Medieval and Early Modern Studies

Research Source

A huge range of primary sources covering social, cultural, political, scientific and religious perspectives, from the 15th to early 18th centuries.

The breadth of sources provided within this collection is extraordinary, from sources concerning the Black Death to the Restoration of the English monarchy and the Glorious Revolution.

Highlights include:

  • The papers of Hans Sloane, a leading figure in the international scientific community in the late 17th and early 18th centuries
  • Household and domestic works, shedding light on the role of women during this period, covering diet, cookery, celebrations, illness, childbirth, and the garden
  • The books and manuscripts of John Dee, leading Renaissance scholar and tutor/advisor to Elizabeth I
  • Letters and papers of a host of important figures from the period, including Katherine Parr, Lady Jane Grey, John Foxe, Elizabeth I, Charles I, John Aubrey, Benjamin Franklin, Carl Linnaeus, John Locke, Isaac Newton, Alexander Orme, Samuel Pepys,  Alexander Pope, Horace Walpole and Robert Walpole

What collections are included in this module?

  • Arthurian Legends and the Influence of French Prose Romance: The Grail, Lancelot, Tristan and related manuscripts from the British Library
  • Black Death: Sources concerning the European Plague: Series One: Rare Printed Sources from the Herzog August Bibliothek, Wofenbuttell, c1470-1822
  • Crown Servants: Series One, The Paper of Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Stafford, 1593-1641, from Sheffield City Libraries
  • Crown Servants: Series Two, The Papers of The Wynns and Gwydir, 1515-1690 and the Clenennau Letter and Papers, 1584-1690 from the National Library of Wales
  • Crown Servants: Series Three, The Lauderdale Papers, c1647-1682 from the British Library, London
  • Early Music
  • English Clandestine Satire, 1660-1704: Popular Culture, Entertainment and Information in the Early Modern Period
  • Foxe and the English Reformation, c1539-1587: Collected manuscript sources from the British Library, London
  • Orinda: The Literary Manuscripts of Katherine Philips (1631-1664)
  • Renaissance Man: The Reconstructed Libraries of European Scholars, 1450-1700 - Series One: The Books and Manuscripts of John Dee, 1527-1608
  • Receipt Books, c1575-1800: From the Folger Shakespeare Library
  • Spanish Historical Writing About the New World, 1493-1700: From the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University

Key Data


  • 2019

Period Covered

  • 15th to 18th centuries


  • Early music
  • Theatre and performance
  • Literature
  • Religion, Philosophy and Intellectual Thought
  • Political History
  • History of Science and Technology
  • History of Medicine
  • Travel and Exploration
  • Gender Studies
  • Plague and Black Death

Material Types

  • Illuminated manuscripts
  • Personal papers
  • Diaries and journals
  • Correspondence
  • Rare books
  • Receipt books
  • Account books
  • Manuscript sheet music

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