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MEDVL 1101: Reading Medieval Legends: Heroism that Never Was? (Spring 2017): Encyclopedias

A guide to library research

Tips


Encyclopedias are great for:

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

OED Online

OBO

 

Oxford Bibliographies Online: Medieval Studies

Offers peer-reviewed annotated bibliographies on European and Mediterranean civilization from the 4th to the 15th centuries.

 

Encyclopedias

Scholarly Encyclopedias (superior to Wikipedia on most topics)

Oxford Dictionary of the Middle Ages

Cambridge Companion to Old English Literature edited by Malcolm Godden and Michael Lapidge. 1991.

Literature Resource Center  Has basic biographical, bibliographical, and contextual information on authors and their works (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, history, and journalism).

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

Dictionary of the Middle Ages. 12 vols. 1982-1988. (Olin Reference D 114 D55+; also Uris Reference) 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.

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).

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.

Medieval England: An Encyclopedia. 1998.(Olin Reference DA 129 .M43x 1998) Articles vary in length but all are accompanied by bibliographies.

Medieval Germany: An Encyclopedia 2001. (Olin Library Reference DD126 .M43x 2001 +)

Medieval Ireland : an encyclopedia. 2005. (Olin Library Reference DA933 .M43 2005 +) Articles vary in length but all are accompanied by bibliographies.

Medieval Scandinavia: An Encyclopedia. 1993. (Olin Reference DL30 .M48+ and Kroch Rare Reference). Articles vary in length but all are accompanied by bibliographies.

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

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

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

Encyclopedia of Medieval Literature Greenwood Press, 1998. (Olin Reference PN669 E53x 1998)

Oxford Dictionary of the Saints

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

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

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

General

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Superior to Wikipedia on most topics & disciplines:

 

Gale virtual reference library 

Sage Reference Online

Oxford Reference Online