Medieval Studies – Resources
Introduction to Medieval History
In the study of European history, one of the most exhilarating periods is undeniably set from the 5th to the 15th-century otherwise known as the middle ages. This period began immediately after the fall of the mighty Roman empire paving way for the Renaissance and what we now know as medieval Europe. Medieval history and the study of it gives us an opportunity to understand how Europe came to be what it is now. Mostly known for the Magna Carta, black death and countless wars between kingdoms. Medieval ages provide a very diverse and complex history field that can be divided into three sub-periods. There is the early medieval period from the 5th century to the 8th century followed by the high medieval period and
finally the late medieval age.
The Launch of Medieval Studies and Centres
Medieval history studies which are now regarded as medieval studies have given rise to a very important field of study that has seen so many centers for medieval studies open in the 19th century. The Institute of Mediaeval Studies at St. Michael’s College of the University of Toronto was the first center for medieval studies opened in 1929 and was soon followed by other centers like the Medieval Institute at the University of Notre Dame in 1946. The centers established a program of Medieval study by the use of miscellany volumes and past poem and manuscript writings written in the middle ages. This form of study otherwise known as Codicology and paleography provides impeccable insight into Medieval studies and medieval
history since the scholars are able to analyze historical documents and manuscripts to better understand European history. The miscellany volumes from the medieval period consist of religious texts, English laws, liturgical texts, creative poems and records of events and occasions.
Reasons to undertake Medieval Studies
Other than being a very interesting field of study many medievalists argue that the study of history especially medieval history gives scholars a chance of alterity. Alterity is the opportunity for exploration of the different ways in which different people (in the past) viewed and understood their lives and the world they lived in. It provides a gateway with which we can escape the modern world and travel into the past.
Going into medieval history teaches you to think outside the box. The simple meaning of this sentence is that unlike most history units with set parameters and sources in medieval studies the sources are not always apparent and you may have to ingeniously come up with new research methods to access them. The vital thing, however, is that the difficult-to-find original sources are so rich with information and are also equally fascinating to study.
You cannot limit yourself to secondary sources only in Medieval studies because that’s not the proper way of study of medieval history. Instead, dive into the original texts and manuscript sources, and enjoy analyzing writings done in another age.
Check our useful sources for Medieval Studies subject:
Academic Info Humanities Gateway: Medieval HistoryBritish Academy Portal: Medieval StudiesIntute: HumanitiesMedieval and Renaissance Studies WebNetserf: the Internet connection for Medieval Resourcessponsored by the History Dept at The Catholic University of AmericaVoice of the Shuttle: Literature in EnglishWWW-Virtual Library: History: Medieval England
- Discussion groups
JISCmailnational academic mailing list service facilitating discussion, collaboration and communication within the UK academic community and beyond
- Discussion groups
Arts and Humanities Research Councilsupporting research into the arts and humanitiesBritish Academythe national academy for the humanities and the social sciencesEnglish Subject Centrepart of the Higher Education Academy – supports the teaching of English literature, language and creative writing in UK Higher EducationLondon Medieval Societymeets regularly at the University of London’s Senate House. Membership of the society is open to anyone interested in the medieval period, both established scholars and students.
- Other sites of interest
The Aberdeen Bestiarya collaborative effort between Aberdeen University Library, the Department of History of Art and the Centre for Computer Based Learning in Land Use and Environmental Sciences (CLUES).The Anglo-Norman online huba project of the University of Wales Aberystwyth and the University of Wales SwanseaAnglo-Saxon Charters on the Webfrom the British Academy – Royal Historical Society Joint Committee on Anglo-Saxon ChartersAnthology of Middle English Literature (1350-1485)from LuminariumBeowulf: a new translation for oral deliveryfrom the University of Wisconsin Digital CollectionsBritish History Onlinefrom the Institute of Historical Research and the History of Parliament TrustThe Camelot Project Basedat the University of Rochester, USA. Arthurian texts, images, bibliographies, and basic information in electronic format.EGIL (Electronic Gateway for Icelandic Literature)based at the University of Nottingham, the project aims to enhance support for research in Icelandic, Old Norse and Viking studies.Feminae: medieval women and gender indexcovers journal articles, book reviews, and essays in books about women, sexuality, and gender during the Middle Ages. From the Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship.Internet Medieval Sourcebooklocated at the Fordham University Center for Medieval Studies. edited by Paul Halsall.The Labyrinth: Resources for Medieval Studiesprovides free, organized access to electronic resources in medieval studies from Georgetown UniversityLinks to Chaucer resourcesfrom the New Chaucer SocietyLiterary Resources – Medievalpart of the Literary Resources collection maintained by Jack Lynch, English Department, Rutgers University, Newark.Mapping Margery Kempea guide to late medieval material and spiritual life, from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachussets, USA.Mapping Medieval townscapesa digital atlas of the new towns of Edward I, from AHDS/National Library of Wales/Queen’s University, BelfastMarginaliathe website of the Medieval Reading Group at the University of CambridgeMedieval & Renaissance EuropePrimary Historical Documents links to full text sitesThe Medieval Bestiaryanimals in the Middle AgesMedieval Portalpart of Medieval Sourcesonline – guide to Medieval history material available on the InternetOnline Literary Criticism Collectionfrom the Internet Public Library (IPL), can be browsed by author, by title, or by nationality and literary period.Rose and ChessLe Roman de la Rose & Le Jeu des Échecs moralisés from the University of Chicago Library Special Collections Research CentreSagñaneta cooperative project by the National and University Library of Iceland and Cornell University: Icelandic medieval literature – Images of manuscripts and books published before 1901TEAMS Middle English Textsare published for TEAMS (The Consortium for the Teaching of the Middle Ages) in association with the University of Rochester
- Other sites of interest