Medieval and Early Modern Studies

Medieval and Early Modern Studies

Medieval and Early Modern Studies is a collection of digitized manuscripts dating from the 12th to early 18th centuries covering all aspects of medieval and early modern life, including literature, religion, music, cooking and domestic life, science and exploration, and more. Most of the papers are from British institutions and cover British history, but some cover Europe and the Americas. Highlights include:

  • The Grail, Lancelot, Tristan and related manuscripts of the Arthurian saga from the British Library
  • Rare printed sources from the Herzog August Bibliotheck covering the Black Death throughout Europe
  • Music manuscripts, including The Scone Choir Book, The Leyden Song Book, The Skene Manuscript and the Panmure Music Books
  • Works illuminating the voices and roles of women in medieval and early modern society, including the first known autobiography by a woman in English (the Book of Margery Kempe) and the first known diary by a woman in English (by Lady Margaret Hoby)
  • Household and domestic works covering diet, cooking, celebrations, illness, childbirth, and the garden
  • Rare advice books, manuals and literary texts relating to masculinity between 1580-1800
  • Collections of political and satirical verse
  • Significant works of history mainly written in Spanish in America before 1700
  • Letters and papers of a host of important figures from the period, including Hans Sloane, John Dee, Katherine Phillips, Katherine Parr, Lady Jane Grey, John Foxe, Elizabeth I, Charles I, John Aubrey, Benjamin Franklin, Carl Linnaeus, John Locke, Isaac Newton, Alexander Orme, Samuel Pepys, Alexander Pope, Horace Walpole, Robert Walpole, and Thomas Wentworth
  • Collections of family papers, including The Wynns of Gwydir, the Clenennau Letters and Papers, and the Lauderdale Papers

The original materials in this collection may be found at the following archives: 

  • Bodleian Library, Oxford
  • British Library, London
  • Cambridge University Library
  • Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford
  • Folger Shakespeare Library
  • Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel
  • John Carter Brown Library, Brown University
  • National Library of Wales
  • National Library of Scotland
  • Pembroke College, Cambridge
  • Royal College of Physicians, London
  • Sheffield Archives
Dates covered

12th - 18th centuries.

Resource types