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Resources for History 3511 Seminar in Medieval History: Religion and Society in the Thirteenth Century



Tips for Conducting Effective Library Research

1. Before you start your search, break your topic down into several discrete concepts/search terms. Databases, including the library catalog, will be able to retrieve more relevant materials this way. For more flexible searching, think of various ways to express these search terms -- synonyms, broader terms, and narrower terms. This is particularly important for searching in full-text primary source databases. The Search Strategy Process Worksheet can be quite helpful in this process.

2. Then, think about what kind of information resources you need and select appropriate indexes and databases in which to search for material. This step is crucial to efficient identification of quality sources -- both primary and secondary -- for your research.

Finding Sources in the CU Boulder Libraries

There are many primary sources available in the Libraries, including documents (books, letters, etc.) from the period under study, as well as electronic, microform, and printed collections of these documents published at a later date. You can locate relevant primary and secondary sources in the Libraries by searching the CHINOOK library catalog:


Do a KEYWORD search in Chinook on your topic. Notice that you can specify language, location (e.g. Reference), material type, and year. You will get a mixed bag of results including both primary and secondary sources. If you are looking for primary sources, you can add one of the special subject terms that identify primary materials to your search: sources (more general), manuscripts, facsimiles, correspondence, diaries, narratives, pamphlets, speeches, letters, documents, etc.


Also see: How to find Primary Sources


Do an AUTHOR search in Chinook for books written by key participants in the events you are investigating.


Once you have found a useful item on your topic, take note of the Library of Congress subject headings listed in the item's full CHINOOK record. Click on these links to find related materials.


Some material will be available in microform. Use Chinook to search for specific microfilm and microfiche titles and collections. Microform readers and printers are located in the Reference Department.


Special Collections also has items of interest on topics if the medieval period, including a collection of Medieval and Early Modern Manuscripts. Special Collections librarian Debbie Hollis can help you navigate the collections.


Other Chinook Tips

  • How do I retrieve articles during construction?
  • Take note of the availability and location of an item; by clicking on a location's link in the record, you will see it on a map and/or receive more information about it.
  • In the case of journals, also look at the holdings information, to make sure we own the volume and issue you need. If it is in PASCAL, our off campus storage site, you can order the article you are interested in for electronic delivery using ILLiad.
  • Use the Internet Sources Only search to find electronic reference works, e-books, etc. or the Journals/Serials search to look for journals, newspapers, etc. Make sure to select All Collections if you want to switch back to searching the entire catalog.
  • If an item is checked out or we do not have it, search Prospector and order it online if a copy of what you want is available in another Prospector library.
  • Click the Find More Resources button to search for an item in Amazon, look up an encyclopedia article in Encyclopedia Britannica Online, search for full-text, search Google Book Search and Google Scholar, or export a citation into RefWorks bibliographic management software.
  • There is a rich cache of primary-source material on microforms. You can access guides in Government Documents, Reference, or at Circulation

Finding Primary and Secondary Sources in Library Databases


This is only a selection of databases that are available for your research. If you are not finding relevant sources in these or need more material, be sure to check out other databases on the Find Articles & Databases: History and other subject pages like Religion, Literature, and Women's Studies.


See also: How do I connect from off-campus?

Secondary Databases & Indexes


International Medieval Bibliography Online
Bibliography of the European Middle Ages (c. 400-1500). Lists material found in journals, Festschriften, conference proceedings, and collected essays on all aspects of medieval studies for all of Europe, plus the Middle East and North Africa when controlled by Christians. CU


Iter: Gateway to the Middle Ages and Renaissance
Bibliography of interdisciplinary literature pertaining to the Middle Ages and Renaissance (400-1700). CU


Bibliography of British and Irish History Online
The Royal Historical Society bibliography, hosted by the Institute of Historical Research, is a guide to writing on British and Irish history from the Roman period to the present day.


MLA International Bibliography
Published by the Modern Language Association. Index to articles in literature, languages, linguistics, and folklore from several thousand journals and series published worldwide. Also covers relevant monographs, working papers, proceedings, and bibliographies. Includes the MLA Directory of Periodicals. Coverage: 1963 - present. CU


ABELL (Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature)
Contains over 783,000 records covering monographs, periodical articles, critical editions of literary works, book reviews, collections of essays and doctoral dissertations published anywhere in the world from 1920 onwards. All aspects and periods of English literature are covered, from Anglo-Saxon times to the present day. British, American and Commonwealth writing are all represented.
Coverage: 1920 - present. CU


Humanities Abstracts/Full Text
Citations, abstracts, and full text covering diverse subject areas of the humanities. Coverage: 1984-present. Abstracts since 1994. CU


Primary Full-Text Databases


Regesta Imperii

Database of keyword-searchable full text and images of this great source work of German and European history. The Regesta Imperii offers an inventory of all documentary and historiographical sources of Romano-German kingship from the Carolingians to Maximilian I (751-1519), as well as of the Popes of the early and high middle ages. CU


Once you have located periodical material of interest in these databases, if they do not contain a direct link to full text, make sure you have all the relevant citation information. You can print and/or email the citations and abstracts to yourself from most of the databases.

How do I use Find it at CU?


Finding and Obtaining Materials from Other Libraries

Books and Microforms



If you have searched CHINOOK and a book or microform is not located in the Libraries, click on the Prospector button in the upper right-hand corner of the CHINOOK search screen. This action will rerun your search in the catalogs of 16 academic, public, and special libraries in Colorado and Wyoming. If the item is found, you can order it online through Prospector. You should allow a few days to receive the material.


Center for Research Libraries

Consortium of North American universities, colleges, and independent research libraries that acquires and preserves traditional and digital resources for research and teaching and makes them available to member institutions through interlibrary loan and electronic delivery. It has rich British history collections, including microfilm of manuscript material like the State Papers Foreign. CRL's loan period is much longer than traditional ILL, and purchase requests can be made for materials that fit in with its collections.



If you cannot find an item in Prospector, search WorldCat. It is the closest thing we have to a national union catalog, and it contains records for diverse materials, including books, microforms, archival material, maps, and visual material. It is a wonderful resource for discovering new and obscure material on your topic. Please note, however, that the decision to loan is up to the holding library or archive, and many will not loan unique and fragile materials. You should allow three weeks to receive the material.





You can initiate requests for articles as well as other materials by submitting them through ILLiad. Articles may get emailed to you within a few days; otherwise by mail could take up to three weeks.

Quality Web Resources

Eurodocs: Online Sources for European History
These links connect to European primary historical documents that are transcribed, reproduced in facsimile, or translated.


Internet Medieval Sourcebook

Largest online resource of medieval and Byzantine textual sources, edited by Paul Halsall of Fordem University.


Virtual Library History: Medieval Europe
List of online resources relating to medieval Europe, maintained by The Michigan State University Graduate Student Medieval and Renaissance Consortium.

How do I cite? Bibliographic Management Software

Once you have found relevant material, you may wish to manage your bibliographic information using specialized software. The CU Libraries have subscribed to RefWorks, which is available to all CU patrons.

RefWorks is a web-based bibliography and database manager that allows you to create your own personal database by importing references from online databases. You can use these references in writing papers and format the paper and bibliography automatically. New users should create a personal login by clicking on "Sign Up for an Individual Account," entering the appropriate information, and clicking on "Register." CU

The CU Libraries offers detailed information on adding citations to the database, creating a bibliography, and more in How Do I...Use RefWorks?



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