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MEDIEVAL 

LITERATURE RESOURCES

Edited by Anna-Nadine Pike
With contributions from Dr Edward Roberts (MEMS), Dr Robert Gallagher (MEMS),
Dr Ryan Perry (MEMS) and Dr Daniel Smith (Kings College London)

Digital Resources​
To browse online catalogues and digitised collections of medieval manuscripts, please see our Digitised Manuscript Collections page.
Looking for something a bit earlier? Try our Early Medieval Studies resource page.
Literature & Full Texts

The Book of Margery Kempe A new facsimile and documentary edition of The Book of Margery Kempe from MS Additional 61823 (British Library Project, edited by Joel Fredell)

The Book of the Duchess A hypertext edition of the four witness version of Chaucer’s The Book of the Duchess, as recorded in Bodleian MSS Tanner 346, Fairfax 16 and Bodley 638, and the 1573 Thynne edition. The witness texts can be read side by side and are fully annotated. The Book of the Duchess resource has been compiled, edited and annotated by Phoebe Macindoe (University of York).

CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts CELT brings together source materials for the study of Irish literary and historical culture (in Irish, Latin, Anglo-Norman French, and English). Use the Resources page here to access specific manuscript collections, links to current scholarship projects, bibliographic profiles of Irish writers, dictionaries and linguistic corpora.

 

Corpus of Middle English Prose and Verse An electronic collection of 146 Middle English texts, compiled from the University of Michigan faculty, the Oxford Text Archive, and the Humanities Text Initiative. The Corpus is part of the Middle English Compendium by the University of Michigan, which also includes the Middle English Dictionary (see below)

 

Digital Index of Middle English Verse The online companion to the Index of Middle English Verse, DIMEV compiles searchable Middle English verse texts from manuscripts, printed books and inscriptions. These records are indexed for keyword searching, but can also be browsed by author, title, scribe or verse form.

 

Early English Books Online Now available through the ProQuest platform, EEBO offers facsimile versions of early printed books in English, searchable and catalogued with reference to the English Short Title Catalogue (see below)

 

Electronic Beowulf A free, online edition of the MS British Library, Cotton Vitellius A. xv, designed accessibly for readers, students and researchers of the text.

 

English Short Title Catalogue The English Short Title Catalogue from the British Library. The catalogue is searchable, and can be cross-referenced with Early English Books Online to view digital facsimiles of printed materials.

The Hoccleve Society  Access to full-text works, including The Regiment of Princes and a prose translation of the "Complaint", together with news and events relating to the study of Thomas Hoccleve's life and works (1368-1426).

 

Incunabula Short Title Catalogue The international database of 15th-century European printing from the British Library.

 

Luminarium  Online, edited, full-text resources of many major works of medieval literature, together with articles and digital resources. 

 

The Open Access Companion to The Canterbury Tales This is a volume of introductory chapters for readers of Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales.

Open Iberia/ América A collection of Open Access English and Spanish translations of premodern Iberian and Latin American texts, in association with the University of Oregon. Updated annually with contributions, the current collection encompasses texts from the thirteenth to seventeenth centuries. 

 

TEAMS Middle English Texts Online access to resources including TEAMS Middle English Texts, a searchable project which makes available many edited versions of Middle English primary materials. The Middle English Texts Series (METS) is published in association with the University of Rochester by Medieval Institute Publications (Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan). An alphabetised list of individual publications is also available through this resource. 

Teachers of Old English in Britain and Ireland TOEBI brings together a selection of language resources, manuscript collections, full texts and links to blogs and other media, curated for the teaching of Old English literature and language.

Teaching Race and Middle English Literature (Dr Laura Varnam) A lesson plan for second-year undergraduate students at Oxford University, dealing with themes of race and representation in late-medieval literature (1350-1550). All materials are linked, and primary sources include The King of Tars and The Book of John Mandeville.

Umilta A portal for the study of Julian of Norwich and medieval texts related to her work, including the Carthusian Amherst Manuscript (British Library, Add MS 37790). Julian’s Showing of Love and related online editions of her writings may be found here.

Bridget of Sweden’s Latin Revelaciones, known otherwise as the Liber celestis, are available online via the Umilta portal. Books I-III and V-VII are adapted from Den Heligas Birgittas, edited by Birger Bergh (Uppsala: Almqvist & Wiksells, 1967). Book IV is adapted from Sancta Birgitta: Revelaciones, Book IV, edited by Hans Aili (Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell International, 1992).

 

Manuscripts & Archival Materials 

 

ArchivesHub A searchable resource useful for finding archival materials within libraries, museums and holdings across the UK. The resource is valuable for identifying lesser-known source material to support research. Searches can be refined to include digital content only. 

 

Auchinleck Manuscript Online  Digitised, searchable edition of the Auchinleck manuscript from the National Library of Scotland (NLS Adv MS 19.2.1), produced in London in the 1330s. The MS provides a valuable insight into the literary lives of Chaucer and his contemporaries. 

 

British History A digital library based within the Institute for Historical Research, collating published materials relating to British history, to include County papers, city records, Parliament proceedings, State papers, among others. The catalogue is subdivided into Primary materials, Secondary texts, Guides and calendars, Maps and Datasets, but is also searchable by geographic location, subject matter, or by century. 

Catalogue of English Literary Manuscripts 1450-1700  An online adaptation and extension of the Index of English Literary Manuscripts 1450-1700, compiled by Peter Beal, detailing the literary manuscripts of 237 sixteenth- and -seventeenth British authors. While this date range does include some later-medieval work, it may also be worth visiting out Early Modern Literature page for further resources.

 

Digital Image Archive of Medieval Music The DIAMM is searchable by composer, genre, archive and notation. The resource also also includes introductory material on medieval musicology, and has recently granted Open Access to several of their own publications. 

Discovering Literature: Medieval (British Library) Collected articles and spotlight features on items from the collections of medieval materials at the British Library.

 

Europeana Europeana collates visual records of manuscripts, artworks, books, music and objects from thousands of European archives, libraries and heritage sites. It is a vast resource, which functions as a useful, manageable search engine. 

Late Medieval English Scribes An online catalogue of scribal hands that appear in the works of Geoffrey Chaucer, John Gower, John Trevisa, William Langland and Thomas Hoccleve.

 

Mandragore A tool which searches manuscripts within the Bibliothèque Nationale de France by image content, full-page as well as marginal. The resource can be searched by theme or keyword, and can be browsed thematically. The resource is also subdivided into Eastern and Western manuscripts.

"Manuscripts of Medieval France with Vernacular Texts" A collection of over 1200 links to manuscript facsimiles which spans the French medieval literary canon. The page curates resources from the Andy Holt Virtual Library (University of Tennessee at Martin), covering topics as varied as Animal Lore, the Chanson de Geste, Christine de Pizan, Medieval French drama and chivalric tales. 

Manuscripts of the West Midlands A Catalogue of Vernacular Manuscript Books of the English West Midlands, c. 1300 - c. 1475 (University of Birmingham).

 

Medieval Libraries of Great Britain A searchable digital resource which groups manuscripts according to the medieval library with which they are associated, while also noting their present-day holding. The resource brings together two physical resources, the Corpus of British Medieval Library Catalogues, and Neil Ker’s Royal Historical Society handbook, Medieval Libraries of Great Britain. 

 

Medieval Manuscripts in Oxford Libraries A digital catalogue of Western manuscripts at the Bodleian Library, and some Oxford colleges, organised by collection and searchable by shelf-mark. Each text and author described within the manuscript is also cross-referenced, detailing other manuscripts in which the same text or author appears. 

 

Medieval Manuscripts on the Web A resource curated by Siân Echard (University of British Columbia), bringing together a list, alphabetised by country, of previous or current manuscript digitisation projects, with a short description for each. The list also includes links to several online palaeographical resources, including DigiPal and InScribe. 

 

The Production and Use of English Manuscripts, 1060-1220 (University of Leicester) A resource bringing together “all manuscripts containing English written in England between 1060 and 1220”, and combines extensive background materials with a catalogued list of manuscripts, searchable by period, language, place and origin. The resource contributes to an understanding of the interaction between English, French and Latin during this period.

Re-imagining History 2.0 This is a spreadsheet of MSS of the Middle English Prose Brut (the Middle English text with most extant copies other than the Wycliffite Bible).

Blogs and Media

 

enclosure A website for those interested in ‘enclosures’ of any kind. The site encompasses a blog, artist profiles, original prose and curated source lists for studies pertaining to enclosure. Enclosure here begins with the concept of the medieval anchoress or female religious mystic, but speaks equally to the spaces created in modern installation art, or the Woolfian ‘Room of One’s Own’. enclosure is managed by Stacie Vos (UC San Diego), responding to ongoing research by Dr Henrike Lähnemann (University of Oxford), Julie Orlemanski (University of Chicago) and Godeline Gertrude Perk (University of Oxford) 

Historical Association Podcasts The Historical Association offers a wide range of podcasts relating to medieval Britain and Ireland, and is frequently updated.

Introducing Medieval Christianity  A resource aimed at undergraduate students, which introduces key themes and ideas within the study of medieval Christianity. The blog is frequently updated with new articles, most recently focussing on Medieval Religious Women and devotion to Christ's Holy Name.

Knight School: Taking a Stab at the Middle Ages  A new, student-led podcast which aims to make Medieval Studies as accessible as possible. Each week a guest speaker is an episode expert, and with recent discussions focussing on perceptions of disability, medieval warfare and medieval Sufism.

Listen to a Life Series Podcasts in association with the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

Medievalists of Color A professional organisation, blog, teaching resource and community of PoC within medieval studies,curated by scholars, academics and independent researchers globally.

Medievalists.net Collected news, articles, blogs, videos and podcasts relating to the developments and representation of medieval history, literature and culture in current society.

Reading Medieval Books (Jeanne de Montbaston) A blog by Lucy Allen, scholar of female representation in the literature and visual culture of England and France, from the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries.

University of Oxford Podcasts (Medieval English) An engaging series of recorded lectures, text readings and conversations on topics pertaining to medieval literature in English. Browse additional podcast series from the Faculty of English Language and Literature here.

Women’s Literary Culture and the Medieval Canon (University of Surrey)  This blog forms part of the Women’s Literary Culture network, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, with guest-written posts encompassing a global range of literary subjects and medieval individuals. Latest topics include the poetry of the eighth-century ascetic, Hazrat Bibi Rabia Basri, and the concept of eviction from the medieval Hortus Conclusus, the Enclosed Garden. 

Academic Projects

 

Black Central Europe (1000-1500) “The mission of Black Central Europe is to further knowledge about the Black Diaspora in German-speaking Central Europe in order to challenge racialized presumptions about history, national belonging, and citizenship in the region”. BCE offers resources for teaching and research and facilitates conversation. This page is a collection of primary source material, both literary and historical, which focus on the figure of the “Moor”, on Africa as perceived by medieval Europe, and the intersection between Islam and Christianity.

The Camelot Project This resource is designed to make available a database of Arthurian texts, images, bibliographies and basic information.

Database of Middle English Romance This database makes the rich collection of Middle English Romances more accessible and includes key information such as: date and place of composition, verse form, authorship and sources, extant manuscripts and early modern prints. Plot summaries of each text are also available. 

Geographies of Orthodoxy This project provides descriptions of texts in the English pseudo-Bonaventuran lives of Christ tradition (including Nicholas Love’s Mirror of the Blessed Life in 61 MSS). The full version is being rebooted and will be live soon on: http://www.qub.ac.uk/geographies-of-orthodoxy/resources/ (this is currently being reconstructed).

Gersum - The Scandinavian Influence on English Vocabulary. Database of words in major late Middle English poems derived from Old Norse. 

 

The Gower Project The Home and Resources page for The Gower Project, which applies newly available technologies and critical perspectives to the poetic works of John Gower. The site is frequently updated with bibliographic materials, and links to the work of its contributors from a consortium of North American and European universities. 

 

The Labyrinth The Labyrinth offers a valuable collation of web resources, projects and databases for early- to late-Medieval studies, coherently categorised by subject area, keyword or genre (e.g “Middle English”, “Gardens”, “Church History”. A project co-directed by Deborah Everhart and Martin Irvine, sponsored by Georgetown University.

Late Medieval English Magic Compiled as part of doctoral research by Laura Mitchell (University of Toronto), this project offers a catalogue of late-medieval manuscripts which feature magical charms, conjurations, treatises, recipes and rituals. The catalogue is searchable by library holding and location, and manuscripts are also grouped according to charm type or ingredient.

 

Lexis of Cloth and Clothing Project (University of Manchester) An AHRC funded project creating an analytic corpus of dress, fabric and textile terminology in the early languages of Britain, with an accompanying database of imagery from surviving articles.

 

The Medieval Bestiary Project A resource for the study of animals as they appear in, and beyond, the medieval bestiary. The resource includes an encyclopaedia, a digitised bestiary, and a Digital Text Library, containing rare or out-of-print books and articles relating to medieval animals. 

Medingen Manuscripts Project A project led by Henrike Lähnemann (University of Oxford), which reassembles the dispersed manuscripts and materials connected to the Cistercian nuns of Medingen Abbey, a fourteenth-century nunnery located in Bad Bevensen.

 

Private Libraries in Renaissance England A project in association with the Folger Library, Washington, which collects and catalogues book-lists from the Tudor and Early Stuart periods. PLRE.folger is an online companion to a 10-volume book series, and offers a searchable database.

TEAMS: Race, Racism, and the Middle Ages A featured resource page from TEAMS (The Teaching Association for Medieval Studies), highlighting the need for discussion of race within medieval studies, and offering articles, statements and source texts engaging with these issues from contemporary voices in academia. Last updated 2017.

Journals & Publications

Directory of Open Access Journals   An international database of open-access journals which can be browsed by subject, or searched by keyword.

Domestic Devotions in Medieval and Early Modern Europe  This open-access Special Issue of Religions,"Domestic Devotions in Medieval and Early Modern Europe", offers a wealth of articles on diverse subjects including devotional annotations in Arabic manuscripts, the importance of the domestic sphere in Julian of Norwich’s Revelations, and devotional practices in thirteenth- to fifteenth-century Ragusa (modern day Dubrovnik).

Imago Temporis: Medium Aevum  An open-access journal from the Medieval Studies Research Group at the Universitat de Lleida (Catalonsia), founded in 2007.

Interfaces  An open-access journal from the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Milan. The journal, published annually, takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of medieval European literatures, encompassing history, literature, philology, codicology, philosophy, sociolinguistics, and theology.

medieval worlds  This research platform offers “a forum for comparative, interdisciplinary and transcultural studies of the Middle Ages”, covering the period 400 to 1500 CE, as well as offering an open-access journal. medieval worlds is part of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

Bibliographies

A ‘Queer Medieval’ reading list (Jeanne de Montbaston)  Compiled as part of the Reading Medieval Books blog, this resource list focuses on primary medieval texts which feature representations of gender and sexuality, together with critical materials for discussion.

Julian of Norwich's Showing of Love: Texts and Contexts  Umilta compiles interactive bibliographies for texts pertinent to studies of Julian’s mysticism, including Julian of Norwich herself, St Bridget of Sweden, St Catherine of Siena, The Cloud of Unknowing, the Ancrene Riwle and Katherine Group, and contexts including the Bridgettine Syon Abbey, the English Benedictine nuns, and the preacher Adam Easton.

Race 101 for Early Medieval Studies  An ongoing bibliography compiled by Dr. Erik Wade and Dr. M. Rambaran-Olm for the teaching and study of medieval perceptions and depictions of race, with a particular focus on early literature. The resource also contains a separate list of studies by foundational Critical Race scholars.

Race and Ethnicity: Saracens and Jews in Middle English Literature  An annotated bibliography for studying the representations of racial difference in medieval English literature, with particular emphasis on primary materials within the Breton lays and romance tradition, as well as issues of race in the poetry of Chaucer and Gower.

Race and Medieval Studies: A partial bibliography (2017)  Compiled by Jonathan Hsy and Julie Orlemanski, and published in postmedieval: a journal of medieval cultural studies, this bibliography emerged out of a collaborative, crowd-sourced project, seeking to increase the visibility of scholarship surrounding issues of race in medieval studies by POC, ethnic and religious minority medievalists. The bibliography is divided between academic publications and blog posts or journalism. Read Hsy’s post about the inclusion of minority voices within medieval scholarship here.

Race, Racism and the Middle Ages  Online access to a special edition of The Public Medievalist from 2017, comprising over forty articles engaging critically with topical debates, issues of representation, and re-evaluations of terminology taking place within present-day medieval studies. This edition is divided into sections, the first considering how representation of the ‘Middle Ages’ impacts contemporary racial politics, and the second focusing on Jewish studies, with a closing article on the representation of ‘the medieval’ in historical African-American art and writing. 

Teaching a Global Middle Ages  A valuable compilation of ongoing projects, bibliographies, exhibition details and reading recommendations from the International Centre of Medieval Art (ICMA), intended to aid the diversification of medieval studies to include global perspectives of race, identity and cultural exchange. Note in particular the critical bibliography categorised by location - although many of the listed works may be print-only, we encourage you to request specific resources in the MEMSlib forum here.

Previous Theses

EThOS - provides a national aggregated record of all doctoral theses awarded by UK Higher Education institutions, and free access to the full text of as many theses as possible.

 

Open Access Theses and Dissertations (OATD) - indexes records of theses from institutions across the world and provides a simple search interface.

 

American doctoral Dissertations (EBSCOhost) - access a comprehensive record of dissertations accepted by American universities during that time period, the print index Doctoral Dissertations Accepted by American Universities. Contains more than 172,000 theses and dissertations in total from 1902 to the present.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Resource page updated by Anna-Nadine Pike - last updated 21/09/20

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