James H. Thomason Library

English 420 Course Guide: Monster in the Mirror
Reference Sources

A blemmyae [man with its head in its chest] as described in Wonders of the East. Cotton Tiberius B V f.82r c. 1025. British Library

  Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, Companions,etc.
  Film Reference Sources
  Style Guides
Locating Books
  PASCAL Catalog
  Worldcat and Interlibrary Loans (ILL)
Locating Articles & Criticism
  Reference Sources & Criticism
  Journal Articles, Essays, Book Chapters
  Key Journals
  Journal Finder
Specific Works & Themes
  Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Internet Resources
  General Medieval Literature Sources
  Image Databases

Get Help

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Reference Sources:    

Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, Companions, Guides

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For background information and definitions refer to the following library reference works and online reference collections:

The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Anglo-Saxon England, Blackwell, 1999.  
Main Level, Reference:
R 942.01 B568B

Cambridge Guide to Literature in English [CREDO Reference], Cambridge Univ. Press, 2006.  Authoritative and international survey of world literature in English with entries on eras, theses, genres and critical terms, authors, poems, novels, literary journals and plays.

A Companion to the Gawain-Poet. Derek Brewer and Jonathan Gibson, editors. D.S. Brewer Pub., 1997. Upper Level: 821.109 C738C

A Concordance to Beowulf.  Albert Cook. Max Niemeyer Pub., 1911.   Reprinted by Gale Research Co., 1968.  Main Level, Reference:  R 829.3 C771C

Continuum Encyclopedia of British Literature [CREDO Reference], Continuum International, 2006.   
A comprehensive guide to all British literature. Includes entries for the Gawain Poet, Layamon’s Brut, Middle English, etc.

A Dictionary of Literary Symbols
[CREDO Reference], Cambridge University Press, 2003.  

Print edition also available, Main Level, Reference: R 809.915 F373D [2000 ed.]   

The first dictionary of symbols to be based on literature, rather than "universal" psychological archetypes, myths, or esoterica. Concentrates on English literature, but its entries range widely from the Bible and classical authors to the twentieth century, taking in American and European literatures. 

Dictionary of the Middle Ages, Joseph R. Strayer, editor, Scribner, c1982-c1989.

Main Level, Reference: R 909.07 D561D [13 vols, suppl.]

  Jacket image

The Encyclopedia of Ancient Civilizations, Arthur Cotterell, ed., Mayflower Books, 1980.
Main Level, Reference:
R 930.03 En19E

Encyclopedia of Medieval Literature [CREDO Reference], Robert Thomas Lambdin and Laura Cooner Lambdin, eds. Greenwood Press, 2000. While the volume is devoted primarily to the literature of medieval England, its multicultural scope also encompasses Islamic, Mongolian, Celtic, Hispanic, Italian, Russian, and Germanic works.

Encyclopedia of Society and Culture in the Medieval World. Pam J. Crabtree, ed. Facts on File, 2008 (4 volumes). Main Level, Reference:

Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages, Andre Vauchez, ed., Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, 2000.
Main Level, Reference:
 R 909.07 En19E [2 vols]

European Writers, Volumes 1- 2: The Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Scribner, 1983.
Main Level, Reference: R 809.894 Eu74E

Also available online via Literature Resource Center and Literature Resources from Gale

Medieval England: An Encyclopedia, Paul E. Szarmach, ed., Garland Pub., 1998.
Main Level, Reference:
R 942 M468M

Medieval France: An Encyclopedia, William W. Kibler, ed. Garland Pub., 1995. 
Main Level, Reference: 
R 944.003 M468M

The Middle Ages: A Concise Encyclopaedia, H.R. Loyn, ed. Thames and Hudson, 1989. 
Main Level, Reference:
R 909.07 M584M

The New Arthurian Encyclopedia, Norris J. Lacy, ed. Garland Pub., 1996.
Main Level, Reference:
R 809.93351 N42N

The Oxford Companion to English Literature [Oxford Reference Online], Oxford Univ. Press, 2007.
Also available in print edition: Main Level Reference: R 820.9 Ox2O


Biography--Reference Sources   back to top

Gale Biography in Context

Biography Resource Center combines Gale biographies with related full-text articles from magazines and newspapers, thousands of images, and links to vetted websites. Search for current or historic figures based on name, occupation, nationality, ethnicity, birth/death dates and places, or gender, as well as keyword and full text.

Literature Resource Center [Thomson Gale] Pascal Logo
Search here for your author or use advanced search criteria to compile a list of authors by type. Contains biographical information from Contemporary Authors and Dictionary of Literary Biography databases, as well as British Writers [Main Level, Reference: R 820.9 B777B] and thirteen Scribner print sources.

Films --Reference Sources   back to top


The A to Z of Horror Cinema.
Peter Hutchings.
Scarecrow Press, 2009.

[EBSCO eBook Collection].  




International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers

[Gale Virtual Reference Library], St. James Press, 2001. 

Encyclopedic in scope. Electronic edition of four volume set giving thorough coverage of films and filmmakers, including legendary films, actors and actresses, directors, writers and other production artists. Entries include a detailed essay written by an expert; biographies; filmographies; comprehensive credits; major awards; and updated bibliographies, as well as photographs.

Schirmer Encyclopedia of Film, Schirmer Reference, 2007.

Main Level, Reference: R 791.4303 G767S [4 vols]

Style Guides   back to top

MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers.

7th edition. Modern Language Association, 2009.

   2 copies: Main Level, Reference  R 808.02 M72M

                    AND Ready Reference Shelf (behind Reference Desk)

Humanities: Documenting Sources [Research and Documentation Online], Bedford/St. Martins, 2003.

Writing Center, Presbyterian College
Citation styles, writing guides, and scheduling an appointment with a tutor.

Locating Books   back to top


Use the online catalog to locate books in Thomason Library. You can search by author, title, keyword, or subject.

  • SUBJECT searching requires use of Library of Congress subject headings. The terms below are examples of subject headings related to the Medieval literature:
  • Materials may also be found by specifying the country of origin, era, literary genre, or the material type in which you are interested, or by identifying broader themes in literature.
  Epic poetry, English (Old) -- History and criticism  
  Epic Poetry–History and Criticism  

English literature--Middle English, 1100-1500--History and criticism

  Gawain and the Grene Knight  
  Knights and knighthood in literature  
  Monsters in literature  


Subject searching is an effective and precise method of searching the catalog, however, KEYWORD searching has benefits, also.

  • Try a KEYWORD if you are unsure of the exact title or the correct subject heading to use. Search using two or three of the most significant words from the title or subject you are trying to find. Place phrases in "quotation marks."

  • Connect words with AND, OR, NOT to focus your search.
  • Try truncation at the end of a word stem to retrieve singular, plural, and other variations of the word.  Use an asterisk (*) to truncate from 1 to 5 characters. Use a double asterisk (**) to include word endings with an unlimited number of characters.
KEYWORD Searching Tips

· Add *
(asterisk) to the root of a word to truncate or expand
a term:
knight* = knight, knights, knighthood

monster*= monster, monsters

monstro*= monstrous, monstrosity

· Use AND between words or phrases to narrow your search:
AND human*

· Use OR between words to expand your search
medieval OR mediaeval OR middle ages

·When combining AND with OR terms,

use NESTING (parentheses) around "OR' terms

(monster* OR monstro*) AND (medieval OR middle ages)

(song OR chanson) AND Roland


Try KEYWORD searching with ThomCat, other library catalogs & journal article databases

PASCAL   back to top

PASCALCAT -If you need books in addition to those found at Thomason Library, try your search here for books in other academic libraries in SC. Through PASCAL Delivers, you can order books online for delivery within 3-4 working days. This service for current PC students, faculty, and staff is a project of PASCAL- Partnership Among SC Academic Libraries. Borrowers will be notified by e-mail when requested items arrive at Thomason Library. Click here for searching and ordering tips.



Example of a record for a book in PASCAL catalog

Author Ng, Andrew Hock-soon, 1972-
Title Dimensions of monstrosity in contemporary narratives: theory, psychoanalysis, postmodernism / Andrew Hock-soon Ng.
Publication Info. Houndmills [England] ; New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2004.

Display Holdings of PASCAL Libraries
Request this item


WorldCat & Interlibrary Loan (ILL)    

WorldCat – A catalog of books and materials at libraries worldwide. Try searching here to find ALL books available on a topic. Materials available at Thomason Library are highlighted and others can be borrowed through ILL or searched in PASCALCAT.

Interlibrary Loan - ILL is available to PC students, faculty and staff in order to share resources between libraries. Check link for instructions.

Locating Articles & Criticism:   back to top
Reference Sources & Criticism    


Literature Resource Center [Thomson Gale] Pascal Logo
Biographical, bibliographical and contextual information from the Contemporary Authors and Dictionary of Literary Biography databases, as well as full-text criticism from the Contemporary Literary Criticism Select database. Contains full-text journal articles from more than 250 literary journals, critical essays, author biographies, and definitions of literary terms from Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature. Includes full-text coverage of the monographic series Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism.

Scribner Writer's Series
Full-text articles on writers and literary genres drawn from 13 acclaimed Scribner print series. Each signed article was written by a noted scholar and concludes with a bibliography of primary and secondary sources for further study.

Journal Articles, Essays, Book Chapters back to top

MLA International Bibliography  [EBSCOhost] Pascal Logo
Indexes critical literary and language scholarship and provides access to journals and serials published worldwide, as well as books, essay collections, working papers, proceedings, dissertations, and bibliographies. Nearly 45,000 records are added annually.

Academic Search Premier - Humanities[EBSCOhost] Pascal Logo
Search this subset of full text peer-reviewed humanities journals indexed in Academic Search Premier.

Iter: Gateway to the Middle Ages and Renaissance
Iter's bibliography includes literature pertaining to the Middle Ages and Renaissance (400-1700). Citations for books, journal material (articles, reviews, review articles, bibliographies, catalogues, abstracts and discographies) are included, as are citations for dissertation abstracts, and essays in books (including entries in conference proceedings, festschriften, encyclopedias and exhibition catalogues).  

Arts & Sciences Collections I, II, & III contain an archive of over 350 full-text journals which are searchable through JSTOR or accessible through Journal Finder, which guides the user to full-text articles available at Thomason Library. The collections include journals in economics, history, political science, sociology, and humanities. This archive covers the full run of journals from the first issue of volume one; however, the most current three to five year issues of the journals are not available as specified by the publishers in their agreements with JSTOR.

Project MUSE Basic Undergraduate Collection  
Current and recent volumes of 112 core journals in the humanities and social sciences.

Specific Works and Themes    
Beowulf   back to top


Beowulf; reproduced in facsimile from the unique manuscript, British Museum Ms. Cotton Vitellius A. xv, with a transliteration and notes by Julius Zupitza. Pub. for the Early English Text Society, by the Oxford University Press 1959 [c1967, reprinted 1981]  2d ed., containing a new reproduction of the manuscript, with an introductory note by Norman Davis.

Upper Level: 829.3 B45B7

Beowulf.  Translated by Francis B. Gummere. New York: P.F. Collier & Sons,
1910. Digitized version via University of Virginia Library.

Beowulf. George Clark. Twayne Publishers, 1990. Upper Level. 829.3 C547B

Beowulf and the Beowulf Manuscript. Rev. ed. Kevin S. Kiernan   University of Michigan Press, c1996.

Kings, Beasts and Heroes. Oxford University Press, 1972  Upper Level: 398.22 J716K

Pride and Prodigies: Studies in the Monsters of the Beowulf Manuscript
Andy Orchard. U. of Toronto Press, 2003.

[Google Books].  Note: Preview—contains full text of most of this book, but random pages have been omitted from the scan.

Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics. J. R. R. Tolkien Oxford University Press, 1960. Upper Level: 829.3 T577B

Also available as a chapter in the ebook Rebirth and Renewal. Harold Bloom, editor; Blake Hobby, volume editor. Bloom's Literary Criticism, 2009. [EBSCOhost eBook Collection].

The Mode and Meaning of "Beowulf." Margaret E. Goldsmith. Athlone Press., 1970. Upper Level: 829.3 G574M




Sir Gawain and the Green Knight   back to top


Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and French Arthurian Romance.   Ad Putter. Clarendon Press, 2001.

Upper Level, Circulating Collection:821.1 P986S

Sir Gawain and the Classical Tradition: Essays on the Ancient Antecedents,

E. L.Risden, ed., McFarland & Co., 2006.
Upper Level, Circulating Collection: 821.1 Si76S2 

Twentieth Century Interpretations of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: A Collection of Critical Essays, Prentice-Hall, 1968.
Upper Level, Circulating Collection:
821.1 F83T


The Oxford Guide to Arthurian Literature and Legend. Alan Lupack.  Oxford University Press, 2005.
Upper Level, Circulating Collection:
809.93351 L973O

Includes chapter "Gawain."


Making of the Middle Ages, Southern, R. W., Yale University Press, 1959.
940.1 So88M 

The Medieval World: Europe, 1100-1350, Heer, F., World Pub.Co, 1962.
Upper Level, Circulating Collection: 940.17 H36M   
Includes chapter “Courtly Love and Courtly Literature.”

OTHER   back to top

Sources and Analogues of the Canterbury Tales.
Vol. 2. edited by Robert M. Correale and Mary Hamel D.S. Brewer Pub., 2005. Upper Level: 821.1 So84S v.2

Includes section on "The Man of Law's Prologue and Tale,"   pp.270-350.

Last Things: Death and the Apocalypse in the Middle Ages, Bynum & Freedman, eds., 2000.
Request this title through
PASCAL Delivers


Living with the Dead in the Middle Ages, Geary, Patrick, 1994. 
Request this title through PASCAL Delivers


Key Journals   back to top


Essays in Medieval Studies

Each volume has had a thematic focus based on the theme or topic of the annual meeting of Illinois Medieval Assoc. 

Heroic Age: A Journal of Early Medieval Northwestern Europe 

Open source journal. To view past issues, or to search all of the archive, click on "Journal Navigation" link.

  Focuses on North-western Europe during the early medieval period (from the early 4th through 13th centuries).  Seeks to foster dialogue between all scholars of this period across ethnic and disciplinary boundaries, including—but not limited to—history, archaeology, and literature pertaining to the period.

Medieval Studies 

The annual journal published by the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies. The journal was established in 1939 and from the outset its purpose has been the publication of research on the Middle Ages by scholars throughout the world, particularly research involving unedited manuscript and archival material. Most volumes are divided into three sections: “Texts ” includes extensive editions with substantial introductions; “Articles” includes studies based on unedited or edited documents and texts and also includes studies of other monuments of medieval culture; “Mediaevalia” consists of notices or short articles on specific documents or topics

Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England


Speculum: A Journal of Mediæval Studies   Publishes articles and book reviews on any and all aspects of the Middle Ages, including art, history, literature, philosophy and theology, music, science, law, and economics.


Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies

ELH (English Literary History)
Superior studies interpreting the conditions affecting major works in English and American literature while publishing articles with an intelligent mix of historical, critical, and theoretical concerns.

Studies in English Literature
Focuses on four fields of British Literature which rotate quarterly as follows: Winter-English Renaissance, Spring - Tudor and Stuart Drama, Summer-Restoration and Eighteenth Century, and Autumn - Nineteenth Century with historical and critical essays which contribute to the understanding of English Literature.

Journal Finder   back to top


Journal Finder provides access to PC's electronic and print journals, magazines, and newspapers in one convenient location.

Browse Journal Finder by title or subject. When browsing or searching, you can read articles from any journal that is available in the Full-text resources online group of results. Choose a database in this group based on the dates available and the time frame in which you are interested.

Library article databases are inter-connected by Journal Finder, which will lead you to the full-text of an article when available.


Internet Resources   back to top
General Sources    

The ORB: On-line Reference Book for Medieval Studies

Luminarium's Gawain Site  Texts, essays, links to other resources.

Middle English Compendium Bibliography, Middle English Dictionary, and more


The Camelot Project at the University of Rochester Bibliographies, Images, and Links to other Arthurian resources.

TEAMS Middle English Texts Another resource from the University of Rochester/Camelot Project. The goal of TEAMS is "to make available to teachers and students texts which occupy an important place in the literary and cultural canon but which have not been readily available in student editions." In addition to the Middle English texts, TEAMS also provides commentaries (some of which are quite extensive) and bibliographies.

The Voice of the Shuttle: Anglo Saxon and Medieval  [Alan Liu, UC Santa Barbara]
An extensive annotated guide to Romanticism-related resources on the Internet, arranged by category.

Electronic Beowulf
"The Third Edition of Electronic Beowulf is designed to meet the needs of general readers, who require

a full, line by line, translation; of students, who want

to understand the grammar and the meter and still have time in a semester to study and appreciate other important aspects of the poem; and of scholars, who want immediate access to a critical apparatus identifying the nearly 2000 eighteenth-century restorations, editorial emendations, and manuscript-based conjectural restorations."

[from website].

Beowulf Bibliography, 1990-2010.
Kevin Kiernan.

(Included in the Electornic Beowulf project).

Bosworth-Toller Anglo-Saxon Dictionary

Still important and accessible is the famous nineteenth-century Bosworth-Toller Dictionary, An Anglo-Saxon Dictionary, Based on the Manuscript Collections of the Late Joseph Bosworth ... Edited and Enlarged by T. Northcote Toller (Oxford: Clarendon, 1882-98). Charles University in Prague has recently provided a searchable version. [from Electronic Beowulf page]

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Image Databases

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ARTstor  ARTstor is a digital library of nearly one million images in the areas of art, architecture, the humanities, and social sciences with a set of tools to view, present, and manage images for research and pedagogical purposes.

Bridgeman Art Library Archive  Archive of images drawn from collections throughout the world. Coverage includes fine art, design, antiques, maps, architecture, furniture, glass, ceramics, and anthropological artifacts



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Oxford Arthurian Society  The Oxford Arthurian Society was founded in 1982 to explore the figure of King Arthur in history, literature and legend. Site includes a selection of online articles from the Oxford Arthurian Society magazine, Ceridwen's Cauldron.

Southeastern Medieval Association (SEMA) 

The mission of the Southeastern Medieval Association (SEMA) is to promote the study and enjoyment of the Middle Ages by students at every level of expertise. Professional and independent scholars from various branches of medieval studies--history, arts, science, philosophy, archaeology, paleography, theology, language, and literatures--make the Association's annual meeting a forum for scholarly and pedagogical growth within those disciplines as well as a platform for interdisciplinary exchange and collaboration. Members publish their research in the Association's refereed journal, Medieval Perspectives.


Get Help  

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Stop by the
Reference Desk

Teresa Inman 833-8313
Dan Lee 833-8437


Hours: 8.30 am - 10:00 pm

for research questions & assistance. Personal appointments also available.

MS. Bodl.614 12th C.  Marvels of the East--                      



Seventeen examples of the 'monstrous races', Harley 2799 f.243r, c.1175


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