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ENGL 413 / MARS 420 The History of Books: Research Databases and Resources

From Beowulf to Shakespeare

Databases and Online Resources

ABC for Book Collectors (glossary of terms describing various components of books, used by book dealers and rare book catalogers)

Dictionary of Literary Biography:

Early American Imprints, Series I: Evans:

Early English Books Online (EEBO):

Eighteenth Century Collections Online:

Electronic Beowulf

English Short Title Catalogue (ESTC)

First Folio of Shakespeare's Plays (Bodleian Library)

Internet Shakespeare Editions Facsimile Viewer

Iter Gateway to the Middle Ages and Renaissance


MESA (Medieval Electronic Scholarly Alliance)

Middle English Compendium

MLA International Bibliography

Sabin Americana

UCLA Catalogue of Digitized Medieval Manuscripts

Parts of a Book

Image source: Thad McIlroy, The Future of Publishing

Reference and Secondary Sources

Brown, Michelle P. and Patricia Lovett. The Historical Source Book for Scribes. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1999.

Brown, Michelle P. Understanding Illuminated Manuscripts: A Guide to Technical Terms. California: The J. Paul Getty Museum in association with The British Library, 1994.

Carter, John and Nicholas Barker. ABC for Book Collectors. Delaware: Oak Knoll Press, 2006. (Available online)

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

de Hamel, Christopher. A History of Illuminated Manuscripts. New York: Phaidon Press Limited, 2002.

de Hamel, Christopher. Gilding the Lilly: A Hundred Medieval and Illuminated Manuscripts in the Lilly Library. Bloomington: Indiana University, Lilly Library, 2010.

de Hamel, Christopher. The Book. A History of the Bible. New York: Phaidon Press Limited, 2001.

Derolez, Albert. The Palaeography of Gothic Manuscript Books, from the Twelfth to the Early Sixteenth Century, Cambridge Studies in Palaeography and Codicology. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2003.

Dictionary of Latin Abbreviations 

Gaskell, Phillip. A New Introduction to Bibliography. Delaware: Oak Knoll Press, 2000.

International Medieval Bibliography, 1967. (HSSE Library: Periodicals 016.9401 In8)

Kerby-Fulton, Kathryn, Maidie Hilmo and Linda Olson, Opening Up Middle English Manuscripts: Literary and Visual Approaches. Itaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2012.

Middle-English Dictionary, containing words used by English writers from the twelfth to the fifteenth century, Francis Henry Stratmann; Henry Bradley, 1891. (HSSE Library 423 St8m)

Middle English Dictionary. Hans Kurath; Sherman M Kuhn (Sherman McAllister), 1952-    (HSSE Library 423 K96m )

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography  (HSSE: Reference 920.042 D56 2004)

Oxford Companion to the Book (HSSE: Reference Z4 .O946 2010). Vol. 2 contains entries on many topics in book history and printing.

Parkes, M. B. English Cursive Book Hands, 1250-1500 (1969; reprint Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2004).

Roberts, Jane. Guide to Scripts Used in English Writings up to 1500 (2005; re-issued London: British Library, 2011).

Twyman, Michael. The British Library Guide to Printing. University of Toronto Press, 1998.

Special Collections Libraries and Museums

The Bodleian Library:

The British Library:

The British Museum:

University of Cambridge Digital Library:

The Folger Shakespeare Library:

The Morgan Library & Museums:

The Walter Art Museum: