Gateway for Medieval & Renaissance Studies


hand-picked resources selected by
Wichita State University's

Humanities Librarian

Full-page miniature of God creating the stars (1445). From the New York Public Library Digital Gallery.


Books and Journals WSU Databases and
Websites  Discussion Lists and Blogs

Books and Journals

Some Library of Congress call numbers useful for Medieval and Renaissance Studies include B:Philosophy; BL: Religion; CR: Chivalry and Knighthood; D: History; JC: Political Theory-Theory of the State; M: Music; ML: Literature of Music; ND: Illuminating of Manuscripts and Books; NX: Religious Arts; PC: Romance Languages; PD: Germanic and Scandinavian Languages; PE: English Language; PN: Drama, Theatre; PQ: Romance Literatures; PR: English Literature; and PT: Germanic Literatures.


The library owns the microfilm set of Early English Books, an excellent resource for finding primary source material on all subjects published in the British Isles and America from the 15th through 18th centuries. The films and indexes are located along the east wall of the Periodicals room on the library's main floor. Items are individually cataloged in the library's Online Catalog. Subject, title, and author indexes can also be searched using the English Short Title Catalogue of the British Library.


Current journals can be found in the Periodicals area on the main floor, while older issues are bound and placed in the stacks. Journals that either no longer publish or that are available in full text electronically may have been placed in Compact Shelving. Items that go into Compact Shelving can be used and checked out on the same terms as when they were in the general stacks, but they will have to be requested at the Circulation Desk.


The Reference Stacks, on the main floor, contain specialized encyclopedias, dictionaries, etc. These works are catalogued using the same LC system as books on the lower, second, and third floors, but they do not circulate.

Recommendations from the Reference Stacks:

  • The 13 volume Dictionary of the Middle Ages (1982) and the 6 volume Encyclopedia of the Renaissance (1999) are on Index Table 4 on the main floor

  • The 15 volume New Catholic Encyclopedia, 2nd ed. (2002) is at BX841.N44

  • The Encyclopedia of the Lutheran Church, 3 vols. (1965) is at BX8007.B6

  • The New Encyclopedia of Islam, 3rd ed. (2008) is on order. Check back for the call number.

  • An Historical Atlas of Islam (2002) is on the Atlas Stand

  • The 17 volume first edition of the Encyclopaedia Judaica (1972) is in with the Folio reference books at DS102.8.E5 and the less tall 22 volume second edition (2007) is at the same call number in normal order. Check both editions, as the second did not bring over everything from the first.

  • An Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Heraldry (1969) is at CR13.F7

  • Medieval folklore : an encyclopedia of myths, legends, tales, beliefs, and customs (2 vols.) (2000) is at GR35.M43

  • The Oxford Latin Dictionary (1982) is at E5.O9

  • The 10 volumes (bound in 5) of the 1954 Glossarium Mediae et Infimae Latinitatis are at PA2889.D8

  • The second edition of Cleasby's An Icelandic-English Dictionary (1969) and its Supplement are at PD2379.C5

  • The fourth edition of A Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary (1962) is at PE279.H3 and Bosworth and Toller's 1898 An Anglo Saxon Dictionary and Supplement are at PE279.B52

  • The multi-volume Middle English Dictionary (issued in fascicles, 1952-2001) is at PE679.M54

  • Lexer's 3 volume Mittelhochdeutsches Handwörterbuch (1970) is at PE4327.L4

  • The Dante Encyclopedia (2000) is at PQ4333.D36

  • The Oxford Shakespeare Concordances (1969-1973) to individual plays are at various call numbers beginning with PR2803.A79.A8

  • The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare (2001) is at PR2892.094 and is also available electronically via the library's subscription to Oxford Reference Online.

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WSU Databases and E-Resources
(also available off campus to current WSU students, staff, and faculty) 

Other WSU Libraries subject gateways you might find useful include English, Spanish, French, Philosophy, Religion, and History. Not restricted to WSU students, staff or faculty.


Use the WSU Libraries Online Catalog from the library's homepage to search for books and journals (but not journal articles). Hint: search Journal Title rather than Title when looking for journals and other periodicals. The catalog is available to the general public from offsite.  To contact a reference librarian by e-mail, telephone, or IM/chat, use WUKnows!  Not restricted to WSU students, staff or faculty.


Learn about Medieval and Renaissance Studies at WSU. Not restricted to WSU students, staff or faculty.


Listen to period music or get scores from WSU's Music Library, Room C116 Duerksen.


EndNote is software that helps you store and manage citations for your research projects and papers. It can format references and automatically create bibliographies using a variety of style manuals. Free to download for current WSU students, staff, and faculty.

See which electronic journals the WSU Libraries subscribes to, or search the Online Catalog for a specific title.

The WSU Libraries provides descriptions and links to netLibrary and a number of outside free E-Books sites.

Humanities Full Text and Social Sciences Full Text are two WilsonWeb databases are useful for finding material in Medieval and Renaissance studies, and they are cross-searchable. Here's a video on using WilsonWeb.

JSTOR is a collection of searchable full text, pdf-formatted journals in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. The journals go back to their first issues up to the last 3-5 years. In some cases there are links to more current content. HINT: Clicking the article name in a record will only download one page at a time. Select the "Download" link to see or print an entire PDF article.

The MLA International Bibliography is a database of citations of journal articles, conference papers, dissertations, books, etc. in the areas of literature, language, linguistics, and folklore from 1963 to the present.  Useful for finding religious interpretations of literature. Here's a guide to help you. The MLA Directory of Periodicals provides important information on all of the 5,800 journals they index, such as contact information, submission guidelines, the number of articles submitted and the number actually published, and so much more.

The MLA Handbook chapter on how to cite Internet sources is available online. You can also try, which will format information from over 50 types of sources and even help you create a Works Cited list. Free, but with advertising.

Oxford Art Online (incorporating Grove Art Online) and Oxford Music Online (incorporating Grove Music Online) combine a biographical dictionary, encyclopedia, and images. Also contain excellent external links and citations to scholarly articles.

Oxford Reference Online Premium features electronic versions of several reference works, including translating dictionaries.

Project MUSE is similar to JSTOR except that the content includes only the most recent few years (varying, depending upon the journal). In some cases Project MUSE picks up where JSTOR leaves off.

The Religion and Philosophy database from Gale has citations and full text from a large variety of American, British, and Canadian publications. Well worth a look, especially for topics that related philosophy to other disciplines. Currently contains over 730,000 articles.

RILM Abstracts of Music Literature is WSU's primary database for scholarly articles about music.

Web of Science can search humanities, social sciences, and science indexes simultaneously to locate article citations.

WorldCat catalogs books, journals, audio, video, and other resources from hundreds of libraries worldwide.

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Useful and Interesting Websites

Listen to a daily dose of Anglo-Saxon language on Anglo-Saxon Aloud from Michael D.C. Drout's "daily reading of the entire Anglo-Saxon Poetic Records, which includes all poems written in Old English."

The Anglo-Saxon Penitentials are digitized, browseable Old English texts used to administer penance and confession in England c. 800-1200, with translation, commentary, and cultural index. Truly fascinating. new!

Bartleby.  One of the oldest sites on the World Wide Web, Bartleby’s goal is to publish the classics of literature, nonfiction, and reference in full text.  If it’s out of copyright and was ever considered important, chances are good you’ll find it here.

The Catalogue of Digitized Medieval Manuscripts, from UCLA, makes it easy to browse and search for online versions of medieval manuscripts from collections around the world.

The Chaucer Metapage is an an excellent gateway to Chaucer resources on the web. Hosted by the U. of North Carolina.

Danteworlds, from U. of Texas-Austin, may be the slickest site on the web for exploring each realm of the afterlife.

The Digital Librarian (Margaret Vail Anderson) has an outstanding collection of links on her Medieval and Renaissance page.

Harvard's Houghton Library provides searchable Digital Medieval Manuscripts.

E-Codices, the Virtual Manuscript Library of Switzerland, contains over 360 digitized manuscripts on all subjects, including historical accounts, death records, literature, etc. Searchable, browseable, easy to use, and very impressive.

For a gorgeous collection of maps of the Holy Land, see the Eran Laor Cartographic Collection. Searchable by persons, date, or site, and even zoomable with the provided plugin.

Folklinks. An extensive collection of organized links to reference sources, full text e-books, scholarly work, and much more having to do with folklore and fairy tales.

Francesco Petrarch and Laura de Noves is a labor of love containing images, text, and scholarly papers about the poet and his inspiration.

View nice images of the Göttinger Gutenberg Bible and learn about the significance of the printed book.

The Labyrinth is a searchable collection of links on all aspects of the Middle Ages. Well worth a look, despite some broken and dead links.

Luminarium. The virtual candy store for medieval, Renaissance, and Restoration-studies kids.

Whether you're craving Humbles of a Deer for supper, or just want an explanation of Frumenty, the place to go is Medieval Cookery. Organized by country, century, or type of dish.

Petrarch at 700 is a web exhibit from U.Penn. featuring images of various editions of Petrarch's work and putting the poet in the context of his times.

To read side-by-side Italian-English versions of Dante's work, hear some of the poetry read, and access historical and interpretative notes, try the Princeton Dante Project. Also links to the Dartmouth Dante Project, which contains commentaries of the work from the 14th century to the present.

Renaissance Electronic Texts from the University of Toronto offers old-spelling editions of early individual copies of English Renaissance books and manuscripts, and of plain transcriptions of such works.

Resources for Electronic Research from the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies. A stunning collection of links to websites of use to researchers working on topics in the Reformation and Renaissance.

Silva Rhetoricae/The Forest of Rhetoric, from Brigham Young University.  The place to go to learn your asteismus from your thaumasmus.

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy is still being added to, but there are dozens of high-quality articles available now.

Don't miss Turning the Pages, a project from the British Library, which makes available sections of over a dozen unique books from the several disciplines in a format that allows the user to virtually "turn” pages, magnify sections, and read or listen to commentary. The technology is to scanning as Wii is to Pong.

Words and Things, subtitled Food, Archaeology, and Texts in Anglo-Saxon England, is a database that coordinates archaeological and textual evidence concerning food in England from c. 500-1100 A.D. Still in development but well worth a look. new!

The Writing Center at WSU can help students with everything from developing a topic to specific writing problems. They will not write a paper for you.

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Discussion Lists and Blogs

A Corner of Tenth Century Europe is a thoughtful blog for early medievalists written by Jonathan Jarrett. Also check out Jarrett's Blogroll for other great sites.

Carl Pyrdum's Got Medieval is a blog that mixes humor with scholarship.

If you've ever wondered what a medlar or mandrake look like, try The Medieval Garden Enclosed, a blog produced by the Cloisters Museum in New York.

Unlocked Wordhoard is a blog kept by medievalists at Troy University in Alabama and is, among other things, useful as a pointer to medieval studies news on the web.


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Suggestions?  Broken links?  Send them to Liorah Golomb

Updated: September 16, 2009    Contact: Liorah Golomb, Subject Librarian

background design courtesy of  Patrick Sundqvist