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Medieval Studies: A guide to library research at Cornell: Background

Latin Dictionaries

Lewis & Short Latin Dictionary from the Perseus Project

Database of latin dictionaries Integrates different types of Latin dictionaries-- modern, medieval or early-modern. In progress.

English Dictionaries

Cambridge Histories Online

Cambridge Histories Online

Excellent resource. Full text. Chapters as pdfs. Extremely high quality essays with rich footnotes and bibliography.

Oxford Resources

Oxford Bibliographies Online: Medieval Studies
Offers world class peer-reviewed annotated bibliographies on many disciplines: Classical civilization, the Middle Ages, philosophy, and many other subjects.

Oxford Reference Contains the texts of more than 100 reference titles published by Oxford University Press.

Medieval Encyclopedias

Specialized Scholarly Medieval Encyclopedias

Oxford Dictionary of the Middle Ages

Lexikon des Mittelalters (Olin Library Oversize D101.5 .L67 + Also available full-text on CD-Rom.) Signed contributions by an international roster of scholars. Bibliographies.

Dictionary of the Middle Ages. 13 volumes. 1982-1988. (Olin Reference D 114 D55+) Articles cover roughly the years 500-1500 A.D. in the lands of the Latin West, the Slavic world, Asia Minor, the lands of the Caliphate in the East, and the Muslim-Christian areas of North Africa. Some entries are only of definition length (e.g. Avignon), but others are more historical and lengthy (e.g. Byzantine Empire, Constantine I, Arms and Armor). Bibliographies are mostly in English.

The Catholic encyclopedia and The New Catholic Encyclopedia Beyond the subject of Catholicism to include science, literature, art and civilization.  Articles sometimes include bibliography of primary and secondary sources.

Oxford Dictionary of the Saints

Trade, travel and exploration in the Middle Ages : an encyclopedia   (in print Olin Library Reference Oversize HF1001 .T7x 2000 +)

Medieval England: An Encyclopedia. (Olin Reference DA 129 .M43x 1998)

The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Anglo-Saxon England. 2nd ed. People, places, social groups. Most articles contain concise bibliographies.

The encyclopedia of Medieval literature in Britain. 4 volumes. 2017. Part of The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Literature. (Olin Library Reference PR260 .E53 2017)

Medieval France: An Encyclopedia. (Olin Reference DC 33.2 .M48 1995)

Medieval Germany: An Encyclopedia. (Olin Reference DD126 .M43x 200+)

Medieval Iberia: An Encyclopedia. (Olin Reference DP99 .M33x 2003+).

Medieval Italy: An Encyclopedia, online in two volumes:  Volume 1 A- K, Volume 2 L-Z (Olin Library Reference DG443 .M43x 2004)

Medieval Islamic civilization: an encyclopedia, online in two volumes: Volume 1 A-K Volume 2 L-Z (Olin Library Reference DS36.85 .M434 2006 +)

Medieval Jewish civilization: an encyclopedia. (print at Olin Reference DS124 .M386 2003 +)

Medieval Scandanavia: An Encyclopedia. (print at Kroch Rare and Manuscripts Reference and Olin Reference DL30 .M48+).

Women in the Middle Ages: an encyclopedia. (print at Olin Library Reference HQ1143 .W643 2004)

Women and Gender in Medieval Europe: An Encyclopedia (print at Olin Library Reference HQ1147.E85 W66 2006+)

Medieval Archaeology: an Encyclopedia. 2001. (Olin Reference D125.M42x 2001+) A substantive up-to-date encyclopedia of medieval archaeology, with entries for sites (Sutton Hoo, e.g.), areas (Pre-Viking Scandinavia), ethnic/culture groups (Vikings, Visigoths), artifacts (Stoneware) and activities (Hunting, Cloth-making).

Medieval folklore: a guide to myths, legends, tales, beliefs, and customs. (print at Olin Library Reference GR35 .M43 2002)

Motif-index of folk literature (online).  Also known as Stith Thompson.  Very difficult to work with online.  Try the print volumes instead at Olin Library Reference GR67 .T47 1955+)

Ancient Europe 8000 B.C.--A.D. 1000: encyclopedia of the Barbarian world.  (Olin Library Reference D62 .A52x 2004+)

Encyclopedia of barbarian Europe: society in transformation. (Olin Library Reference D135 .F73x 2003+)

Antiquity Encyclopedias

Selected Specialized Scholarly Encyclopedias on Antiquity

Oxford Classical Dictionary (5th edition)
Much more than a dictionary. An excellent source for sources on all aspects of the Classical World.

Brill's New Pauly: Encyclopedia of the Ancient World 
(Olin Room 604-605 DE5 .N48 2002) Entries and articles have been updated to the current state of scholarship while continuing the tradition which started with the old. Entries offer easy, direct access to basic information - names, places, dates, objects - from all areas of Greek and Roman culture as well as their predecessors, neighbours and heirs

The Historians of Late Antiquity.  Routledge, 2002.

Late antiquity : a guide to the postclassical world (Olin Library Reference DE5 .L29x 1999)

Encyclopedia of early Christianity c1997 Olin Library Reference (Non-Circulating) + BR162.2 .E56 1997

The Oxford dictionary of Byzantium

Encyclopedia of the Byzantine Empire. 2004 Olin Library Oversize DF504.5 .L38 2004 +

The Cambridge companion to the Roman historians c2009

Oxford Art Online provides web access to the entire text of The Dictionary of Art, ed. Jane Turner (1996, 34 vols.) and The Oxford Companion to Western Art, ed. Hugh Brigstocke (2001). Articles, and over 1,500 thumbnail art images and line drawings, extensive image links, and sophisticated search and navigation tools.

Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Excellent on all aspects of philosophy and history of ancient science.

Ancient Writers Greece and Rome. 1982 (Olin Reference PA 3002.A54) Grant, Michael, and Rachel Kitzinger.

Sienkewicz, Thomas J. Encyclopedia of the Ancient World. 3 vols. Pasadena, CA: Salem Press, 2002. (Olin Reference CB311 .E54x 2002) 

The Virgil Encyclopedia

Literature and Language

Literature Online
A database of secondary scholarship, primary texts, and extremely useful reference sources.

Mediae Latinitatis lexicon minus
Translations of Latin keywords.

BrillOnline Etymological dictionaries
Etymological dictionary of the Armenian inherited lexicon
Cuneiform Luvian lexicon
Etymological dictionary of Greek
Etymological dictionary of the Hittite inherited lexicon
Etymological dictionary of the Iranian verb
Etymological dictionary of Latin and the other Italic languages
Old Frisian Etymological dictionary
Etymological dictionary of proto-Celtic
Etymological dictionary of proto-Germanic
Etymological dictionary of proto-Nostratic
Etymological dictionary of the Slavic inherited lexicon
A dictionary of Tocharian B.

The Church

Chronology and Geography

The library has an outstanding collection of atlases which can be found in the Map Collection and Olin. Examples include:


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Not focused on the Middle Ages, these scholarly encyclopedia collections are superior to Wikipedia on most topics & disciplines and can be helpful for multi-disciplinary research:


Gale virtual reference library 

Sage Reference Online

Oxford Reference Online

Web Accessibility Assistance