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MEDVL 1101.103: Travelling People / Stories in the Medieval World (Spring 2017): Primary Sources

A guide to library research

Useful Tips

Browse footnotes and bibliographies of books and articles for information about primary sources. 

Search the Library Catalog for primary sources--both unpublished manuscripts and modern editions in print and online, sometimes in translation, of original primary medieval sources. Use the guided keyword search with such terms as sources Vikings as subject words.

Find Primary Sources

Primary Sources in English Translation
Finding and using primary sources for the Middles Ages is particularly challenging, and the definition of primary source can be quite different than, for instance, that for twentieth century US history. When in doubt, consult your professor or TA.

Be prepared, you may find the best sources have never been translated from Latin (or Greek), or that translations exist in languages other than English.

Translated Texts for Historians E-Library  Selected early medieval sources in English translation.

ORB  provides a selection of excerpts of sources translated into English full-text online arranged chronologically and geographically.  Better editions are generally available as published print books, but this is a way to get a sense of what exists.

Encyclopedia of traditional epics (Olin Library Reference Oversize PN56.E65 E64x 1994 +) Great secondary source that can lead you to primary sources.

Internet Medieval Sourcebook is helpful for getting a sense of the types of medieval sources and for bibliography. Better editions are generally available as published print books, but this is a way to get a sense of what exists.