Quick Facts

  • 564,192 pages
  • Includes the works of more than 1,000 authors
  • Covers 540 years: 1120-1660

GEOGRAPHY COVERED:

TIME PERIOD: 1120–1660

 

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Related Subject Areas
British History
British Literature
Cultural Studies
European History
Literary History
Literature
Religion
Theatre
Women/Gender

Related Areas of Interest
British Empire
Jacobean England
Middle Ages
Renaissance/Reformation
Tudor England

British Literary Manuscripts Online, Medieval and Renaissance is the second installment in Gale’s groundbreaking British Literary Manuscripts Online series. This digital archive features manuscripts dating from roughly 1120 to 1660 – preceding and broadening the scope of the first series. It offers hundreds of thousands of pages of letters, poems, stories, plays, chronicles, religious writings, and other materials.

These priceless documents – once available only on microfilm or to those with access to the source libraries’ manuscripts collections – can now be accessed by students, faculty and researchers everywhere. This unique collection provides an intimate look into the lives and works of more than 1,000 authors and delivers insights into the culture and context surrounding centuries of British Literary achievement.

You can select British Literary Manuscripts Online, Medieval and Renaissance as a stand-alone product — or for a more comprehensive resource — it can be combined and cross-searched with British Literary Manuscripts Online, c. 1660-1900.

Summary: British Literary Manuscripts Online, Medieval and Renaissance presents facsimile images of literary manuscripts — including letters, poems, stories, plays, chronicles, religious writings, and other materials — from roughly 1120 to 1660.

With this valuable resource, manuscript materials can, for the first time, be brought into the classroom, providing unique access to the authors’ social networks, attitudes and education, as well as the development of their writings. Scholars will welcome the rare opportunity to search and review manuscripts online in order to indentify items for closer study.

Significance: Preceding the Restoration and the development of Britain as a modern world power, the Medieval and Renaissance periods witnessed the movement of literature from the elite to the masses and revolutionary changes in society, religion, commerce and culture. This collection is an essential resource for English, History, and Religious Studies researchers.

Source: This collection includes rare and previously inaccessible works from the British Library:

  • Beowulf (Cotton Vitellius A. xv)
  • Judith (Cotton Vitellius A. xv)
  • Sermo Lupi ad Anglos - "The Sermon of the Wolf" by Wulfstan II, Archbishop of York (Cotton Nero A. i)
  • Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: The Abingdon Chronicle II (Cotton MS. Tiberius B i.)
  • The Book of Margery Kempe (Additional MS 61823)
  • York Corpus Christi Plays - York Mystery Plays (Additional MS 25290)

This collection includes all the manuscripts from the following Harvester Microfilm collections:

  • British Literary Manuscripts from the British Library, London. Series III: Medieval Age: c. 1150-1500
  • Medieval Literary and Historical Manuscripts in the Cotton Collection

It also contains all manuscripts not dated 1660 or later from the following Harvester Microfilm collections (the later manuscripts are included in British Literary Manuscripts Online, c. 1660-1900):

  • British Literary Manuscripts from the British Library, London. Series I: English Renaissance: Literature from the Tudor Period to the Restoration, c.1500-1700
  • British Literary Manuscripts from the National Library of Scotland. Part 1: Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts, c.1300-1700
  • Forster and Dyce Collections from the National Art Library at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Part 1: 16th & 17th Century Manuscripts
  • British Literary Manuscripts from the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington D.C. 1500-1700

Structure: A groundbreaking collection, British Literary Manuscripts Online, Medieval and Renaissance offers students, instructors and general readers digital access to unique documents once available only to literary scholars. Highlights of British Literary Manuscripts Online, Medieval and Renaissance include:

  • Geoffrey Chaucer's The Wife of Bath's Tale
  • William Shakespeare's The Life of Timon of Athens
  • William Langland's Visio Willelmi de Petro Ploughman or "William's Vision of Piers Ploughman"
  • Marie de France's Le Lai de Launval
  • One of the St. Albans manuscripts

 

British Literary Manuscripts Online, Medieval and Renaissance is the second installment in Gale’s groundbreaking British Literary Manuscripts Online series. This digital archive features manuscripts dating from roughly 1150 to 1660 – preceding and broadening the scope of the first series. It offers hundreds of thousands of pages of letters, poems, stories, plays, chronicles, religious writings, and other materials.

For more information, download a Product Fact Sheet [pdf, 755 KB]

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