James H. Thomason Library

History 380 Course Guide: Early Russia
Background Information

Saint George on a Black Horse, medieval Russian icon, late 14th century, from Pskov, Russia,
housed at the British Museum, London
ArtStor image database

    Dictionaries & Encyclopedias
    e-Reference Books
    Guides & Companions
Locating Books
    PASCAL Catalog
    Interlibrary Loan
Locating Articles
    Article Databases
    Journal Finder
    Key Journals
Web Sites
  General Sites
  Image Sources

denotes recommended resource
denotes library subscription

For more information, see Byzantine Empire Guide

Background Information:    
Dictionaries & Encyclopedias [print]   back to top


Dictionary of the Middle Ages, Scribner, c1989.

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

Dictionary of Scandinavian History, Greenwood Press, 1986.
Main Level, Reference:
R 948.003 D561D

Historical Dictionary of Russia, Scarecrow Press, c1998.
Main Level, Reference: R 947.003 R214H

New Dictionary of the History of Ideas, Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2005.
Main Level, Reference: R 903 N42N [6 vols]

Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, Oxford University Press, 1991.
Main Level, Reference: R 949.503 Ox2O [3 vols]


The Oxford Russian Dictionary, Oxford University Press, 1993.

Main Level, Reference: R 491.7321 Ox2O

A Russian-English, English-Russian language dictionary.


Chronology of the Ancient World, 10,000 BC-799 AD, Simon & Schuster, 1994.
Main Level, Reference: R 909.002 M487C v.1

Chronology of the Medieval World, 800-1491, Simon & Schuster, 1994.
Main Level, Reference: R 909.002 M487C v.2

Encyclopedia of Asian History, Collier Macmillan, c1988.
Main Level, Reference: R 950 En19E [4 vols]

Encyclopedia of the Byzantine Empire, McFarland & Co., 2004.
Main Level, Reference: R 949.502 L423E

Over 1500 entries, from Adrianopolis to Zoë, embrace a broad range of topics. Illustrations include genealogies of Byzantine rulers, maps of the Empire at various stages, and photographs of Byzantine buildings and art. A pronunciation guide, a note about transliteration and spelling, a chronology of emperors, a glossary, a suggested readings list, and an index are also included [Amazon].

Encyclopedia of Eastern Europe, Garland Pub., 2000.
Main Level, Reference: R 947.003 En19E [4 vols]

Encyclopedia of the Byzantine Empire

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

Encyclopedia of Russian History, Macmillan Reference, 2004.
Main Level, Reference:
R 947.003 En19E2

New title! Encyclopedia of Society and Culture in the Medieval World, Facts on File, 2008.

Main Level, Reference:  R 909.07 En19E2 [4 vols]

"Comprehensive A-Z coverage spanning time from the fall of Rome in 476 to the start of the Renaissance in 1500. Each entry includes a discussion of the topic from the perspective of the following centers of civilization: Africa, The Americas, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, and The Islamic World."

Medieval Scandinavia: An Encyclopedia, Garland, 1993.
Main Level, Reference: R 948.0203 M468M

The New Cambridge Medieval History, Cambridge University Press, 1995-2005.

Upper Level: 940.1 N42N [7 vols]

A Source Book for Russian History from Early Times to 1917, Yale Univ. Press, 1972.
Upper Level: 947 So84S [3 vols]


e-Reference Books

  back to top


  Book Cover  

Cassell's Peoples, Nations, Cultures
[CREDO Reference], Orion Publishing Group, 2005.
An informative guide to ethnic and cultural groups that have inhabited our planet over the past 6000 years which is presented in a simple and easy-to-follow A to Z structure based on five regions of the world. 

Chambers Dictionary of World History [CREDO Reference], Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd., 2005.
Authoritative coverage of the most significant people, ideas and events of world history, 1000 AD to present.

A Dictionary of World History [Oxford Reference Online], Oxford University Press, 2006.

Includes biographies of key figures in world history, historical summaries for each country, and entries on religious and political movements, international organizations, and key battles and places from pre-history to the present.

Dynasties of the World [Oxford Reference Online], Oxford University Press, 2009.
Tables giving years of rule and family relationships (in the male line unless otherwise indicated) for the reigning families of the world, from Horus Aha, first pharoah of Egypt, to Abdallah, present king of Saudi Arabia. Included in the tables are data regarding regencies and co-regencies, abdications and depositions, interregna and dynastic unions, mandates and protectorates, canonizations and beatifications, and the end of monarchic rule through conquest or overthrow. Notes provide information on chronological problems and uncertainties, non-Western dating systems, and names and titles; bibliographies document the research and guide the reader to additional information.

Late Antiquity: A Guide to the Postclassical World [CREDO Reference], Harvard University Press, 1999.
Also available in print, Main Level, Reference: R 938.003 L343L

Comprehensive essays and encyclopedic entries on the history and culture of an era marked by the rise of two world religions, unprecedented political upheavals that remade the map of the known world, and the creation of art of enduring glory.


Book Cover

New Dictionary of the History of Ideas [GVRL], Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2005.
Also available in print, Main Level, Reference:  R 903 N42N [6 vols]

Atlases   back to top

Atlas of Russian History, Dorset Press, 1972.
Main Level, Atlas Case: ATLAS 911.47 G767A
A survey of Russian history presented within 146 maps from ancient and early modern Russia to the present.

Atlas of the Greek and Roman World in Antiquity, Noyes Press, 1981.
Main Level, Atlas Case: ATLAS 912.38 At65A

Atlas of the Early Christian World, Nelson, 1958.
Main Level, Atlas Case: ATLAS 911 M471A  

A Concise Historical Atlas of Eastern Europe, St. Martin's Press, 1996.
Main Level, Reference: R 911.47 H928C  

Covers the early medieval period (to 13th century) up to 1991.

Cultural Atlas of Islam, Macmillan, 1986.
Upper Level, Circulating Collection: 909.097671 Al1C

Cultural Atlas of the Viking World, Facts on File, c1994.

Upper Level, Circulating Collection: 948.022 C899C                

Historical Atlas of East Central Europe, University of Washington Press, 1995.
Upper Level, Circulating Collection: 911.47 M275H

Covers the area from Poland, Lithuania, and the eastern part of Germany to Greece and western Turkey and extends in time from the early fifth century to 1995.

Index of Cartographic Images Illustrating Maps of the Early Medieval Period 400-1300 A.D. [Henry Davis Consulting]
Provided as an educational service by Henry Davis Consulting.


Periodical Historical Atlas of Europe
Contains 21 maps, drawn by Christos Nüssli, available in French and English. Includes major states, provinces and tribes of eastern europe at the end of each century from AD 1 to AD 2000.

Locating Books   back to top

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

  • Search for a person, as AUTHOR or SUBJECT, with last name, first name:              

Martin, Janet [as AUTHOR]

  • SUBJECT searching requires use of Library of Congress subject headings. The terms below are examples of subject headings related to early Russian history:
  Byzantine Empire  
  Orthodox Eastern Church  
  • Materials relevant to the study of early Russian history may also be found by specifying the era or dates, geographic area, or the material type in which you are interested:
THOMCAT Eastern Churches History 2
PASCAL Eastern Churches History 20
  Russkaia Pravoslavnaia Tserkov
[Russian Orthodox Church ]

Ivan Iv Czar Of Russia 1530 1584

[Ivan the Terrible]

THOMCAT Kievan Rus History 862-1237 1
PASCAL Kievan Rus History 862-1237 9
  Russia - History  
  Russia - History 1237 1480  
  Russia - History To 1533  
  Poland - History to...  
  Browse stacks @ 947  

Subject searching is an effective and precise method of searching the catalog,

however, KEYWORD searching has benefits, also.

  • Try a KEYWORD search 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

· Use AND between words to narrow your search:
Vladimir I AND idolatry

· Use OR between synonyms to expand your search and
group those terms with parentheses:
(Ivan the Terrible OR Ivan IV) AND persecut

· Add * to the root of a word to truncate or
expand a term:
persecut* = persecute
, persecuted, persecution

idol* = idol, idols, idolatry

· Use "quotation marks " around a phrase

to find the exact phrase:
"Golden Horde"

Try KEYWORD searching with THOMCAT, other library catalogs & library databases



PASCAL CATALOG   back to top

When you need books in addition to those found at Thomason Library, try your search here for books in other academic libraries in SC.


PASCAL Catalog searching is similar to searching in THOMCAT. An added BONUS in THOMCAT is a pass-through from search results in THOMCAT to the same search results in PASCAL with one click on the PASCAL icon.

The pass through is available on any search at any level

  • A PC book you need is checked out? Click the PASCAL icon for other copies available in SC.

  • Need more items on a subject? PASCAL items on that subject are just a click away.

PASCAL Delivers SC's virtual academic library

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.


WorldCat   back to top

A catalog of books and materials at libraries worldwide. Try searching here to find ALL books on a topic. Materials available at Thomason Library are highlighted and others can be borrowed through Interlibrary Loan or PASCAL Delivers.


Interlibrary Loan   back to top

You need to use Interlibrary Loan when...

  • a book you really need is not available at PC or through PASCAL Delivers
  • an article you need is not available at PC [you've checked Journal Finder to see if the library has access to the journal for the date that you need]

Interlibrary Loan is another option available to PC students, faculty and staff. Click link for instructions.

Locating Articles    
Article Databases   back to top

The following journal databases are available to PC students, faculty, and staff from on- and off-campus locations.  When passworded from off campus locations, supply your PC e-mail account username [i.e. tinman] and password. Search databases using terms dealing with your topic.

  Academic Search Premier [EBSCOhost]
A large collection of active full text peer-reviewed journals, Academic Search Premier contains indexing for 8,172 publications, with full text for nearly 4,700 of those titles. PDF backfiles to 1975 or further are available for well over one hundred journals, and searchable cited references are provided for more than 1,000 titles. Academic Search Premier contains unmatched full text coverage in biology, chemistry, engineering, physics, psychology, religion & theology, etc. 

Academic OneFile [Thomson Gale]
Journal database covering a wide range of disciplines. Includes indexing with abstracts, full-text articles and linked full-text articles.

Gale World History in Context [Thomson Gale]

A comprehensive collection of award-winning reference books, full-text articles from leading scholarly publications, an array of primary sources, and images, maps and charts which provide expansive geographic and chronologic research materials for the study of world history. From ancient Europe to Latin America and from the Far East to the Renaissance, world history curricula is supported with over 1,800 primary sources, over 27 reference titles and more than 110 journals. Results provide era, topic, and event overviews, and viewpoint essays.

ITER: Gateway to the Middle Ages and Renaissance

Indexes articles, books and essays dealing with years 400-1700 (Middle Ages and Renaissance), Iter Italicum, International Directory of Scholars, Scholars of Early Modern Studies, International Directory of Renaissance and Reformation Associations and Institutes, Baptisteria Sacra: An Iconographic Index of Baptismal Fonts. 

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 provides full-text articles in Thomason Library's electronic databases. The collections include journals in art, architecture, economics, film, folklore, history, performing arts, political science, religion, sociology, humanities, mathematics, and statistics. JSTOR is a journal archive with complete runs of journals up to three years ago. Current issues are not available in JSTOR, but may be in other databases.

Project Muse

Contains current and recent volumes of 111 core journals in the humanities and social sciences.

Journal Finder   back to top

Search Journal Finder to determine if PC has full text for the journal, magazine or newspaper article you need. Library databases are connected by Journal Finder and lead you to full text if available.

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.



Key Journals   back to top


Church History
The chief outlet for the American Society of Church History. Articles, forums, and book reviews in Church History address a range of topics dealing with the history of Christianity from its precursors to the modern period, as well as interactions of Christianity with its host cultures and with other religions.

Comitatus: A Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies
A peer-reviewed annual publication from the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at UCLA.

Early Medieval Europe
Provides information and debate on the history of Europe from the later Roman Empire to the eleventh century. Topics include archaeology, palaeography, literature, diplomacy, art, history, linguistics, as well as more traditional historical approaches.

Essays in Medieval Studies
Each volume has a thematic focus based on the theme or topic of the annual meeting of Illinois Medieval Association. Recent themes have included children and the family, medieval communities, and emotions in the Middle Ages.

Journal of Medieval History
A major international publication devoted to all aspects of the history of Europe in the Middle Ages. Each issue comprises around four or five articles on European history, including Britain and Ireland, between the fall of Rome and the Renaissance. The Journal also includes review articles, historiographical essays and 'state of research' studies.

Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies

Scholarly studies on any aspect of late Medieval and Early Modern culture and society including art, literature, theatre, music, philosophy, theology and history.

Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies [print only, 1971-1995]

From Duke University Press.

Mediaeval Studies
Studies, texts, translations, reference works, and collections of articles relating to the history and culture of the Middle Ages.

Speculum: A Journal of Mediæval Studies
The oldest U.S. journal devoted exclusively to the Middle Ages. The primary geographic focus of the journal is on Western Europe, but Byzantine, Hebrew, Arabic, and Slavic studies are also included. There are no restrictions as to subject matter: the journal 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.


Web Sites    
General Sites   back to top

see also Byzantine Empire Guide

Avalon Project at Yale Law School

English translations of source material on law and politics. Includes several pre-18th century documents (i.e. Laws of Richard I concerning Crusaders who were to go by sea - 1189 A.D.)

Beyond the Pale-History of Jews in Russia
This exhibition depicts the history of anti-Jewish attitudes -- and of anti-Semitism today, a form of intolerance that in our century caused the death of millions of people. The exhibition also portrays the history of Jews in Europe and in Russia to help understand their life, religion and culture. But above all, the exhibition wants to warn of the great dangers of prejudice and intolerance, particularly in times of political uncertainty and increased social tension. description from lii.org

Domesday Book [National Archives] 

At Christmas 1085 William the Conqueror commissioned a great survey to discover the resources and taxable values of all the boroughs and manors in England. He wanted to discover who owned what, how much it was worth, and how much was owed to him as King. This is the earliest surviving public record and thought to be the first written tax document. CHOICE
Also available in print [18 vols], Upper Level, Circulating Collection: 333.3220942 D712D



Early Modern Russia and Ukraine [Daniel C. Waugh, Univ. of Washington]
Provides links to resources for the teaching and learning of the early history of the areas encompassed primarily by today's Ukraine and the European parts of Russia and some adjoining regions of Eastern Europe.  The particular focus will be on the culture of the Orthodox East Slavs; the period to be covered extends to approximately 1700.  The emphasis is on material available in English; this is not intended as a resource primarily for the support of serious academic research. From Intute

The Face of Russia [PBS]

Includes an interactive timeline tracing the general chronology of Russian culture with streaming audio and video clips [RealPlayer 5.0]. Reference area includes a glossary, bibliography, web links, the Novorogod Icon Gallery and information on the Cyrillic alphabet. This remarkable journey through ten centuries of art, architecture, music, dance and cinema reveals the major events that shaped Russian culture.



Internet History Sourcebooks Project [Paul Halsall, Fordham University]

Choose time periods below or subsidary regional/topical sourcebooks.

Ancient History                      Byzantine & Medieval Studies - Slavic World and Balkans links

Medieval History                   Jewish History

The Mongols in World History  [Asia for Educators project at Columbia University]
An extensive resource on the history and civilization of the Mongol Empire, 1000-1500 CE. It includes sections on Mongol conquests, key figures in Mongol history, the Mongols in China, and the Mongols' contributions to world history. description from REESweb

NetSERF: The Internet Connection for Medieval Resources [Dr. Andrea R. Harbin, editor]
One of the largest webliographies devoted solely to medieval resources on the Internet.

The ORB: Online Reference Book for Medieval Studies [College of Staten Island, City University of New York]

An academic site, written and maintained by medieval scholars for the benefit of their fellow instructors and serious students. All articles have been judged by at least two peer reviewers. Authors are held to high standards of accuracy, currency, and relevance to the field of medieval studies. Includes primary sources, images, timelines, etc.

REESWeb [University of Pittsburgh]  

REESWeb is the Virtual Library covering Russia and Eastern Europe seeking to help users identify high quality web content located in or focusing on the region stretching from Bohemia to Central Asia. Browse the Subject-Social Sciences, then HistoryThe Chronology tab allows choice of materials by century or period. All web sites listed in REESWeb are vetted by the editors, categorized for easy searching, and annotated to provide users with a good idea of what they will find upon visiting a site.

Russia Engages the World, 1453–1825 [NYPL]
Traces Russia’s movement from relative isolation to global empire through its contacts with Europe, Asia, and the Americas. When Peter the Great founded St. Petersburg as a “window on Europe” in 1703, he intended the city to symbolize Russia’s new direction. This website explores Russia’s exposure to and interaction with the larger world, as well as the significant role the new cosmopolitan capital played in this evolution.  description from lii.org


Voice of the Shuttle [Voice of the Shuttle, Alan Liu]
Anglo Saxon and Medieval History
The Middle East, Byzantium, & Crusades History

Medieval Russia


Image Sources   back to top



Comprised of approximately 300,000 digital images of visual material from different time-periods, cultures, and disciplines derived from several source collections that are the product of collaborations with libraries, museums, photographic archives, publishers, slide libraries, and individual scholars. 


Bridgeman Art Library Archive [CREDO Reference] An archive of images drawn from collections throughout the world.

NYPL Digital Gallery 

An online gallery of more than 2,100 medieval and Renaissance manuscript leaves.


Transfiguration of our Lord, commemorating feast day of the Orthodox church, 15th century, tempera on panel, Novogorod, Russia
Bridgeman Art Library Archive



back to top


Oxford Centre for Late Antiquity [University of Oxford]
Includes information on researchers, academic events, projects, and graduate courses on Late Antiquity (between 250 and 750 AD) that are based in Oxford. Also provides information on geographic and cultural sub-sections.



Get Help   back to top
Stop by the
Reference Desk

Teresa Inman 833-8313
Dan Lee 833-8437


Hours: 8.30 am - 10 pm for research questions & assistance. Personal appointments also available.
Copyright © 2008 by Presbyterian College • 503 South Broad Street • Clinton, South Carolina 29325 • 1-864-833-2820