne Kowaleski, Fordham University.

French of Outremer Website

Covers French-language texts composed in the medieval Latin kingdoms of the Middle East, by Mryanne Kowaleski, Fordham University.


Web site from Bibliotheque Nationale (Paris, france).  Includes manuscripts and printed editions from medieval and modern works.  Some are digitized from microfilm.

Gazetteer of Markets and Fairs in England and Wales to 1516 

This is a catalogue of markets and fairs in medieval England and Wales, the first such comprehensive national survey. Access is by county, place name, person, or institution. The full introduction explains the primary and secondary sources used to build the database. Primary sources include charter rolls, close rolls, printed collections of grants and royal acts, letters, chancery and exchequer materials, pipe rolls, patent rolls.

Gesamtkatalog der Wiegendrucke

An ongoing project to catalog all 15th-century printed books from Europe.  Very useful for specific data, but not an image service.  Provides links back to the ISTC, for which see below.

Global Medieval Sourcebook

From Stanford University.  Online, interactive collection of medieval texts and their translations.  Includes documents written from 600-1600 in Europe, North Africa, Middle East, and Asia.  Features shorter texts never before translated into English.  Offers non-experts a gateway into the literature of the Middle Ages.  Compare English translations with original languages and see high-quality images of the mss themselves.  Some audio recordings.  Each text is accompanied by an introduction and a bibliography of suggestions for further reading.

Global Middle Ages

This is one section of a University of Illinois libguide on the Middle Ages.  "The main goal [of this section] is to include a broader and more robust study of the medieval period beyond the borders of Western Europe."

Global Middle Ages Project

This project is an ambitious effort by an international collaboration of scholars to see the world whole, c. 500 to 1500 CE, to deliver the stories of lives, objects, and actions in dynamic relationship and change across deep time.

Hidden Collections Registry

Provides access to previously hidden or unprocessed library, archives, and museum collections whose owners have received grants to catalog and make the contents accessible online from the Council on Library and Information Resources.  You can search the database by broad topic, such as British studies, medieval studies, etc., or by keyword.  You can limit results by collection name, by institution type, by format. 

Hill Monastic Manuscript Library 

Founded in 1965 at St. John’s University in Minnesota, this is a library of 25 million pages from 90,000 volumes of medieval and Renaissance sources, on microfilm, from libraries in Europe used for scholarly research. Their virtual Library, vHMML, offers resources and tools for the study of manuscripts and currently features manuscript cultures from Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia. The site houses high-resolution images of manuscripts, many of them digitized as part of HMML’s global mission to preserve and share important, endangered, and inaccessible manuscript collections through digital photography, archiving, and cataloging. It also contains descriptions of manuscripts from HMML's legacy microfilm collection, with scans of some of these films.  The HMML Authority File is being developed with an NEH grant.  Staff are identifying and standardizing understudied and unknown names of individuals, families, places, organizations, and titles of works used to describe and search manuscripts. The standardized or authorized names and titles, also called authority files, are added to HAF as part of HMML’s work to catalog manuscripts in in the online digital manuscript database,

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.

History of Parliament

The History of Parliament is a research project creating a comprehensive account of parliamentary politics in England, then Britain, from their origins in the thirteenth century. It consists of detailed studies of elections and electoral politics in each constituency, and of closely researched accounts of the lives of everyone who was elected to Parliament in the period, together with surveys drawing out the themes and discoveries of the research and adding information on the operation of Parliament as an institution.  Has some content for the High Middle Ages.

History On-Line (U.K)

U.K. emphasis. 40,000 records provide details of books and articles, U.K. university lecturers, U.K. current and past research and evaluated links to web sites and on-line resources. Links to archives, museums, libraries in U.K. and Ireland. Some developing topical sections.

How They Lived: an Annotated Tour of Daily Life Through History in Primary Sources

Humbul Humanities Hub

Hosted by University of Oxford to provide high quality links to humanities web resources for the U.K. scholarly and educational community. Relevant subject categories: history, manuscript studies, English studies, French studies, etc. History can be searched by period.

In the Bigynnyng: Manchester Middle English Manuscripts

The University of Manchester Library's Middle English manuscripts are of paramount importance to key subject areas, including literature, history, theology, linguistics and art history. The manuscripts include key works of medieval literature, such as the Canterbury Tales and John Lydgate's two major poems, the Troy Book and Fall of Princes. There are also numerous copies of the New Testament, translated into English by John Wycliffe, the fourteenth-century radical and church reformer. Other notable works include several copies of the Brut, the medieval history of England, meditations on the life of Christ, a legal commonplace book and medical recipes.

Interactive Historical Atlas of the Disciplines

Aims at collecting and mapping data related to the history of the disciplinary structure of science. Launched in 2018 at the University of Geneva, this collaborative website provides several tools to explore the various 'classifications of the sciences' put forward by numerous scholars over the centuries, and to visualize the evolution of disciplinary borders from Antiquity to our days.
The ultimate goal of this project is to reconstruct the genealogical tree of the sciences, namely, the "table of contents" of the history of human knowledge. As such, the present atlas should be of interest not only to historians, but also to philosophers, sociologists and anyone interested in the history of their discipline and its relations to others sciences.

Internet Global History Sourcebook

The Global History Sourcebook is dedicated to exploration of interaction between world cultures. It does not, then, look at ''world history''as the history of the various separate cultures (for that see the linked pages, which do take that approach), but at ways in which the "world" has a history in its own right. Specifically this means looking at the ways in which cultures contact each other, the ways they influence each other, and the ways new cultural forms emerge.

Irish Resources in the Humanities

Developed at University College, Dublin. Has sections on various humanities disciplines, within which links and online resources may be found. Has CELT, Corpus of Electronic Texts, which includes full text of documents from the Middle Ages and other historical periods in Irish, Latin, Anglo-Norman French, French, and English. Has an advanced search permitting searching across the various disciplines, too.

ISTC Incumabula Short Title Catalog

Has information on libraries and other institutions that own copies of 15th-century printed books, the catalog records of the books.

Italian Paleography

Catalogs more than 100 Italian papers and manuscripts from the 14th to 18th centuries, presented alongside "tools for deciphering them and learning about their social, cultural, and institutional settings." Paleography is a discipline concerned with studying "histories of handwriting," across various mediums, in context with the relationship between the physical presentation and content of writing.  In addition to a summary and information on the document's subject matter, most records include links to a brief background essay in English and a transcription of the manuscript in Italian.  The project is a collaboration between The Newberry, University of Toronto Libraries, and St. Louis University, with editors and contributors from around the world and support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. All of the content is available under a Creative Commons license.

Iter Italicum.  See link at the bottom of this page.

Knighthood, Chivalry, and Tournaments Resource Library

Contains information/resources about: spectator activities during medieval tournaments, chivalry, swordsmanship, arms and armory, knighthood, history, and resources for children.  From Education Reference Desk, Draper Utah, Tyson Stevens, Outreach.