Links and Resources

Not quite all human life is here, but there is a lot of stuff out there which can save a medievalist a great deal of effort, and it sometimes seems as if not very much of it is as well known as it ought to be. The things I frequently use or find worthwhile therefore appear below. I hope you get something out of them too, and if you know of more, I'd be very glad to add them. Also, please let me know about any dead links: the e-mail address in question is in the text in the left sidebar.

This page has grown somewhat since I first pulled it together, and I've amassed quite a lot of links that needed some organisation. You can therefore use the links below to jump to sections you might be interested in.

  1. General introductions to medieval history (on the Internet)
  2. Bibliographical resources, general
  3. Bibliographical resources, specific
  4. Online texts, general collections
  5. Online texts, specific in theme or corpus
  6. Online texts, periodicals
  7. Online texts, original documents and manuscripts
  8. Translation out of or into other languages
  9. Archæology
  10. Numismatics
  11. Art and Material Culture
  12. Technology in medieval studies
  13. Online communities and the blogosphere

The shallow end

No idea where to start? Interested in the Middle Ages but not ready for a full-scale reading list? There are some reasonable places to get a web-style light introduction.

Study starts with books

Firstly you need to know what's out there, and for that, your local academic library is probably the place to start, as they may have subscriptions to things like:

You can of course get somewhere by just prowling through library catalogues, which you can at least do for free, such as:

On the whole, however, subject searches in this sort of apparatus are dangerously incomplete, and you really need to know what you're looking for already. There's no real substitute for just being up to date with recent periodical literature and reviews, though that also is no substitute for being in contact with people who actually publish the stuff.

If you do know what you're after, though, or have a starting point, the single best place to start is:

There are also of course a number of online bibliographies out there, although they cater to specialist areas rather more.

Britain

Iberia

France

Online Texts

The increasing cost of publication on paper and the impossibility of managing to hold everything on shelves is driving teaching and libraries both to exploit online presentation of material. There are some really good corpora out there, though mainly in particular areas. A few brave sites struggle for comprehensiveness, and chief among them must be recognised:

Once you stop trying to find everything at once it's astonishing what's out there:

and there are a number of different ways to get at periodical literature online, such as:

Increasingly, too, we're seeing the original documents and manuscripts being put online, which is glorious but very hard to keep track of. Here are a few really useful servers.

Of course, given that I am a charter historian, it seems only right that somewhere on this page there should lurk some of the endeavours various people have made to get them onto the web. If most of what I know to link to is Anglo-Saxonist, that will be partly because I find it easier to hunt things in English, partly because I know some of the people involved and mostly because the fact that it only took one man to put the whole Anglo-Saxon charter corpus online gives them the edge over places with some actual volume of material...

I'm always anxious to know of more such sites, so if you do, pass it on!

These things of course take a certain amount of skill to read, and that skill is called Palæography. If this sounds like a skill you'd like to acquire, happily online training is available care of Diane Tillotson and her site Medieval Writing. And if that doesn't seem challenging enough, here are some palæography exercises in French!

"But it's all in Latin!"

Help is at hand. The big daddy of all medieval Latin dictionaries, Du Cange, is online as a database now, but there are a number of useful translator sites out there too. For my purposes the ones I have found most useful of all are:

"I think the answer lies in the soil"

No historian of any stamp can afford to ignore archaeology, except maybe people working on canon law... Everyone else should be leaping up and down at the prospect of more evidence, and evidence that lets you get at a completely different part of the medieval world than text-based study does. However, my knowledge of such sites is a bit more limited.

Submissions of more such sites very welcome!

Or In the Money?

Despite my best attempts to get away from this fact, as of this update it's still true I have spent more time employed to work on coins than on medieval history. I am still publishing in the field and now teach numismatics in three of my courses, so I probably just ought to admit that this is one of my fields. Consquently, I should have some coins databases here too, and thankfully there's a handy list just ready to be replicated on the website of the Royal Numismatic Society (London), which has these things in it:

To name but a few!

Other other evidences

Of course there's more. I'm no art historian, but I know what I like—or something. On the rare occasions that we have them the early medievalist can profit from visual sources, and of these the most famous (forgive the English bias... ) is:

Technology in medieval studies

These days, of course, the computer is as much of an aid as the spade if not rather more. That brings its own complications, and The Association for History and Computing will help you learn about them, although if you're French the journal Le Médiéviste et l'Ordinateur may also be of interest. Lastly, a variety of interesting projects on these lines are held at DH Commons here, and you may even find the people you need to start your own! There is a huge range of software intended to help you research, store data, find it again, write, write quicker, write better (lots of academics have trouble writing, it seems) but I don't use those, so I can only refer you to the ProfHacker blog at the Chronicle of Higher Education, something that I do not do without reservations. It is the Chronicle, after all.

Online communities

Not many established scholars participate in such things, although tales of old flame-wars on soc.history.medieval might suggest otherwise to you, but for those in the more insecure parts of the profession, there appears to be some interest in knowing that we're not alone...

Blogs

When I started this site, the blogosphere (I can use this word unironically, that's how far things have gone) seemed to be where it wa at, from free discussion and encouragement to presentation of genuine research for peer pre-review and even just publication. I was very glad to be a part of this great endeavour, and following that link will take you to a list of the others I myself used to follow, but I have to admit that professional time pressure has kept me from doing anything there for some time, though I hope this will soon change, and I'm not the only one. So you may be trying to reach me here instead! If you have any comments that the carefully-buried e-mail address in the left sidebar there won't accommodate, all the same, the blog still finds me and I'd be glad to hear from you there.