Subject vs Keyword

subject words = fewer results and better

keywords = more results and sometimes worse*

*A keyword search will find the word anywhere--title, author, notes, description, publisher, etc.

Requesting Books from Elsewhere

  • For books that are checked out, or that Cornell doesn't have, use Borrow Direct
    Books arrive in 3-4 business days.
  • For items (books, articles, microfilm) Cornell doesn't have, use Interlibrary Loan Services
    Items can arrive in as little as a few days to a couple of weeks.
  • For items at another campus library or the Library Annex
    Use the "Request" button in the Library Catalog and choose Library to Library Delivery.

Facsimiles or published manuscripts

Search for published, edited, and sometimes translated manuscripts in online library catalogs (particularly Worldcat) using the name of the medieval author (also try variants of the author's name too, i.e. the Latin version of the name) or title or shelf number. Try both title/author searches and keyword searches.

For facsimiles, try a keyword search in online catalogs using the using author or title words or shelf mark and the keyword facsimile.

Published Guides to Archives

Published guides to collections, archives, and libraries help identify and locate manuscripts. Print and online examples are listed below.

Tip: Use the Cornell LIbrary Catalog to identify other guides, and use Worldcat (a.k.a. "Libraries Worldwide") to identify guides Cornell does not own.

Examples of the complexities of Library of Congress Subject Headings:

  • British Museum. Dept. of Manuscripts.
  • British Library. Department of Manuscripts--Catalogs
  • Medicine, Medieval Manuscripts Catalogs
  • Bibliothèque nationale (France) Département des manuscrits Catalogs
  • Manuscripts, Italy--Facsimiles
  • Manuscripts--Great Britain
  • Manuscripts, English--Catalogs
  • Manuscripts, European--England--London--Catalogs
  • Manuscripts, Latin (Medieval and modern)--Vatican City--Catalogs

Tip: Examples of useful terms for keyword searching in library catalogs:

  • archives
  • bibliography
  • manuscripts
  • catalog? (truncation of keyword in the classic catalog will find catalog[s] or catalogue[s])
  • micro? (truncation of keyword in the classic catalog will find microfilm, microprint, microtext, microfiche, or microforms)

Browse for sources in manuscript

Tip: Try returning to some of the classic guides to medieval studies for descriptions and locations of source material: