Medieval Literary, Historical and Legal Texts

Online Primary Document Collections Extensive collection of hyperlinks to online primary sources worldwide, provided by the library at California State University, San Marcos.

TEAMS Middle English Texts A large collection of important texts, both literary and historical, with excellent introductions, glosses, and scholarly apparatus.

The Middle English Collection at the Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Word-searchable collection of literary and historical sources, including Layamon’s Brut, the Paston Letters (ed. Norman Davis, Part I), and an anthology of Chancery English, 1384-1462.

Corpus of Middle English Prose and Verse Large collection of Middle English texts, including wills, cookbooks, Chancery documents, gild regulations, surgical and conduct texts, and Paston letters, as well as literary texts. Based at the University of Michigan.

Medieval and Modern Thought Text Digitization Project This project, based at Stanford University, is digitizing a wide range of printed sources, including a number of volumes from the Rolls Series.

Epistolae: Medieval Women’s Latin Letters, 4th-13th cent. Latin letters with modern English translations and scholarly apparatus.

Sample Sermons (in Middle English) A selection of the 1450 sermons published in A Repertorium of Middle English Prose Sermons (2007).

Jacques Paul Migne, ed., Patrologiae Cursus Completus. Series Latina. All 221 volumes of the PL.

Renascence Editions An online repository of works printed in English between the years 1477 and 1799 .

Gallica A vast online library of the cultural patrimony of France, drawn from the collections of the Bibliothèque nationale de France and of several major French museums, and comprising tens of thousands of historic texts, scholarly articles, images, sound archives, and other material. Texts of interest to English medievalists include chronicles and other sources edited by Thomas Duffus Hardy, Thomas Wright, and Henry Thomas Riley; Rymer’s Foedera; etc. Click on “Recherche” to search the index. (Note that an asterisk can be used as a “wild card” to truncate search-terms.)

Literature of the French Middle Ages Numerous links to collections of texts and to related sites.

Online Medieval and Classical Library (OMACL) Word-searchable collection of full-text works of classical and medieval literature. All except the Middle English texts are in modern English translations.

EEBO: Early English Books Online Online index and full-text access to more than 125,000 titles listed in Pollard and Redgrave’s A short-title catalogue of books printed in England, Scotland and Ireland, and of English books printed abroad, 1475-1640, Wing’s continuation of Pollard and Redgrave (1641-1700), and the Thomason Tracts (1640-1661).

Dana F. Sutton, Library of Humanistic Texts, and Analytic Bibliography of On-Line Neo-Latin Texts Alphabetical hyperlinks to thousands of online texts and facsimiles. The focus is on “Latin texts written during the Renaissance and later,” but these include numerous medieval texts as well. In progress.

Eurodocs: Primary Historical Documents from Western Europe Links to numerous texts, some in their original language, some in modern translation, some in both. Searchable by period and country. Very useful.

WWW Medieval Resources Medieval texts in their original languages.

Internet Medieval Sourcebook Thousands of medieval texts (most excerpted, some complete), mostly in modern English translation. An outstanding resource, created by Paul Halsall.

Medieval Source Material on the Internet Excellent collection of links, from an English genealogy site.

T. F. Tout, Chapters in the Administrative History of Medieval England: The Wardrobe, the Chambers and the Small Seals Scanned version of Tout’s six-volume study of (1920–33), including his transcriptions of the earliest surviving Wardrobe account (5 Jan. 1224 – 10 April 1227) in vol. 1, pp. 233-8; the household ordinance of Westminster (13 Nov. 1279) in vol. 2, pp. 158-63;and the Walton ordinances (12 July 1338), in vol. 3, pp. 143-50.

Medieval English government documents Part of a genealogy site that includes links to major document series such as the printed Calendars of Patent Rolls, Close Rolls, Fine Rolls, etc. An excellent resource.

Henry III Fine Rolls Project This project, in cooperation with The National Archives, is producing a calendar of the Fine Rolls from 1216 to 1248, together with facsimiles of the original rolls. It hopes eventually to extend the coverage to 1272. In progress.

Calendar of Patent Rolls, 1216-1452 Scanned, searchable version of the printed calendars, provided by Prof. G. R. Boynton and the University of Iowa Libraries.

British History Online Digitized collections of major primary sources, including the Calendar of Close Rolls (Hen. III-Hen. VII), the Letters and Papers of Henry VIII, and the Calendar of State Papers, Venice (1202-1676). A joint project of the Institute of Historical Research and the History of Parliament Trust.

English Legal History, 12th-14th cent. Collection of texts, arranged topically.

Bracton Online Online version, in Latin and English, of the treatise on English law known as De Legibus Et Consuetudinibus Angliæ (On the Laws and Customs of England). Traditionally attributed to “Bracton” (Henry of Bratton, c. 1210-1268), more recently it has been re-dated to the 1220’s-30’s, with later additions (the latest by Bratton himself).

Index to the English Year Books, 1268-1535 Searchable index to the printed Year Books, the law reports of medieval England, by David J. Seipp. In progress.

The Anglo-American Legal Tradition (AALT): English Court Records, 1216 – 1660 Digitized images of legal records, mostly from the courts of Common Pleas, Exchequer, and King’s Bench, for select years. Outstanding resource, provided by Robert C. Palmer by agreement with The National Archives. The TNA series currently licensed to the site and available in whole or in part are CP40, CP25(1), KB26, KB27, KB29, E13, E159, E368, E123, E124, E125, E126, JUST 1, C33, REQ1, CHES14, and DL5. A few other series (including C1) are licensed but not yet begun. In progress.

Index to Common Pleas rolls (TNA: CP 40/-), 1399-1500 This index, by Jonathan Mackman and Matthew Stevens, was first produced as part of the AHRC-funded ‘Londoners and the Law’ project (AHRC AR119247). It was further augmented by the ‘London women and the economy before and after the Black Death’ project (ESRC RES-00-22-3343) and with funding from the Marc Fitch Fund. Originally published by Centre for Metropolitan History, London, 2010. To see digital images of the rolls themselves, go to the AALT website (above).

Abstracts of unpublished Feet of Fines before 1509 Abstracts in English of unpublished English feet of fines (The National Archives: class CP 25/-) to 1509, each entry with a hot link to the relevant image of the manuscript posted online by AALT (Anglo-American Legal Tradition). Extremely useful.

Court rolls of Ramsey, Hepmangrove, and Bury, 1268-1600 Calendar, in English, by Edwin DeWindt, of dozens of surviving court rolls and the records of one eyre (1287) for the East Midlands town of Ramsey, its suburb of Hepmangrove, and the nearby village of Bury. An exceptional resource.

Taxatio Database of England and Wales, 1291-2 Database of the very detailed ecclesiastical tax assessment of England and Wales, carried out in 1291-2 by order of Pope Nicholas IV. In progress.

Magna Carta (Latin, 1215) An English translation by Xavier Hildegarde, with an online glossary.