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MEDVL 1101 Imagining Empire: Symbols of Power in the Medieval World (Spring 2018): Scholarly Encyclopedias

A guide to library research


Encyclopedias are great for:

  • choosing a topic
  • quick self-education
  • perspective on a topic
  • variant spellings, vocabulary, terminology
  • bibliography

Cambridge Histories


Oxford Resources

Best Bets:

Oxford Bibliographies Online: Medieval Studies
Offers peer-reviewed annotated bibliographies on the Middle Ages.

Brill's Medieval Reference Library
A collection of scholarly encyclopedias focued on the Middle Ages.


Scholarly Subject Encyclopedias

Oxford Art Online Excellent articles and images.

Medieval art: a topical dictionary  Leslie Ross. Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 1996.

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

The Catholic Encyclopedia and the New Catholic Encyclopedia (also in print at Olin Reference BX841 .N532 2003+)

Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium (1991)

Oxford Dictionary of the Saints

Encyclopedia of early Christianity (Olin Library Reference + BR162.2 .E56 1997)

Dictionary of the Middle Ages. (Olin Reference D 114 D55)

Oxford Bibliographies Online: Medieval Studies Offers peer-reviewed annotated bibliographies on European and Mediterranean civilization from the 4th to the 15th centuries.

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

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. (print at Olin Reference D125.M42x 2001+)


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Superior to Wikipedia on most topics & disciplines:


Gale virtual reference library 

Sage Reference Online

Oxford Reference Online

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