The area of Medieval and Renaissance studies has been one of the most active in
exploiting the hypertext and graphics capabilities of the Internet and the WWW. Scholars
from all disciplines--art history, literature, history--have contributed useful and important
materials for the specialist and novice alike. There are hundreds (thousands!) of sites on the
Web that can put virtually any aspect of the Middle Ages or Renaissance that interests you
at your fingertips. You may never have the opportunity to look at or hold in your hands the original
manuscript of the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, but you can
browse through the pages of this most sumptuous manuscript on the Web.
Many of the sites listed below have their own search engines, allowing you to find the
specific information you may want on any given topic. What is listed here is only the tip
of the iceberg, since many individuals and organizations are creating new home pages and
putting course syllabi on line. What I have tried to do here is give students and visitors
a select listing, with some comments to help guide choices. It's better, I think, to get a sense
of what you might be in for before you click away. The choices here are deliberately limited. I
believe strongly, that when it comes to the Internet, less is better.
Basic Sites for Beginners:
- NetSERF is probably the most important site for the beginning (and
advanced) student. Beau Harbin is the creator of this stunning site which covers all aspects
of medieval life and literature. The site
also has the advantage of being well-organized. The images are also well documented.
The Table of Contents is extremely detailed and will lead you to sites containing texts,
images, maps, journals, bibliographies, teaching aids, discussion lists, etc. Of special note
are the excellent Search Engine and the Glossary of terms.
- The Labyrinth at Georgetown University is one of the first and most
comprehensive sites for all things medieval. There are links to on-line journals;
bibliographies; international resources and libraries (including Scandinavian
resources!); teaching resources; manuscript editions; images; complete listings of Arthurian
materials; maps, etc.. You can also connect to the various Dante projects through this page.
There is a very good search engine to help you navigate this large and complex site.
The Labyrinth links to the ARTFL Project
of the University of Chicago, which has texts and language information.
The Camelot Project
- The Camelot Project, Rochester University, is designed to make available in
electronic format a database of Arthurian texts, images, bibliographies, and basic
information. The site is a very complete one and is an excellent starting point for those of
you interested in matters Arthurian. A more detailed listing of some of the many sites
dealing with the Arthurian Legend can be found at my course home page on the subject of
The Arthurian Legend.
The Vatican Home Page
- Among the things you can do at the Vatican site are the following: access the treasures of
the Vatican museum, see the Sistine Chapel, travel in Italy, follow in the steps of St. Francis
Book for Medieval Studies
- The ORB encyclopedia is one of the most authoritative sources
for on-line reference materials for medieval studies. Here you will find course syllabi from
around the world, bibliographies, primary and secondary sources, translations, links to
images, and much, much more. One of the most comprehensive sections is the Medieval Sourcebook,
- The Medieval Sourcebook, compiled by Paul Halsall,
is one of the most comprehensive collections of texts in translation, as well as links to
images and other materials. Many of the links in this unique collection are to the pages
created by Prof. Halsall himself, such as his
Medieval World Course
page. This site contains many of the most important primary sources for works in
translation for medieval studies. When most libraries don't have the texts you might need,
this is the place to search for them. There is an excellent search engine that facilitates
finding precisely the materials you are interested in locating.
Creating French Culture
- This is the home page of an exhibit at the Library of Congress, in
cooperation with the Bibliothèque Nationale in France. Here you will find rich
sources for the history of French culture, information on geneaology, the monarchy,
monasteries, images from such famous medieval writers as Guillaume de Machaut, Christine
de Pisan, Ovid (in his medieval incarnations!), and many others. This is a well-organized,
- This site is a compendium of WWW resources having to do with the Middle
Ages. In the Directory of the cover page, you will find information about the following
links: discussion lists on the Internet; links to texts from and about the medieval period; links
to databases; links to archives of manuscript facsimiles, art, etc.; links to information about
medieval sciences; libraries.
WEMSK: What Every Medievalist Should Know
- The site's name says it all. Here you will find bibliographies, glossaries, and the like for all
periods, languages, and aspects of the Middle Ages.
Specialized sites having to do with Medieval History, Technology, Literature, Lyric Poetry,
Food, the Crusades, the Black Death, Anglo-Saxon Life:
History, Maps, Everyday Life:
In addition to the links to the ORB and the Medieval Sourcebook, above, here are some more specialized links for further investigation:
Paris at the Time of Philippe Auguste
- This site gives you an insider's view of what the Paris of Philippe Auguste (b. 1165-d. 1223)
looked like in the late-twelfth and early-thirteenth centuries. There is also a wealth of historical
documentation here as well.
Medieval Technology Pages
- This series of articles and accompanying timeline are a work-in-progress. The site contains all
sorts of information about the development of various "items" and "stuff" in the Middle Ages. For
example, you can find out about the use of the horse collar, windmills, magnets, etc. Check
out the magnets: you may find that I had something to do with these pages!
You will also notice that the page containing the Technology link has links to other aspects of medieval
history and culture. The pages of Scholar.chem.nyu.edu are maintained by Professor Paul Gans of NYU.
A Theoretical Chemist by training, Professor Gans teaches a course on Medieval Technology and Everyday Life
for the undergraduate program in Medieval Studies at NYU. There are many interesting links that he's found
for sites having to do with technology (of course!) and history in general. Check out the course
page and the links to military and social history, arms and armor, gunpowder, etc.. Anyone
interested in the history of "hurt" in the Middle Ages will find lots of information!
- The Mappamundi Project.
A site maintained by Princeton University's Program in Medieval Studies, studying the artifacts and material
culture of the Middle Ages. Follow the On-line Tutorial for solid information.
Le Moyen Âge
- This is a vast site, containing not only history, but literature, music, and art as well. There is
a lot of information about historical and literary figures. The site is in English and French.
Medieval History: Life in the Middle Ages
- Another vast site, part of about.com (which is accessible from these pages), about
all aspects of medieval life.
The Medieval Lyric
- This site, created at Mt. Holyoke College, is tied to the CD-ROM programs, The Medieval Lyric. The website contains
links, manuscript leaves, teaching resources, bibliographies, and listening capabilities for several lyrics.
- Site created at the University of Paris, Jussieu. Here there are lots of internet resources
and documents for medievalists. In French.
- Here is a site that will tell you everything you wanted to know about the development of calendars.
The Plague and Public Health.
- For those interested in The Black Death, and its
effects on Europe at the end of the Middle Ages, this site is of special interest.
There is much reliable information about the devastating effects of the plague on the
psychology, economy, and political life of the Middle Ages. More information and bibliographical
references on the Black Death can be found at the ORB, above.
Medieval and Renaissance
- For anyone interested in the recipes and ingredients used in medieval and
renaissance cooking, this is the page to go to. There are vegetarian recipes, Islamic recipes,
recipes from various parts of Europe. You can also find menus for great feasts at this site.
Most of the information is based on actual documents and cookbooks (or housewives' books)
of the period. This site is one of the many created by the Society for Creative Anachronism,
a group that seeks to re-enact life in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
Regia Anglorum -
Anglo-Saxon, Viking, Norman and British Living History 950-1066AD
- This is a site maintained by a "living history society" and they attempt to
recreate a cross-section of English life around the turn of the first millenium. At this site,
you will find information about life on English estates; the weapons and warfare techniques
of the period; early medieval daily life.
- A site for the study of Women's Religious Communities in the Middle Ages.
Several sites have excellent collections of maps from all periods of history:
Maps from the Medieval Sourcebook
- For the "geographically challenged," this section of Prof. Halsall's Sourcebook has
a map quiz that you can take.
The Bodleian Library Map Room
- The Bodleian Library in England has an excellent collection of maps up on its website.
University of Texas Map Collection
- This is a collection of Historical Maps of Europe.
Architecture and Art History Sites:
French Cathedrals, Basilicas, and Churches
- A truly astonishing collection of the major and minor churches, basilicas, and
cathedrals in France. There are more than 100 links to pages of photographs; detailed
descriptions of the buildings; floor-plans; etc.. There is an excellent overview of
architectural history, covering Romanesque, early and high Gothic, Renaissance and
Baroque. While some of the information is presented in French, many of the pages are in
English as well, so be brave and have a look!
This site is maintained by Professor Robert Peckham (aka "Tennessee Bob"),
whose Globe-Gate Project
is one of the most complete and detailed sites on the Web for literature, history,
French languages, art, etc. A long visit is strongly recommended.
Medieval Art and Architecture in France
- One of the advantages of this site is the information presented about the
context in which the churches and cathedrals were constructed: how they fit into
the countryside or city. This site contains very detailed information about many, many
structures in France and presents their history and floorplans as well as splendid
photographs. This site is maintained by the art historian, Prof. Alison Stones of the University of
Art History Resources.
- Part of a larger site about art history in general, there is much good information and
many illustrations here for the Middle Ages.
- This virtual tour of Amiens cathedral, as well as an explanation of its construction,
is part of the digitization project in art history and architecture at Columbia University. One part
of the site explains the Digital Design Project, of which Amiens cathedral is a subject. Further
information about the cathedral itself, including moving pictures, is part of the
learning project to guide students
through the construction of the cathedral through pictures and sound.
- Here is an example of the quintessential English Gothic cathedral, and one of UNESCO's World Heritage
Sites: Durham. Take a virtual tour of both the cathedral and the castle in this city.
- No study of the Middle Ages would be complete without some information on castles. This site has
photos and virtual tours of Welsh castles, and is an excellent introduction.
Literature, Illuminated Manuscripts, Paleography, Digitized Texts
This section does not begin to pretend to be complete. What is listed here are some of the larger
sites that deal with medieval literature in general. Often, there are search engines within these
sites that allow you to zero in on a specific text or author. The Sites for Beginners at the
top of this page has a lot of information about literature and links to specific literary works. The Arthurian Legend
is not included here. It can be found at my course home page for The Arthurian Legend.
I include here, however, links to sites of manuscript illuminations. They could have been included under
the Art and Architecture section just as easily, but I wanted this section to deal not just with texts that
are available on the net, but with larger textual questions such as bookmaking, illumination, and certain questions
of paleography and codicology as well. In other words, text is used here in its broadest sense.
Literature of the French Middle Ages
- This is a sub-site of Bob Peckham's "Famous French Links," created by David Gatwood. It is a
rather exhaustive list of literary texts available on the web. In French (sometimes with English
translations). In addition, Prof. Peckham has created a very detailed list of manuscript sites:
Tennessee Bob's List of Links.
- Part of Prof. Alison Stones's Art History pages, this site deals with the Chanson de
Roland. Textual information and images of the scenes from the battle.
- Information on chivalric literature, Chrétien de Troyes, the Arthurian Legend, etc. In
DScriptorium Database for Digitized Manuscripts
- An ongoing project of affiliated university libraries working on the digitization of medieval manuscripts.
Corpus of Middle English Prose and Verse
- Hypertext editions of many English texts. Searchable index.
The Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris
- The BN is a major site for research information. There are several sub-sites they maintain containing illuminations
from the manuscript division:
- The Age of Charles V (1338-1380).
- The Petites Heures de Jean
de Berry (XIVth Century).
The École des Chartes: Cours en Ligne
- Marc Smith of the École des Chartes in Paris is constructing a paleographical website to help with the study of
Latin manuscripts. This is a truly interactive way to work with rare manuscripts on the web.
The Life of Edward the Confessor
- Manuscript at Cambridge University, England.
The Bodleian Library
- Oxford University's Bodleian Library has a wealth of materials on-line. Some examples are:
Western Manuscripts to c. 1500
The Pierpont Morgan Library, NYC
- A certain number of manuscripts are available on-line, along with rich research resources.
- Early manuscripts at Oxford University, England.
The Burnet Psalter
- A detailed look at the Burnet Psalter at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland.
- A site that studies the history of psalters and luxury prayer books in the Middle Ages.
Interpreting Ancient Manuscripts
- Paleographic and codicological assistance for studying ancient manuscripts.
Paleography and Codicology
- Manuscript analysis from the University of Melbourne, Australia.
Thomas L. Gravell Watermark Collection
- To assist in the dating and provenance of paper manuscripts, this is a collection of watermarks used in the
creation of paper manuscripts. This address sometimes changes, so a search on
Google is sometimes in order.
The Free Library of Philadelphia
- Lewis E 201: The Edward IV Roll. Manuscript(s) from the Free Library of Philadelphia.
An on-going project is the study and analysis of manuscripts, which began with an exhibit in Spring 2001,
Leaves of Gold: Learning about Medieval
This page is maintained by Kathryn
M. Talarico. Please address all comments to her.
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