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Medieval and Renaissance/Early Modern Studies: Getting Started: Home

This is GETTING STARTED: Medieval Studies and Renaissance/Early Modern Studies. Getting Started guides point to the primary index(es) you need to find articles on a topic. Use it to learn a few KEY resources to get started in your research. Last updated

Periodical Indexes--Basic Reference Works--Links to More Detailed Guides

Reference works--Medieval period

Oxford Dictionary of the Middle Ages  Main D 117 .O92 2010 v. 1-4

Covers all key aspects of European history, society, and culture from 500 to 1500 A.D., as well as the Byzantine Empire, Islamic dynasties, and Asiatic peoples of the era. It is designed both for medievalists, who need a detailed and reliable reference tool, and for students and general readers seeking an accessible guide to the period. Over 800 scholars have assembled thousands of comprehensive entries, lavishly supplemented by hundreds of illustrations and dozens of maps. Balanced coverage of both the whole geographical extent of the European Middle Ages (including Germany and Austria, Spain and Portugal, the Low Countries, and Central and Eastern Europe, amongst many others), and of numerous major topics, from art and architecture, medicine, and law, to archaeology, ecclesiastical history, and languages and literature.

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

Online ed. is OUP 2006. A collaborative work of over 600 scholars from more than forty countries, the Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages provides 3,000 concise and detailed articles on all aspects of the period from the fifth to the fifteenth century. It explores art, architecture, religion, law, science, language, philosophy, and theology, as well as cultural, religious, intellectual, social and political history. With a focus on focus on Europe and Christendom, the Encyclopedia also covers the rise of Islam and people of other cultures with whom Europeans came into contact. 

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

Link to v. 1 is above.  Link to v. 2Link to v. 3. Bibliographic essays of some length, arranged alphabetically through the three volumes.  Select Bibliography follows each signed article.  Bibliography of primary sources and extensive bibliography of secondary sources at back of volume 3.  Overall index in v. 3.  Articles on such topics as architecture, visual arts, astronomy, children and childhood, cities, communication, death, friendship, God, education and schooling, horses, Islamic Spain, roads, rural world.  Many disciplines and countries covered.

Medieval West-Reference Sources is a more detailed guide.

Reference works--Renaissance or Early Modern period

Oxford Bibliographies Online

Digital collection of bibliographies on topics in the humanities and social sciences meant to be a guide to core literature. Entries include an introduction to the topic (much like a short encyclopedic entry), and citations to general overviews and other types of material related to the topic, such Handbooks & Guides, Reference Works, Textbooks, Image Collections, or Journals. Citations are annotated and may be linked to full text available to the library user.  The link given here is to OBO in toto.  Once in, click on Advanced Search, top right, enter your search terms, choose full text search, and select Renaissance and Reformation as subject category at the page bottom. 

It is also possible to enter the Oxford Bibliographies Online: Renaissance and Reformation directly here.  Once in you will see a list of broad topics arranged alphabetically to choose from.

Encyclopedia of the Renaissance CB 361 .E53 1999 v. 1-6 Reference

Lengthy entries.  Bibliographies follow articles and include both primary and secondary sources.  List of all entries in v. 1, also chronology.  Some illustrations.

Europe 1450-1789 Encyclopedia of the Early Modern Period D 209 .E97 2004 v. 1-6 Reference

Longer articles.  Some illus.  Bibliographies follow articles.

Renaissance or Early Modern Material Culture is a more detailed guide.

Contact the librarian

Agnes Haigh Widder, Humanities Bibliographer
Michigan State University Libraries
366 W. Circle Dr. E 208A
East Lansing, Mich. 48824
517-432-3532 fax