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SMC165H1: Boyle Seminar in Scripts & Stories - Customized Resources

SMC165H1: Boyle Seminar in Scripts & Stories - Customized Resources

Book of Kells, 8th Century. Gratefully adapted with a CC license from Flickr.

Book of Kells, 8th Century. Gratefully adapted with a CC license from Flickr.

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Encyclopedias & Dictionaries

Medieval Celtic World

Both online and in print, and containing more than 1,500 articles, this 5-volume set is the major encyclopedia for Celtic studies.

Viking invasions, language, mythology, saints, clothing, craftsmanship, architecture—these are some of the many topics covered in this encyclopedia. The entries, centred on such themes as lineage, manuscripts, persons and scholarship, focus on the period 500 to 1600 A.D., and come with cross-references and bibliographies. There are alphabetical and thematic tables of contents.

Dictionary of Celtic Mythology

New Arthurian Encyclopedia

Medieval Women

Women and Gender in Medieval Europe: An Encyclopedia

Oxford Handbook of Women and Gender in Medieval Europe

Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in World History

Trade & Travel

Trade, Travel, and Exploration in the Middle Ages: An Encyclopedia

The Crusades: An Encyclopedia

Ancient Greece & Rome

Ancient Europe, 8000 B.C. to A.D. 1000: Encyclopedia of the Barbarian World

Middle Ages

Up to date, and intended for both novices and specialists, this 4-volume set covers European history, society, religion, and culture between A.D. 500 to 1500. Articles number about 5,000. They range from brief to lengthy, include bibliographies, and often unearth material you can only find elsewhere with difficulty. Women and children, for example, get substantial attention. The set contains a thematic listing of entries, a general index, a list of medieval popes and antipopes, and an index of alternative place names.

A Companion to the Early Middle Ages: Britain and Ireland c.500-1100

Including more than 5,000 signed articles ranging in length from 100 to 10,000 words, this 13-volume set is the major scholarly encyclopedia for medieval studies and is intended for all levels, from the high school student to the scholar. All volumes are available online on the Internet Archive, a trusted source, but one for which it is necessary to create a free account and login.

V13, Index
Supplement 1.

Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages

This introduction to German and Dutch-speaking Europe focuses on the region’s major people, events, places, daily life, and accomplishments between roughly 500 and 1500 A.D. Alphabetical entries on such topics as patronage, diet and nutrition, and Segher Diengotgaf are made accessible through a list of entries by category (e.g. Music; Persons; Religion and Theology; Women, Gender and Families), as well as by the usual index at the back.

Pick up this 2-volume set for an introduction to medieval Italian life and culture. With nearly 1,000 entries ranging from 500 to 10,000 words, and covering specific topics in the brief articles (e.g. Camerino, Duchy of) and general topics in the lengthy ones (e.g. Florence), this set includes 3 pages of maps, along with a reference list of Popes and Rulers in the appendix.

In entries varying from 500-word descriptions to 3,000-word overviews, this encyclopedia aims at helping undergraduates and the general public in coming to grips with the political, social, religious, economic, intellectual, literary and artistic history of France between roughly 500 and 1500 A.D.. Various useful lists complement these entries: The Kings, Counts, Dukes; Popes; Architectural Terms; and Musical Terms.

Medieval Archaeology: An Encyclopedia

The major English-language comprehensive history of the Middle Ages, this work is a completely new edition of the former standard work, The Cambridge Medieval History (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1911; St. Michael’s 2nd Floor – D117 .C3).

Grove Encyclopedia of Medieval Art and Architecture

Medieval Folklore: An Encyclopedia of Myths, Legends, Tales, Beliefs, and Customs

A Companion to Medieval Art Romanesque and Gothic in Northern Europe


Witty, F. J. "Prayer Books." New Catholic Encyclopedia. 2003.

Butler, Alban. The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Other Principal Saints, Compiled from Original Monuments, and Other Authentic Records. 1903.

The major English-language encyclopedia on Catholic topics, it contains about 17,000 articles, each with a bibliography emphasizing the primary sources. Unfortunately many of the articles in the 2003/online edition are reprints from the 1967 edition without any updating. Use this work to get an overview of a subject and to see how it can be divided into narrower topics for a paper.

Oxford dictionary of the Christian Church

Encyclopedia of Religion. GALE, Macmillan Reference, 2005.

Encyclopedia of Irish Spirituality.

About Books & Manuscripts


Buringh, E. Medieval Manuscript Production in the Latin West: Explorations with a Global Database. Leiden: Brill, 2011.

Clemens, Raymond, and Timothy Graham. Introduction to Manuscript Studies. Ithaca, N.Y: Cornell University Press, 2007.Available to borrow with a free account through the Internet Archive.

De Hamel, Christopher. Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts: Twelve Journeys into the Medieval World. Penguin Publishing Group, 2017.

De Hamel, Christopher. Scribes and Illuminators. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1992. Available to borrow with a free account through the Internet Archive.

Henry, F. and Marsh-Micheli, G.L. "Manuscripts and Illuminations, 1169-1603". In A New History of Ireland Volume 2: Medieval Ireland 1169-1534, edited by A. Cosgrave, 780-815. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008. 780-815.

Johnston, Michael (Michael Robert), and Michael Van Dussen, eds. The Medieval Manuscript Book: Cultural Approaches. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015.

Ó Cróinín, D. Early Medieval Ireland. London and New York: Routledge, 2017.

O’Sullivan, William. "Manuscripts and Palaeography." In A New History of Ireland Volume 1: Prehistoric and Early Ireland, edited by D. Ó Cróinín, 511-48. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.

Raven, James. The Oxford History of the Book. Oxford: OUP Oxford, 2023.

Raven, James, ed. The Oxford Illustrated History of the Book. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020.

Slavin, Michael. The Ancient Books of Ireland. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2005.

Suarez, Michael Felix., and H. R. Woudhuysen. The Oxford Companion to the Book. Edited by Michael F. Suarez and H. R. Woudhuysen. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.

Woudhuysen, H. R., and Michael F. Suarez. The Book: a Global History. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.

Print Books

Clemens, Raymond, and Timothy Graham. Introduction to Manuscript Studies. Ithaca, N.Y: Cornell University Press, 2007.

De Hamel, Christopher. Scribes and Illuminators. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1992.

De Hamel, Christopher. Making Medieval Manuscripts. Oxford: Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, 2018.

Other Sources

Books and the dissemination of knowledge in medieval Europe - Khan Academy

Palaeography Tutorials and Writing Exercises - UK National Archives

Article Databases


Search LibrarySearch

Known as LibrarySearch, this interdisciplinary database is UofT's largest--and your best bet when more focused databases let you down. It combs through more than 1,200 databases, journal packages, e-book collections, and other resources ranging from the sciences to the social sciences and humanities. At its best, LibrarySearch finds relevant results you won't find elsewhere; at its worst, however, LibrarySearch can overwhelm you will a mish-mash of results from different subject areas.


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Other Databases

International Medieval Bibliography (IMB)

ITER: Gateway to the Middle Ages and Renaissance

Over one million bibliographic citations to journal articles, essays in books, and book reviews in the field of religion. Covers all aspects of the major world religions and now includes all the content of the online Catholic Periodical and Literature Index.

The MLA is the major English literature database. It covers criticism related to literature, linguistics and folklore from 1921 to the present, and contains more than 1-million citations to journal articles, series, books, working papers and conference proceedings. Most of the materials indexed before 1963 are American.

Bibliography of the History of Art

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