Resources for Medieval and Early Modern Studies.

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Resources for Medieval and Early Modern Studies.


Whether you are studying Medieval history, religion, literature or politics, the library has books, journals, and databases to suit your needs.


The library has shelves of texts relating to Medieval and Early Modern studies: from books on kingship to every day life and society.  These are located in several places in the library according to subject, so Medieval religion is at 274, Medieval cathedrals are at 726, and Medieval kingship at 942.  It can seem complicated at first, but it follows the Dewey System.

You will find books about Medieval and Early Modern Studies at the following classmarks:

  • Medieval Archaeology 942.03, 942.3
  • Early Modern History  940.2
  • Eighteenth-Century Literature 823.509
  • Elizabethan and Jacobean Theatre 792.0941, 822.3
  • Medieval and Early Modern English Literature 820.9, 829.09
  • Medieval Cathedrals 726
  • Medieval History 940.1
  • Medieval Kingship 942
  • Medieval Literature 809.102
  • Medieval Religion 274
  • Medieval Women 305.42094
  • Palaeography 411.7

Remember to check the different areas housing the 7-day loan and 4-week loans.

Reference books which will be useful to MEMS students include: the Domesday Book  by county name; Anglo-Norman Studies – Proceedings of the Battle Conference; The Cambridge Medieval History – A history of Medieval Europe in eight volumes published between 1911 and 1936; and The New Cambridge Medieval History – a comprehensive history of Europe from 500 to 1500 AD.


E-books are very handy as your can read them off-campus. You can find them via Library Search which is the library’s catalogue and discovery tool. Log in to Library Search using your computing username and password, search for your topic and limit your results in the left-hand pane of the search screen to e-books. Click on the Link to CCCU e-book to download and read online. Examples of medieval and early modern e-book titles are: Louise Wilkinson’s Eleanor de Montfort and Graeme White’s The medieval English landscape, 1000-1540. Please read the library guide to Finding and reading e-books for more information.

The Library also has e-book collections and reference titles available via Find Databases A to Z on Library Search. Remember to log in to Library Search to access the full text:


A selection of print journals, newsletters and magazines.

Journals (also known as Periodicals) are similar to magazines in that they are published regularly but are written by academics and researchers rather than journalists. The subject matter can be very detailed but will be rigorously researched and backed up with evidence. The hallmark of a good journal will be footnotes or in-text citations and a bibliography of reading to evidence research. They are also often peer-reviewed which means they have been through a thorough editorial process. You can find print copies of journals on the 2nd floor of Augustine House in the silent zone located near the lifts. These are for use in the library only. Why not take a peek at The Historical Journal?

As well as scholarly journals the library also has copies of the Historical Association newsletter HA News and the popular history magazine History Today.

Online Journals

BrowZine LogoThe Library provides access to online journals such as Essays in Medieval Studies, Journal of Medieval History, Medieval History Journal, Renaissance Studies, Speculum, and Magic, Ritual and Witchcraft. To find out more about online journals published in the discipline of history, you can use an app such as Browzine. Not only does it store all your favourite journals, it enables you to easily find and read the most recent issue from your mobile device (and store them in a bibliographic management tool such as Zotero or Mendeley).

Finding journal articles by topic

Sometimes you may want to look for journal articles on a specific topic, such as Medieval women or Medieval kingship. You don’t have to browse for articles using Browzine, but can use a search engine such as the CCCU search tool Library Search or alternatively Google Scholar. Both are good, but they have different functions and it is important to be aware of that. Google Scholar searches scholarly material, but you may not be able to access all of the material whereas Library Search is linked to the CCCU journal subscriptions. Run a quick search in Library Search to find full-text journal articles using key words or phrases connected with your research topic e.g. “Eleanor de Montfort” or “Richard III”. Then limit your results in the right hand pane to “Only show databases results”. You can read the Library Search quick guide for more information.

JSTOR is also a popular journal database which provides access to past issues of journals.


Use the specialist databases via the Find databases A to Z link in Library Search for a more advanced search of the academic literature available to you.

An image of a laptop to promote searching LibrarySearch

The following are key databases for your subject.

AM Explorer – Primary source material. Collections which may be of interest to MEMs students include: Early Modern England, Medieval and Early Modern Studies, Medieval Family Life, Medieval Travel Writing.

Arts and Humanities Citation Index –  references to published journal articles  in the arts and humanities available via the Web of Knowledge gateway.  Clicking on the ‘Find it’ button will then redirect you to the full text if it is available on another of our subscribed databases.

Bibliography of British and Irish History Includes material on British and Irish History from 55 BC to the present.

Europeana – Digital library of European cutural material and sources.

International Medieval Bibliography (IMB) – Available via Brepols Medieval and Early Modern Bibliographies

JSTOR A full-text archive of core scholarly journals, dating from the first issue up until two to five years ago. Subject coverage includes Arts and Sciences, with over 330 journal titles relevant to History.

Project MUSE An online database which provides full-text access to high quality journals from scholarly publishers. We currently subscribe to all the journals in the Premium collection which includes over 70 relevant History titles.

Please note you will be able to access the full text of many of the articles you find when searching the databases but will not be able to read the full text of all the results you find.

Digitized primary sources

You can find the following digitised primary sources via the Find databases A to Z link in Library Search:

British History Online is a digital library of key printed primary and secondary sources for the history of Britain and Ireland, with a primary focus on the period between 1300-1800.

Early European Books – the history of printing in Europe from its origins through to the close of the seventeenth century. Includes images of rare and hard-to-access printed sources.

EEBO (Early English Books Online) Provides full-text access to over 100,000 titles published between 1473 and 1900. Subjects covered include English literature, history, philosophy, linguistics, theology, music, fine arts, education, mathematics, and science.

English Historical Documents Online contains over 5,500 fully searchable primary documents from 500-1914. Sources include government and cabinet proceedings, military dispatches, newspaper articles, pamphlets, personal and official letters and diaries.(also available in print in the Library)

JISC Historical Texts – includes UK Medical Heritage Library, Early English Books Online (EEBO).

Manchester Medieval Sources Online – Digital history sources and texts from the Manchester Medieval Sources book series

Medieval and Early Modern Sources (MEMSO) Essential resource for the study of Britain and its place in the world during the medieval and early modern period (c. 1100-1800). Includes the key printed sources for English, Irish, Scottish and Colonial history with original manuscripts.

Web sites

There are a lot of brilliant websites that may be relevant to your studies, but there are also many that are not, so it is essential to evaluate the material carefully to decide whether they are scholarly enough.  Here are some recommended sites:

Anglo-Saxon Cluster

  • The Prosopography of Anglo Saxon England (PASE) aims to provide a searchable database of all recorded people living in early medieval England;
  • The Language of Landscape (LangScape) project is a comprehensive, searchable corpus of Anglo-Saxon boundary clauses – surveys drawn up by those who lived in, owned or worked the land, and who described it in their own words;
  • The Electronic Sawyer (eSawyer) is a revised online edition of Peter Sawyer’s seminal 1968 catalogue of all extant Anglo-Saxon charters;
  • The Anglo-Saxon Charters (ASChart) project was a 6 month British Academy pilot project to develop a rich XML encoding model to represent the diplomatic discourse within Anglo-Saxon Charters.

British Library Digitized Manuscripts – includes Beowulf, Chaucer and the St Cuthbert Gospel.

Caxton’s Chaucer – digitized copies of the 1476 and 1483 editions of The Canterbury Tales.

CIRCLE: A Calendar of Irish Chancery Letters c. 1244-1509 – 20,000 Irish chancery letters translated from Latin in to English.

DEEP – Database of Early English Playbooks published in England, Scotland and Ireland from the beginning of printing through to 1660

Domesday Book – Search by town or postcode

Early English Books Online Text Creation Partnership – 25,000 texts. Includes works by Erasmus, Shakespeare, King James I, Marlowe, Galileo, Caxton, Chaucer, Malory, Boyle, Newton, Locke, More, Milton, Spenser, Bacon, Donne, Hobbes, Purcell, Behn, and Defoe.

Early Modern Resources – research portal for the early modern period which includes some primary sources c.1500-1800.

Eighteenth Century Collection Online Text Creation Partnership – George Abbott through to Mrs Wright.

Eighteenth-Century Poetry Archive – George Crabbe, Elizabeth Carter, William Cowper, Henry Fielding, Fulke Greville and many more.

English Broadside Ballad Archive – Hosted by the University of California. Nearly 8,000 ballads.

EuroDocs: Primary Historical Documents from Western Europe – provides links to many documents that are transcribed, reproduced in facsimile, or translated on the Web.

Folger LUNA Database – digital images of manuscripts and book bindings.

Henry III Fine Rolls Project – A window into English history 1216-1272

Institute of Historical Research – at the School of Advanced Study, University of London provides information, publications and links to Web resources on all aspects of research in the field of History. Includes a database of theses.

Internet Medieval Sourcebook – hosted by the Fordham University Center for Medieval Studies.

Latin Palaeography Tutorial – produced by the National Archive.

Manuscrits Medievaux – 800 Medieval manuscripts from France and England between 700 and 1200.

Medieval Archaeology – The Society for Medieval Archaeology’s journal Medieval Archaeology is available online from 1957-2006, the more recent issues are available via Library Search.

Medieval Libraries of Great Britain – brings together two research tools for medieval libraries: Neil Ker’s Medieval Libraries of Great Britain and the Corpus of British Medieval Library Catalogues.

MEMSLib – Student-led project at the University of Kent which seeks to identify and collate resources relting to manuscript studies, language, literature, art, theology, drama and history in the early and late Medieval periods.

People of Medieval Scotland – A database of all known people of Scotland during 1093 – 1314.

Shakespeare Quartos Archive – Digital collection of pre-1642 editions of William Shakespeare’s plays.

The Labyrinth – Resources for Medieval Studies.

Tools to help you study

Skills4Studycampus: an interactive self-paced study skills resource to help you prepare for your first semester at university through to researching and writing your dissertation. Skills covered include making notes, how to avoid plagiarism in your work, critical thinking and improving your numeracy. Based on Stella Cottrell’s bestselling The Study Skills Handbook.

Learning Skills Hub – advice about study skills, with some opportunities for self-paced learning, written by CCCU Librarians and Learning Developers.

Where to get help

If you would like help searching for material for your assignments or using the online tools you can book an appointment with your Learning and Research Librarian.

For help looking for books or printed journals in the library, please ask at the Library Point or call us using the phones on the green pods on each floor (in Augustine House during office hours).