Medieval Europe: From Charlemagne to Columbus

Fall 2011

Listed in: History, as HIST-121; C. Teresa Shawcross (Section 01)

Questions about research in this course? Contact Michael Kasper.

  • Overview
  • Databases
  • Reference


One of the best places to start research is in the Five-College Library Catalog. All books are listed by their AUTHORS, TITLES, and SUBJECTS, and you can also use the KEYWORD function to search.
KEYWORD searching is not likely to yield a complete, or completely relevant, list of locally-owned books on any particular topic, but it's a good way to start; type in a common language characterization of your topic, say "carolingian learning", select titles from the resulting list that interest you, note which official subject headings are assigned to those titles, then click on them to do a more thorough SUBJECT search.
SUBJECT searching, as such, requires that you use the exact words or phrases libraries have chosen to describe your topic; for example, libraries list books about learning in the Carolingian era under "Carolingians--Education", as well as "Education, Medieval". Following those links or inputting "education medieval" as a 'Subject begins with' search will yield lots of on-target results. Ask at the Reference Desk if you're not sure what words or phrases to use.

Databases: Find articles, book chapters, e-books

Annee Philologique (1959 to present)
Index to articles and books about ancient authors, texts, history, art, and archeology.

ATLA Religion Database (1949 to present)
Index to journal articles, essays, and book reviews in the field of religion.

Historical Abstracts with Full Text (1955 to present)
Scholarly literature about world history since 1450 (excluding the United States and Canada).

Index Islamicus (1906 to present)
Covers literature on Islam, the Middle East and the Muslim world, including Muslim areas of Asia and Africa.

International Medieval Bibliography
Comprehensive index of journal articles and books about Europe, North Africa, and the Near East from 300 to 1500.

ITER: Gateway to the Middle Ages and Renaissance (1784 to present)
Index of resources pertaining to the study of the Middle Ages & Renaissance

Women's Studies International (1972 to present)
Interdisciplinary, covers the latest scholarship in feminist research.


Encyclopedia Britannica
Standard general encyclopedia.


Dictionary of Medieval Civilization. N.Y., Macmillan, 1984.
A one-volume collection of very brief entries on people, groups, concepts, events. (Ref CB 351 D24 1984)

Dictionary of the Middle Ages. N.Y., Scribner's, 1982. 13 vols.
Sponsored by the American Council of Learned Societies. Entries, ranging from a few paragraphs in length to a few pages, on people, places, bodies of literature, events, etc., most with at least minimal bibliographies. (Ref D 114 D5 1982)

Oxford Dictionary of the Middle Ages. Oxford UK, Oxford University Press, 2010. 4 vols.
Short articles on concepts, events, individuals, etc., with brief bibliographies. (Ref D 114 O94 2010)