The Newberry Collections are rich in European printed and manuscript sources from 1300 to 1800. Italy, France, and England are best represented, but the holdings are also strong for Spain, Portugal, Germany, the Low Countries, and the Americas.
You can use this research guide for information on Searching the Catalog, Reference Sources in English, Journals, Highlights from the Newberry Library Collections, Publications about the Newberry Library Collections, Digital Resources, and Collections at Other Institutions.
To find books on Medieval, Renaissance, and Early Modern Studies in our Collections, you can search by Subject in our catalog using the following headings (subject searching is slightly better in the Classic, rather than Vu-Find, interface for the catalog):
Early modern studies
You may also search by title or author, if either of these is known.
Many of our Medieval, Renaissance, and Early Modern Studies resources are in languages other than English. To view these resources, search in Newberry’s catalog for the subject “Italian literature,” “French literature,” etc. If you click on the “More Limits” button, you can also limit by language.
For items listed as on the 3rd floor Reference shelves, consider browsing nearby shelves for similar materials. All items with a “Ref” call number can be viewed on the open shelves on the 3rd floor. General and Special Collections items must be retrieved by staff.
Bietenholz, Peter G. ed., Thomas B. Deutscher, associate ed. Contemporaries of Erasmus: A Biographical Register of the Renaissance and Reformation. London; Buffalo: University of Toronto Press, 1985-1987. Location: Reference 3rd floor. Call Number: Ref CT116 .C65 1985.
Bonney, Richard. The European Dynastic States, 1494-1660. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 1991. Location: General Collections 2nd floor. Call Number: D228 .B66 1991.
Brady, Jr. Thomas A., Heiko A. Oberman, James D. Tracy, eds. Handbook of European History, 1400-1600 Late Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Reformation. Leiden; New York: E.J. Brill, 1994-<1995>. Location: General Collections 2nd floor. Call Number: D203 .H36 1994.
Hanlon, Gregory. Early Modern Italy, 1550-1800: Three Seasons in European History. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2000. Location: General Collections 2nd floor. Call Number: DG540 .H36 2000.
Martin, John Jeffries, ed. The Renaissance World. New York; London: Routledge, 2007. Location: General Collections 2nd floor. Call Number: CB361 .R476 2007.
Cahiers de civilisation médiévale. Poitiers: Université de Poitiers, Centre d’études supérieures de civilisation médiévale, 1958-. Call Number: F 094 .003.
Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1996-. Call Number: CB351 .J78.
Speculum. Cambridge, Mass.: Mediaeval Academy of America, 1926-. Call Number: F 094 .017.
Viator. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 1970-. Call Number: CB3 .V53.
Animadversions upon Those Notes which the Late Observator Hath Published upon the Seven Doctrines and Positions which the King by Way of Recapitulation (He Saith) Layes Open So Offensive. London: W. Sheares, 1642. Location: Special Collections 4th floor. Call Number: Case J 5453 .789.
Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel de. El ingenioso hidalgo don Qvixote de la Mancha. Madrid: Por Iuan de la Cuesta, vendese en casa de Francisco de Robles, librero, 1605. Location: Special Collections 4th floor. Call Number: Case Y 722 .C344.
The Compleat Servant-Maid: or, The Young Maiden’s and Family’s Daily Companion. Directing Them How They May Fit Themselves for Any of These Employments; viz., Waiting-Woman, House keeper … Laundry Maid, Dairy Maid … Also the Compleat Market Woman … London: E. Midwinter, 1729. Location: Special Collections 4th floor. Call Number: Case H 5248 .188.
Le miroir de humaine saluation [manuscript]. [Flanders, ca. 1455]. Location: Special Collections 4th floor. Call Number: VAULT folio Case MS 40.
Montaigne, Michel de. Essais de messire Michel seignevr de Montaigne, chevalier de l’Ordre du roy, & gentil-homme ordi-naire de sa chambre. Livre premier & second. A Bovrdeavs: Par S. Millanges imprimeur ordinaire du roy. M.D. LXXX. Avec privilege dv roy, . Location: Special Collections 4th floor. Call Number: VAULT Case 3A 584.
Shakespeare, William. Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories & Tragedies: Published according to the True Originall Copies. London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard and Ed. Blount, 1623. Location: Special Collections 4th floor. Call Number: VAULT Case oversize YS .01.
Wroth, Mary, Lady. The [First and] Secound Booke of the Secound Part of the Countess of Montgomery’s Vrania. [1621?]. Location: Special Collections 4th floor. Call Number: VAULT Case MS folio Y 1565 .W95.
Brown, Arthur Charles Lewis. An Attempted List of Books in the Newberry Library by Scholastic and Medieval Thinkers. Chicago: Newberry Library, 1943. Location: Reference 3rd floor. Call number: Ref Z6517 .N49 1943.
Saenger, Paul. A Catalog of the Pre-1500 Western Manuscript Books at the Newberry Library. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989. Location: Special Collections Reference 4th floor. Call number: Case Ref Z6621.N66 S23 1989.
A Selection of Books and Manuscripts from the Louis H. Silver Collections Now in the Newberry Library: A Handlist. Chicago: Newberry Library, 1964. Location: Local & Family History Reference 2nd floor. Call number: Ref Z1029 .N49 1964.
Most of the databases at the Newberry are subscription databases; therefore access is available to registered readers only within the library building. Those listed below are subscription databases.
Early English Books Online (EEBO): Digital facsimiles of English books, 1475-1700, including more than 125,000 titles listed in Pollard & Redgrave’s Short-Title Catalogue (1475-1640) and Wing’s Short-Title Catalogue (1641-1700) and their revised editions, as well as the Thomason Tracts (1640-1661) collection and the Early English Books Tract Supplement.
Iter: Middle Ages and Renaissance: Provides access to a bibliography covering literature pertaining to the Middle Ages and Renaissance (400-1700) plus seven or eight additional databases.
JSTOR: Provides full-text access to an archive of major scholarly journals. Contains complete runs from their first volumes up through approximately five years ago.
ProjectMuse: Provides full-text access to recent volumes of scholarly journals in the arts and humanities published by Johns Hopkins University Press and journals of other university presses.
For a comprehensive list of all our databases, visit our Databases webpage.
The Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies: Well-organized categories from Victoria University in the University of Toronto.
Internet Medieval Sourcebook: Extensive collection of links and documents from Fordham University.
The Labyrinth: Resources for Medieval Studies.
Bibliothèque nationale et universitaire (BNU): The library now holds about 3,000,000 volumes, including ca. 2,300 incunabula, 6,700 manuscripts, and 5,200 papyri.
Medieval and Early Modern Britain (British Library): An extensive collection of manuscript and early printed works.
National Central Library (Florence): The largest in Italy and one of the most important in Europe. It contains ca. 5,600,000 books, 29,000 16th-century editions, 24,900 manuscripts, and 3,700 incunabula.