Welcome back!

As promised, a double-dip second helping of research tools for medievalists. Feast your eyes on the following:

Looking for a “primary source” (from taxonomic chart)? 

Middle English:

  1. Records of Early English Drama, arranged by town in 27 volumes, brings together “external evidence of dramatic, ceremonial, and minstrel activity in Great Britain before 1672″(http://www.reed.utoronto.ca). Included in its records are guild records, treasurers’ account rolls, mayors’ books, etc.
  2. Digital Index of Middle English Verse, published in 1943, supplemented in 1965, and newly indexed in 2005, lists Middle English poetry from 1200-1500. The entries are numbered and listed alphabetically by first lines. Online, one can search by author, title, scribe, subject, verse form (alliterative, etc), or rhyme pattern (ababab, etc). It also includes printed books, inscriptions, bibliography, and glossary.
  3. A Manual of the Writings in Middle English, 1050-1500 brings Middle English texts together with critical evaluations, bibliographies, and manuscript and/or early print information. It spans 1050-1500, and 11 of 12 volumes are published. Volume II is the Pearl Poet, but Volume VI is Ballads, so there’s no set rule for how the volumes are published.
  4. The Index of Middle English Prose consists of 18 handlists based on “major repositories”. It describes the MSs, or references to MSs, of works between 1200 and 1500 and includes a list of incipits.
  5. Index of Printed Middle English Prose modernizes the spelling of works printed between 1150 and 1500. The entries are numbered and alphabetized by first line; author, title, genre, and date included.


  1. Patrologia Latina‘s 200+ volumes contain the works of most church fathers between AD 200 and 1216. Its limitations are numerous, but eased by joint searchability with Acta Santorum (for those whose universities have subscribed to the service). NB: once you find what you’re looking for, you’ll want to grab a more updated edition of the text.
  2. Repertorium Biblium Medii Aevi catalogues known authors and commentaries in its first volumes. It has two volumes of anonymous commentary listed by incipit, a supplement, and an index.
  3. Acta Sanctorum was the first serious, critical approach to saints’ lives. Across almost 70 volumes, the work is organized by day.

Looking for sources/analogues? Influence/interpretations?

  1. Sources of Anglo-Saxon Literary Culture works towards the present from “classical, patristic, and medieval sources seeking to summarize the most convincing evidence for their being known or used in England” (http://saslc.nd.edu). It includes oral sources, charters, and even recipes.
  2. Fontes Anglo-Saxonici is “a register of written sources used by authors in AS England”(http://fontes.english.ox.ac.uk). As a compliment to SASLC, its print version works backwards from AS to find sources. Online, you can search by author or source.
  3. Sources and Analogues of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (2 volumes), organized by Tale, is exactly what you think it is — but better. Why? Three words: facing page translation.
  4. Anglo-Saxon England is an interdisciplinary journal published annually since 1972. Now under the guidance of Keynes, the quality of the articles and bibliographies are better than ever.
  5. Year’s Work in English Studies, another annual periodical, is organized by time period. It boasts that it is “[t]he qualitative narrative bibliographic review of scholarly work on English language and literature…” (http://ywes.oxfordjournals.org). It’s probably right.
  6. Studies in the Age of Chaucer: Wondering what people are saying about Chaucer? Go first to Studies in the Age of Chaucer, which NCS has been publishing since 1979.
  7. Variorum Edition (Chaucer) has 8 volumes planned. Its twofold mission is “to provide analysis of textual history of Chaucer’s individual works and to offer comprehensive overview of all facets of critical commentary of each work” (http://www.ou.edu/variorum/). It pains me to include this, but I’m glad to see something legit come out of Oklahoma. HOOK’EM.
  8. Arthurian Literature in the Middle Ages was published in 1959, and is partly responsible for the revived critical interest in chivalric games. It is, not surprisingly, a large collection of essays on nearly every medieval iteration of Arthurian lit.