Aoife Offers a Librarian's Tips for Internet Searching

Having trouble finding information on the Internet? Retired librarian and teacher Aoife offers helpful tips on how to find what you REALLY want.

Greetings everyone.

This week's Links topic is: "How do I find out about XYZ on the internet?" I'm frequently asked how I search for some of the materials I find on the net. Oddly enough, I look in the same places you do, at least at first. I love metasearch engines (Dogpile being my favorite) and am a frequent googler. However, there are other mega-information sites that can be accessed (and plenty of term-specific sites as well). I'm listing some of them below, in no particular order. Some are dedicated to one subject. Some are dedicated to ANYTHING medieval, and some give a small sampling of the era. You wouldn't think it's true, but there are a LOT of medieval information-access repositories on the web. I can't pretend that I've hit a representative sampling, but I like the ones I'm listing. Those of you who know/use Argos for Medieval research will be sad to know it has died an honorable death due to lack of funding. Despite that sad loss, there are at least three sites below that can help you writ up your research, and if you go to any of these sites' links lists, you'll be able to head down even more serpentine corridors of knowledge in search of interesting and elusive facts.

PLEASE save this links post if you save no other. This one will save you hours of searching on the net, when you need to find medieval-specific information. As usual, please share this links post with anyone who might show the slightest interest :) . And feel free to use it to update your own weblinks pages.

One last thing: Please read the Excerpt for the site entitled Ancient World Web. It's the second site listed. There is no substitute for the research help of a good librarian.

Aoife, retired underpaid library director, now a teacher

Questia (worlds largest online library)
(Site Excerpt) Middle Ages
Questia has dozens of books and journal articles on the Middle Ages. Click on a book title below to preview that publication. Subscribe to read the entire work, and all of our over 70,000 books and articles. (Ed. note: though you can indeed read these online boooks like a book, the search feature is somewhat broad. Be very specific when requesting information).

Ancient World Web
(Site Excerpt, because I love this particular bit of editorializing :) This site can not and does not index all resources relating to things ancient on the web. That would be impossible, as sites appear and disappear with astonishing rapidity. There is an astounding amount of information about some topics out there (not all of it accurate or useful), and next to nothing about others. Please bear that in mind as you use the sources you find on-line. Just because one person says something doesn't make it true (or accepted as true). The web - as wonderful as it is - is still no substitute for good, old fashioned research at your local library. Your librarians - typically underpaid, underappreciated, and undervalued - are trained to help you find the materials you need - and didn't know you needed. Use your libraries and thank your librarians.

(Site Excerpt) DScriptorium is devoted to collecting, storing and distributing digital images of Medieval manuscripts (D is for Digital).

EuroDocs: Primary Historical Documents From Western Europe: Selected Transcriptions, Facsimiles and Translations
(Site Excerpt) These links connect to Western European (mainly primary) historical documents that are transcribed, reproduced in facsimile, or translated. They shed light on key historical happenings within the respective countries (and within the broadest sense of political, economic, social and cultural history). The order of documents is chronological wherever possible. No guarantee of accuracy is implied or assumed, particularly for remote links over which the webmaster has no control. When you cite documents from this website (, please consult Modern Language Association Documentation Style for Citing Sources from the World Wide Web.

Eyewitness The Middle Ages and Renaissance
History through the eyes of those who witnessed it.

Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
(Site Excerpt) The focus of each of the Getty vocabularies is art, architecture and material culture. The vocabularies provide terminology and other information about the objects, concepts, artists, and places important to various disciplines that specialize in these subjects. The primary users of the Getty vocabularies include museums, art libraries, archives, visual resource collection catalogers, bibliographic projects concerned with art, researchers in art and art history, and the information specialists who are dealing with the needs of these users. In addition, a significant number of users of the Getty vocabularies are students or members of the general public.

Hall of Church History (Subtitled "Theology from a bunch of dead guys")
(Site excerpt) The entrance is at the top center of the map. Watch your step, though. As you walk through The Hall of Church History, if you veer too far to the right or to the left, you'll encounter people whose tendency has been to enshrine tradition over Scripture, or to pursue what is innovative and novel at the expense of what is sure and steadfast.These dark corners of The Hall of Church history can be interesting and informative.

Internet History Sourcebooks Project
(Site Excerpt) The Internet History Sourcebooks are collections of public domain and copy-permitted historical texts presented cleanly (without advertising or excessive layout) for educational use.

The (NEW) Labrynth, Resources for Medieval Studies Sponsored by Georgetown University
(Site Excerpt) The Labyrinth provides free, organized access to electronic resources in medieval studies through a World Wide Web server at Georgetown University. The Labyrinth's easy-to-use menus and links provide connections to databases, services, texts, and images on other servers around the world. Each user will be able to find an Ariadne's thread through the maze of information on the Web. This project not only provides an organizational structure for electronic resources in medieval studies, but also serves as a model for similar, collaborative projects in other fields of study. The Labyrinth project is open-ended and is designed to grow and change with new developments in technology and in medieval studies.

(Site Excerpt) This page attempts to track ALL Byzantine material on the Internet, and ALL significant entry points for Medieval studies.

A comprehensive site with links to the wedding of many cultures.

Medieval Drama Links
(Site Excerpt) I have wasted countless hours chasing after alleged medieval drama links on the World Wide Web that turned out to be either non-existent or of little value. The following selection gives the ones that I have found to be most useful. All the links are divided into categories but, because there are about 200 links, they are presented on eight pages.

Spartacus Schoolnet: History Website Directory for/by teachers (Medieval Section)

De Re Militari: The Society for Medieval Military History
See in particular the section entitled "Online resources for Students and Scholars."

Medieval Names Archive
(Site Excerpt) This collection of articles on medieval and renaissance names is intended to help historical re-creators to choose authentic names. These articles were gathered from various places, and some of them appear elsewhere. In all cases, the copyright on each article belongs to its authors.

Comitatus: A Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies (UCLA)
(Site Excerpt) Comitatus: A Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies is a journal published annually by UCLA graduate students under the auspices of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance. Articles are submitted by graduate students and new scholars (within three years of obtaining the Ph.D.) in any field of medieval or renaissance studies.

(Site Excerpt) Welcome to the Medieval world of TimeRef. Follow the history of Medieval Britain from the time of Alfred the Great, through the Norman Conquest and up to the start of the Tudor Age. Detailed Timelines contain events for years between 800 and 1499AD. Maps show the locations of castles, abbeys and cathedrals in England, Scotland and Wales. Every person and building on this site has its own timeline and links to related subjects. This site is labelled with ICRA

Uniting the Kingdoms
(Site Excerpt) The exhibition looks at some key themes in the history of the Middle Ages. It is an introduction for readers new to the subject and a reference tool for those studying the period. It also provides images of over seventy key documents. The exhibition displays just a fraction of the wealth of medieval records held by the Public Record Office (PRO) (and some from other archives and libraries). It shows the diversity and beauty of material that has been preserved from the first half of the last millennium, and how these documents are used as historical evidence.

A Guide to Medieval and Renaissance Instruments
The site shows photographs and gives articles on 32 medieval instruments, their playing and development. Sources are cited (bib.).

Web Sites Relevant to Medieval Studies
(Site Excerpt) The ..... list is an expanded and organized version of the previous ORB Useful Websites List, and contains many new additions, corrections, and modifications. Sites have been sorted by subject, multiple listings have been (for the most part) eliminated, and inactive links have been removed. Where an inactive link was found, efforts have been made to try to establish the site's new location; if no new location was found, the link was removed.

Internet Medieval Sourcebook
(Site Excerpt) The Internet Medieval Sourcebook is organized as three main index pages, with a number of supplementary documents. Each individual section is still large - an organizational goal here is to avoid incessant "clicking" to get between pages and to information. Selected Sources......Full Text Sources......Saints Lives....Supplementary Documents

The Crusades and Medieval Information Links

The Medieval Information Sources Book Shop
(Site Excerpt) One-Stop Shopping for Outstanding Books Dealing With Heraldry, Chivalry, Nobility, and Royalty. Welcome to The Medieval Information Sources Book Shop! Those who are interested in chivalric topics often find it difficult to locate the kinds of books they wish. Thus, the M.I.S., a public service of the RMOKHSJ, was founded. In the M.I.S. Book Shop you can purchase the best and most reliable books in the field, each one carefully reviewed and recommended by experts.

ORB: Online Reference Book for Medieval Studies
(Site Excerpt) Welcome to ORB! ORB is an academic site, written and maintained by medieval scholars for the benefit of their fellow instructors and serious students. All articles have been judged by at least two peer reviewers. Authors are held to high standards of accuracy, currency, and relevance to the field of medieval studies. NOTE: ORB'S OCLC number is 35987956.

Online Medieval and Classical Library hosted by Berkley Digital Library Sunsite
(Site Excerpt) The Online Medieval and Classical Library (OMACL) is a collection of some of the most important literary works of Classical and Medieval civilization.

Internet Classics Archive
(Site Excerpt) Select from a list of 441 works of classical literature by 59 different authors, including user-driven commentary and "reader's choice' Web sites. (Ed. Note: the project is in the process of being fixed after a crash: it was hisghly useful in it's previous incarnation, soplease be patient).

Chrisitian Classics Ethereal Library
(Site Excerpt) .....Early Church Fathers project. We're starting a new push to complete Version 3 of the Early Church Fathers series. This is a large collection of the most important writings of the first 800 years of the church -- an extremely valuable set.

Project Gutenberg
(Site Excerpt) Project Gutenberg is the Internet's oldest producer of FREE electronic books (eBooks or eTexts)....Project Gutenberg is the brainchild of Michael Hart, who in 1971 decided that it would be a really good idea if lots of famous and important texts were freely available to everyone in the world. Since then, he has been joined by hundreds of volunteers who share his vision. Now, more than thirty years later, Project Gutenberg has the following figures (as of November 8th 2002): 203 New eBooks released during October 2002, 1975 New eBooks produced in 2002 (they were 1240 in 2001) for a total of 6267 Total Project Gutenberg eBooks. 119 eBooks have been posted so far by Project Gutenberg of Australia.

Outlaws and Highwaymen: The History of the Highwaymen and their Predecessors, the Medieval Outlaws
(Site Excerpt) The texts assembled on this site illustrate the history of the English highwaymen. Many are not easily available elsewhere. They include: street ballads, songs, extracts from pamphlet 'lives', 'merry tales,' underworld expos´┐Ż, satires, letters

Philosophy Research Base
(Site Excerpt) The PRB is categorized by history, subject and author. Integrating text resources with the best online resources this index attempts to aid both academic and general interest in all philosophical genres and their related fields. Dig In! And thank you for your support.

The Domesday Book online
(Site Excerpt, and please note that site is under construction) This site has been set up to enable visitors to find out the history of the Domesday Book and to give an insight into life at the time of its compilation. This site does not contain all the information contained in the original text, however does include a list of every settlement existing in 1086. If you have any questions relating to the Domesday Book please click on 'Contact Us' and send your request.

The Development of Western Civilization: World History: Medieval World
A truly exhaustive list of links to information about the medieval world.

American Academy of Research Historians of Medieval Spain
(Site Excerpt) The American Academy of Medieval Historians (AARHMS) was founded in 1974 by a small group of historians who shared a common interest in medieval Iberia. Its purpose was to provide a forum in which they, and others, could discuss their current research.

Collegium Medievale
(Site Excerpt) The journal Collegium Medievale: Interdisciplinary Journal of Medieval Research is a forum for all who are engaged in research on topics related to the Middle Ages or the Renaissance. One volume appears annually. The journal is published by the medievalist association Collegium Medievale: Society for Medieval Studies. The association has its basis in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Oslo.

Medieval Settlement Research Group
(Site Excerpt) The Medieval Settlement Research Group aims to: increase public awareness of the subject by spreading information about medieval settlement as widely as possible; hold regular meetings, seminars and conferences around the United Kingdom; offer advice and information to individuals and organisations conducting research into settlement history; influence national policy on the survey, conservation and excavation of medieval settlement sites; encourage the preservation of settlement sites wherever possible; publish an annual report; sponsor original research

Internet Medieval Institute
(Site Excerpt) The International Medieval Institute was founded in 1994 to bring together existing projects and research support activities in the University of Leeds. It offers expert resources and networking facilities for all those interested in all fields of Medieval Studies worldwide. The Institute works collaboratively with local, national and international networks in the field, and is a member of the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN).

History of the Medieval World: A Guide to Resources & Research on the Web
A nice list of links to further information on general subjects.

The Literary Times Medieval Research Page
A research page for writers. Note that some of these sites are pretty questionable, but entertaining.

A medieval search engine.

Yale Medieval Studies Research Guide
(Site Excerpt) Sterling Memorial Library's collections provide a wealth of resources for conducting research in medieval studies. Holdings of reference works, collections of fundamental texts, serials, and monographs are strong historically and currently up-to-date. Sterling's collections comprise a variety of formats including print and microform collections, electronic tools, online databases, and pointers to Internet resources. The geographical scope of the collection is large; especially strong in works concerning the British and continental middle ages, it also encompasses Iberia, Byzantium, and the Arabic world.

Historical Research in the Modern Library: Originally developed for a class in the Society for Creative Anachronism, by Pani Jadwiga Zajaczkowa
(Site excerpt) The first thing to do before beginning your research is to have a game plan. That means thinking about what you want to find out, then thinking about where you are likely to find it. For instance, are you interested in historical events? Or is there an object you want to research? Or are are you interested in researching a particular culture? If you are doing object oriented research, are you interested primarily in how to make one in the modern world, the appearance of the period object, the construction of the period object, or all three?

www Virtual Library---Medieval
(Site Excerpt) This list of on-line references is maintained by The Michigan State University Graduate Student Medieval and Renaissance Consortium, under the sponsorship of ORB, for The World Wide Web Virtual Library History Section.

Medieval Research Paper Hotlist
(Site Excerpt) Here is the place to start your investigation into the life of people who lived during the Medieval Period. I hope this will help to select a specific topic and to find several references on that topic.

Medieval Website Marist University

Using the Internet for Medieval Studies Research
(Site Excerpt) A Page of Resources for UConn Medieval Studies Faculty and Graduate Students Prepared for a Fall 1997 Presentation by David A. Salomon