Friday, January 31, 2014

Where do I find sources for award texts?

Several people have asked me whether there is a database of places to look for sources for award scroll texts.  As far as I know, there is not yet such a thing, but I am definitely looking into creating one now.

Meanwhile, I am going to put down in one reasonably accessible place the various on-line sources where I look for texts.  I welcome anyone who has additional sources, either in book form or on-line, to add them into the comments.  I'll be speaking to the Tyger Clerk of the Signet about creating a Wordsmith Resource page.

The Internet Medieval Sourcebook from Fordham University (  This site contains links to a huge number of texts of various kinds, including secular legal documents, cannon law documents, chronicles and fiction.  Nearly all of the documents have been translated into modern English but some are available in the original text and language as well.

The Avalon Project website from Yale Law School (  The documents are all in modern English translation.

The Florilegium Urbanum (, a collection of primary source material relating specifically to urban life in the medieval era.  The documents are all in modern English translation.

Epistol√¶: Medieval Women's Letters from the 4th – 13th Centuries  (  In many instances, the site provides both a modern translation and a transcription of the Latin (usually) original.

Records of the Parliaments of Scotland to 1707 (  The site provides modern English and transcriptions of the original manuscripts in Latin, Scots and occasionally French.

Anthology of Chancery English (  Primary source documents with no modern translation.  The documents are in Middle English and occasionally Middle French.

British History Online (

The On-Line Reference Book for Medieval Studies (

The On-Line Medieval and Classical Library (

The Anglo-Norman On-Line Hub (

Hanover Historical Texts Project (

Gallica (  This searchable website contains over 2.5 million documents, primarily in French, from the medieval period through the present.

The Richard III Society, American Branch, in their on-line library (  The texts here are narrowly focused on a specific time, but many are in the original language.

The Consortium for the Teaching of the Middle Ages page (  Numerous Middle English texts of various kinds (prose and poetry).

The Works of Queen Elizabeth I (  Good for getting a feel for Renaissance language

Letters of Philip II, King of Spain, 1592–1597 (  Many of these letters are transcribed, but not translated into English.  My Spanish is not good enough to use these, but someone else's might be.

EuroDocs: Online Sources for European History (

On-Line Calendar of Medieval Saints ( How to tell which saint’s day it is, based on the medieval liturgical calendar.

1 comment:

  1. Fifteenth Century English Patents of Arms
    (also earlier here:
    One of my very favorites

    Duncan's Cavalier Web pages - Documents:
    (mostly post 1600 but has a few nice earlier items, including a Licence to crenelate from 1281)

    Grant of Arms to the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem
    by Pope Alexander IV (1259)
    (in Latin with an English translation)