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Telluride Summer 2017: Gods and Heroes of the Celts and Vikings: Encyclopedias

A guide to library resources


Encyclopedias are great for:

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

Cambridge Histories Online

Cambridge Histories Online

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


English Language and its history

Oxford English Dictionary (OED)  The dictionary that is scholar's preferred source; it goes far beyond definitions.

Folklore & Mythology

Motif-index of early Irish literature. Tom Peete Cross. Bloomington, Indiana University [1952]. Olin Library Reserves, Request at Olin Library Circulation + GR1 .I38 no. 7.

Motif-Index of Folk LIterature (also known as Stith Thompson)
A database of elements, motifs, that occur in fairy and folk tales from all over the world. Can be challenging to use. Ask a Librarian if you get stuck at any point.

Aarne-Thompson-Uther Classification of Folk Tales
A typology of folk tales from many cultures and languages.

A dictionary of Celtic mythology. James MacKillop.

Brewer's dictionary of Irish phrase & fable. Edited by Sean McMahon and Jo O'Donoghue.



Medieval Archaeology: an Encyclopedia. (Olin Reference D125.M42x 2001+)

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


Oxford Dictionary of the Saints

Dictionary of the Middle Ages. (Olin Reference D 114 D55+; also Uris Reference)

The Catholic Encyclopedia and the New Catholic Encyclopedia (Olin Reference BX841 .N532 2003+; also Uris Reference)

Medieval Ireland: An Encyclopedia (Olin Library Reference DA933 .M43 2005 +)

Medieval Scandanavia: An Encyclopedia. (Olin Reference DL30 .M48+).

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

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

Medieval Islamic civilization: an encyclopedia. (Olin Library Reference DS36.85 .M434 2006 +)

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

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

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+)

The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Anglo-Saxon England. (Olin Reference DA 152 B58x 1998) 




Oxford Bibliographies Online: Medieval Studies

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



Literature Resource Center (LRC) A literature database combining biographical, bibliographical, and contextual information on authors and their works (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, history, and journalism).


Flicker photo by teachernz

Superior to Wikipedia on most topics & disciplines:


Gale virtual reference library 

Sage Reference Online

Oxford Reference Online