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Women in Medieval Society: Online Catalog

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

Online Catalog

It is possible to do a quick and dirty, one box keyword search starting at the left side 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.

Below the general search box, click on Books and Media to search for physical, paper/cloth bound books, paper/cloth bound journals, physical media, such as DVDs or microforms, or individually cataloged electronic items.

In Books and Media, click on the down arrow on the right side of the form where it says "Catalog."  Choose the type of search you want to do.  In the box to the right put in your search terms.  Enter author's name either last name, first name or first name last name.  Omit initial articles in book titles; include them as they occur within the book title itself.  To search by L.C. subject heading, it may be better to use the Browse Alphabetically Browse by Subject search lower down in the list than Catalog: Subject, because those results will show the surrounding subject headings and number of hits retrieved.  After you receive your results notice that you can filter them in various ways by using the facets along the left side of the page.

Advanced search allows for combination of more than one search aspect, such as author and title, subject headings and keywords (Any Field), or several lines of keywords.  You can also confine your results to particular parts of our Libraries' collections by using the Location area on lower right of the screen. 

Below the general search box, click on E Books and Journals to search for journals in electronic form or individual electronic books that will have been received by the Library in a package.  You may need to check both Books and Media and E Books and Journals to find your electronic book.

The Library of Congress' List of Subject Headings, a set of fat, red books in Reference first floor, East Wing Z 696... contains the official L.C. subject headings. Subject headings are standardized words and phrases assigned to each book based upon catalogers' examination of the books' contents.  Below is a list of possibly useful L.C. subject headings.  Use Books and Media Browse Alphabetically Browse by Subject search.

You can also do a keyword (Any Field) search using words you hope to find in book titles.  In your search results, for books that look particularly useful to you, notice their subject headings found within their catalog records.  Click on those subject headings to find more books on that/those topics, if we have any.

Here is is a list of possibly useful L.C. subject headings.  Use Books and Media Browse Alphabetically Browse by Subject search.

the most basic one: women--history--Middle Ages, 500-1500


civilization, medieval

conduct of life

courtly love in literature

didactic literature

France--history--medieval period, 987-1515

history, medieval

Iberian peninsula

Queens [country]--history

social history--medieval, 500-1500

upper class women--history

women--Byzantine Empire

women--economic conditions

women--England--history--Middle Ages, 500-1500


women--Italy--history--Middle Ages, 500-1500




women--social conditions



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Terrie Wilson
Humanities Coordinator and Head, Art Library
Michigan State University