Rutgers University Libraries Medieval History: Basic Resources

The Basics

Restricted Access

Many of the resources listed in the sections below are marked Restricted Access. You should have no problem connecting to these from any networked computer on campus. However, in order to use these from off-campus, you must log in with your Rutgers NetID. For instructions see the Libraries' Remote Access to Library Resources.

Off-Campus Links

Once you have gone to a Rutgers Libraries page and logged in with your NetID [your pegasus username and password] you can use the "Off-Campus Link" provided for each Rutgers-restricted resource below to connect to that database or article. Use the link embedded in the citation to access these resources on campus.

IRIS: Find Books

IRIS is the online catalog for all the Rutgers University Libraries except the Newark and Camden Law Libraries. Use IRIS to find out if the Rutgers Libraries have the specific books or journals that you need, or to locate books on topics that you're researching. Show Me How

Getting Books From Other Rutgers Libraries

If a book that you need is not available (not owned/checked out) at the Dana Library, but is available from another Rutgers Library, you can request delivery of that book to Dana by bringing up the record for the book in IRIS and clicking on tbe Deliver/Recall button. Show Me

Book Not Available/Not Owned by the Rutgers Libraries?

The fastest way to get a copy of a book that is not owned or not available (checked out/on Reserve/missing etc.) at the Rutgers Libraries is to request it through E-Z Borrow. E-Z Borrow books are normally received within about five working days. Tell Me More

If a book is not owned by the Rutgers Libraries and is not available via E-Z Borrow, you can place an Interlibrary Loan request. Tell Me More

Finding Articles plus

Humanities Full Text
Humanities Full Text is the basic index for finding articles in the humanities disciplines, including history. It indexes over 550 of the core, English language journals in history, literature, art and music, philosophy and religion. It indexes many journals back to 1984 and, beginning with 1995, includes many full-text articles.
Off-Campus Access Restricted Access.

Need More?

While Humanities Full Text will usually give you what you need for a basic research paper, if you're working on a more extensive project, or a more specialized topic, you will probably need to use one or more indexes that focus specifically on the medieval period. You'll find links to most of these in the Finding Articles section below.

Becoming an 'Expert' User

Want to maximize your use of Library resources? Check out Searchpath, the Libraries' interactive tutorial.

Citing Your Sources

You will probably be asked to use Chicago/Turabian style when citing the sources that you use in your research papers. The Chicago Manual of Style and Turabian's Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations are both available at the Dana Library Reference Desk. The Writing Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison also has a nice introduction to Chicago/Turabian Documentation that will give you the basic information you need to create bibliographic citations.

The above site does not, however, cover citing online resources. The Library of Congress has a guide on How to Cite Electronic Sources that show Turabian-style examples; the Bedford/St. Martin's site also offers useful information on Using Chicago Style to Cite and Document Sources

You can also import references from IRIS and many of the electronic databases into RefWorks, a web-based bibliography and database manager. RefWorks will build your bibliography for you based on whatever style sheet you specify (APA, Chicago, etc.). For information on setting up your (free) RefWorks account see the RefWorks FAQ.

Not sure when you need to cite something? Check out the Plagiarism Guide

Getting Started


Scholarly encyclopedias can give you an overview of a topic as well as some basic bibliography

The Middle Ages

Dictionary of the Middle Ages
New York, 1982-2003. 13 volumes.
About 5000 signed articles, with bibliographies, on all aspects of medieval civilization from about 500 to 1500 AD. The premier encyclopedic resource for medieval studies, this is an excellent starting point for research! [Sample Pages]
DANA Call Number: Ref. D114.D5 1982
Ancient Europe: 8000 BC to 1000 AD: An Encyclopedia of the Barbarian World
Peter Bogucki and Pam J. Crabtree, editors. New York, Thompson/Gale, 2004.
Vol. 2 includes signed entries with bibliographies on the early Middle Ages on subjects such as state formation, coinage, gender, agriculture, and clothing; and on groups such as the Goths, Huns, Scythians, Slaves, and Vikings. Strong archaelogical focus.
Off-Campus Access Rutgers-restricted Access
Middle Ages Reference Library
Judson Knight and Judy Galens, editors. Detroit, Gale, 2001.
Electronic version of the 5-volume set. "Almanac" offers essays within a chronological and geographical framework. Volumes 2 and 3 consist of biographical entries; while volume 4 offers primary documents.
Off-Campus Access Rutgers-restricted Access


New Catholic Encyclopedia. 2d edition
New York, Thomson Gale, 2002-2003.
About 12,000 signed articles with bibliographies [Sample Pages]; useful for biographical and hagiological information, as well as articles relating to the history of theological and doctrinal issues.
Off-Campus Access Rutgers-restricted Access
Encyclopaedia Judaica. 2nd edition
Detroit, Macmillan Reference USA, 2007.
Thousands of signed articles, most with bibliographies, on all aspects of Judaism, Jewish life and history. The standard encyclopedia.
Off-Campus Access Rutgers-restricted Access


Women in the Middle Ages: An Encyclopedia
Edited by Katharina M. Wilson and Nadia Margolis. Westport, Conn., Greenwood Press, 2006. 2 vols.
300 signed one to ten-page entries with bibliographies relating to the history of women from the 3rd to the 15th centuries. Most entries are biographical but there are many entries on topics such as childrearing, clothing, convents, dowry, law, medicine, music, etc. [Sample Pages]
DANA Call Number: Ref. HQ1143 .W643 2004


Encyclopedia of Irish History and Culture
James S. Donnelly Jr., editor. Farmington Hill, MI, Macmillan Reference USA, 2004.
More than 400 signed entries on historical, social, and cultural topics relating to Irish history from prehistory to the present. Includes 150 primary documents.
Off-Campus Access Rutgers-restricted Access
Medieval Iberia: An Encyclopedia
Edited by E. Michael Gerli. New York, Routledge, 2003.
Over 800 signed entries with brief bibliographies on people, events, institutions and topics relevant to Spain and Portugal from 470 to 1500.
Dana Call Number: Ref. DP99 .M33 2003


Bibliographies are great for finding out what has been written/is available on a specific topic.

Medieval Studies: A Bibliographic Guide
Everett Uberto Crosby. New York, Garland, 1983.
The standard guide to scholarly literature. Lists majors collections of sources as well as important secondary sources. Entries include brief annotations. [Sample Page]
Dana Call Number: Ref. CB351 .C76 1983
Medieval Germany: Research and Resources
John Eldevik. Washington, DC, German Historical Institute, 2006
Dana Call Number: Ref. Z2237 .E54 2006
A Cumulative Bibliography of Medieval Military History and Technology
Kelly DeVries. Leiden, Brill, 2002.
The most comprehensive guide to literature relating to medieval military history.
Dana Ref. U37 .D48 2002
Medieval Warfare Bibliography
Partially annotated annual (1998- ) bibliography of books and articles dealing with medieval military history, including works on the Crusades and Military Orders.

Topical Dictionaries

Topical dictionaries may have shorter entries focusing on people and terms.

Dictionary of Medieval Knighthood and Chivalry: Concepts and Terms
Bradford B. Broughton. New York, Greenwood Press, 1986.
DANA Call Number: Ref. CR4505 .B76 1986 [Sample Pages]
The Late Medieval Age of Crisis and Renewal: A Biographical Dictionary
Clayton J. Dees. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2001.
Short signed entries with brief bibliographies on leading cultural figures of the late Middle Ages.
DANA Call Number: Ref. CB 353 L38 2001


Historical atlases use maps and charts to display historical information.

Atlas of Medieval Europe
Donald Matthew. New York: Facts on File, 1983.
Maps with textual overview of Medieval European history.
DANA Call Number: Ref CB 351 M293 1981
Medieval Maps
120 maps that relate to the medieval period arranged by category (political, ecclesiastical, military, plans, and other).
Maps of Medieval Trade Routes
Historical Maps of Europe
Digitized maps from the Perry-Castaneda Library Map Collection at the University of Texas in Austin.

Finding Books: Library Catalogs

The online catalog for the Rutgers University Libraries. General relevant subject headings that you can use in IRIS include:

Newark Law
Camden Law
Law library materials are not listed in IRIS. Use the above subject headings to find relevant publications in the law collections.

Finding Scholarly Articles: Indexes

Basic Indexes

Humanities Full Text
Humanities Full Text is the basic index for finding articles in the humanities disciplines, including history. It indexes over 550 of the core, English language journals in history, literature, art and music, philosophy and religion. It indexes many journals back to 1984 and, beginning with 1995, includes many full-text articles.
Off-Campus Access Restricted Access.

International Medieval Bibliography
1967-. Index of journal articles, conference papers and collected essays on all subjects related to the Middle Ages between 400-1500 AD.
Off-Campus Access Restricted Access.

Related Indexes

ATLA Religion Database
1949- Index of journal articles, books, book chapters on biblical study, church history and history of major religions. Over 600 journals indexed.
Off-Campus Access Restricted Access.

Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index
1994- .Index to journal articles, book reviews, and essays in books about women, sexuality, and gender during the Middle Ages (450 A.D. to 1500 A.D., with Russia extended to 1613). Over 400 journals indexed.

Index of Christian Art
Index of iconographic themes and concepts in early Christian and Medieval art in all media and in all geographic areas. Includes some images.
Off-Campus Access Restricted Access.

Iter: Gateway to the Middle Ages and Renaissance
The Journals bibliography is a searchable index to the complete runs of over 630 scholarly journals relating to the period 400 to 1700 A.D; while the Books bibliography includes citations for monographs, material published in monographs, and collected essays.
Off-Campus Access Restricted Access.

History of Science, Technology, and Medicine
1975- . Searchable bibliography of articles, books, proceedings, and dissertations. Integrates the Isis Current Bibliography of the History of Science, the Current Bibliography in the History of Technology (Technology and Culture), the Bibliografia Italiana di Storia della Scienza and the Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine.
Off-Campus Access Restricted Access.

Royal Historical Society Bibliography
Searchable bibliography of historical writing on Britain and Ireland from ancient times to the present. Over 400,000 entries.

Can't resist the urge to Google?

Primary Sources

EuroDocs: History of Medieval & Renaissance Europe: Primary Documents
Links to collections of documents

Medieval Sourcebook
Paul Halsall's (Fordham University) compilation of online texts for classroom use. Selected and excerpted texts; full texts of medieval sources arranged according to type; saints' lives; and law texts. Good, partially annotated index to other Byzantine and Medieval Studies sites.

ORB--Online Reference Book for Medieval Studies
A peer-reviewed scholarly site which includes the ORB Encyclopedia: a topically arranged index to original articles, primary sources, bibliographies, images, and links; ORB Online Textbooks; the ORB Reference Shelf: a large collection of links to excerpts and full texts of primary and secondary sources; and the ORB Text Library: a collection of transcriptions and/or translations of important medieval texts that have not previously been accessible in print or electronic format.

Byzantine Studies

Byzantium: The Byzantine Studies Page

Bibliography of Women in Byzantium
Extensive listing of primary sources available in translation, as well as secondary sources.

Islamic Civilizations

Encyclopaedia of Islam. New edition. 11 volumes. 1960-2003.
Articles on all aspects of the Islamic world, the standard reference work for Islamic Studies. Includes extensive bibliographies.
DANA Call Number: Ref. DS37 .E523

Medieval History of the Middle East
Extensive guide to web resources from the Cornell University Library.

Muslim Scientists and Islamic Civilization
Muslim history and contributions during the period of the European Middle Ages.

The Crusades

History in Dispute: the Crusades, 1095-1291
Detroit, St. James Press, 2002.
Presents oppossing viewpoints on debated questions relating to the Crusades.
Off-Campus Access Rutgers-restricted Access
Bibliography of the First Crusade (1095-1099)
Alan V. Murray
"This is a classified bibliography which covers the main sources, events, personalities and themes of the First Crusade, as well as providing some basic reading on its ideological and political background."

Language and Literature

Middle English Compendium
Includes the Electronic Middle English Dictionary, a comprehensive lexicon for the period 1100-1500; the HyperBibliography of Middle English, a listing of all the Middle English materials which are cited in the Middle English Dictionary with links to the full-text when available; and the Corpus of Middle English Prose and Verse, a select collection of Middle English texts.
Off-Campus Access Restricted Access

MLA Bibliography
1963- .The most comprehensive index to literary studies, MLA indexes critical scholarship on literature, language, linguistics and folklore. Coverage includes journal articles, series, monographs, dissertations, bibliographies, proceedings,etc.
Off-Campus Access Restricted Access

Web Sites: Starting Sites

NetSERF: The Internet Connection for Medieval Resources
Excellent topically laid out index to sites. A good starting point when searching for web-based resources.

Labyrinth: Resources for Medieval Studies
Search an extensive collection of links by category, type of material, or keyword.

Natalie Borisovets (
John Cotton Dana Library
Revised October 28, 2009