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Medieval & Renaissance Studies

MEDREN: Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Duke Libraries

Finding Books

Search the Duke Catalog using the "Subjects" (the terms below are just a selection to get you started) below: 

  • Middle Ages
  • Middle Ages History
  • Civilization Medieval
  • Medievalism
  • Art, Medieval
  • Cities and Towns, Medieval
  • Cookery, Medieval
  • Drama, Medieval
  • Literature, Medieval
  • Women – History – Middle Ages
  • Chivalry
  • Crusades
  • Knights and Knighthood

If you prefer e-books, limit the result list to:>FORMAT   >>Online   >>>ebook

Search TRLN Search across the catalogs of Duke, UNC, NCSU and NCCU 

Catalog of libraries in US, Canada and beyond. Use Document Delivery /Interlibrary Loan to request books not held at Duke

Finding Primary Sources

Add the term "sources" to your topic to find primary documents:
Use "Subject" search in the Duke Catalog Advanced Search
  • Art, Medieval history - Sources
  • Church history Middle Ages 600-1500 - Sources
  • cities and towns, medieval - sources
  • Civilization, Islamic - Sources
  • Civilization, Medieval - Sources
  • Civilization, Medieval 14th century - Sources
  • France history Medieval period, 987-1515 - Sources
  • Heresies, Christian History Middle Ages, 600-1500 - Sources
  • Middle Ages history - Sources
  • Military history, Medieval -- Sources
  • Social history Medieval, 500-1500 - Sources
  • Reformation - Sources
  • Renaissance - Sources
  • Women England History Middle Ages, 500-1500 - Sources
  • Women in Christianity history early church ca. 30-600 - Sources

Example: Secondary Literature on Wars

Secondary scholarly literature can lead you to primary sources; check the footnotes and bibliographies of the following sample titles:

Example Secondary Literature on Daily Life

The study of medieval daily life became a respected field in the early 20th century; there is a large body of literature in this area; use the few samples below to find more:

Click into the catalog record and use the Subject tab to find similar books

Look at the footnotes and the bibliography of the chapters; they will give you names and titles of primary sources

Textual Genres in the Middle Ages

The selection of textual genres below comes from a handbook:
Albrecht Classen Handbook of medieval studies : terms, methods, trends. 2012. The handbook has lengthy definitions for each genre.
Textual Genres
  • Adversus-Iudaeos Literature
  • Art Manuals
  • Autobiography and Biography
  • Ballads, Songs, and Libels
  • Bestiaries, Aviaries, Physiologus
  • Bibles (Popular)
  • Books of Hours
  • Islamic Calendars
  • Cantigas de Amigo ("Songs of the Beloved")
  • Ceremonial Texts
  • Chansons de Geste
  • Charms and Incantations
  • Charters
  • Chronicles
  • Cookbooks
  • Courtesy Books
  • Debate Poetry
  • Dictionaries/Glossaries
  • Didactic and Gnomic Literature
  • Dits
  • Drama
  • Encyclopedias
  • Financial and Tax Reports
  • Glosses
  • Gospel Harmonies
  • Hagiographical Texts
  • Heroic Epics and Sagas
  • Historical Romances
  • Kharjas
  • Lapidaries
  • Last Wills
  • Latin Comedies
  • Legal texts
  • Letters
  • Letter Collections
  • Minnereden
  • Miracle Narratives
  • Mirrors for Princes
  • Notarial Literature
  • Numismatic Literature
  • Papal Bulls
  • Penitentials and Confessionals
  • Pharmaceutical Literature
  • Political Treatises
  • Prayer Books
  • Proverbs
  • Religious Lyric
  • Schoolbooks
  • Scientific Texts
  • Sermons
  • Short Verse Narratives
  • Sisterbooks
  • Travelogues
  • Trobadors, Trouvères, Minnesinger
  • Villancicos
  • Visionary Texts
  • World Maps