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English Subject Guide

Chaucer (EN 511)

This page presents some specialized library resources for exploring topics on Geoffrey Chaucer (D 1400) and his age. The resources include both print and electronic and are arranged into the six categories provided below. For resources on literature in general, see the left sidebar of this page.

The New Chaucer Society This is a link to another web site sponsors a website that includes a newsletter and online bibliography on Chaucer. Another excellent source is Larry Benson's Chaucer homepage This is a link to another web site.

Douglas Gray's The Oxford Companion to Chaucer This is a link to another web site is a wonderful little handbook located in Grasselli's reference collection and is worth singling out among the library sources provided below. The Companion provides brief, expert overviews of topics such as "book" and "editing and editions" of Chaucer's writing. More than just topics on Chaucer himself, it attempts to bring together topics on Medieval civilization in general and present them in an interesting way.

A note on finding books: To find book-length studies of Chaucer in Grasselli Library, search Carrolline using the subject heading Chaucer, Geoffrey This is a link to another web site. For writings by Chaucer in Carrolline, use Chaucer, Geoffrey This is a link to another web site in an author search. For additional books in Ohio college and university libraries, follow-up your search of Carrolline using OhioLINK Library Catalog This is a link to another web site. If you wish to find books about English literature during the Middle English period (1100-1500), check this list for some suggested subject headings.

You may also find Open Library This is a link to another web site helpful. This emerging book-digitizing project allows anyone to contribute to its growing database. Many interesting items are to be found here.


Articles & Books | Concordances | Dictionaries & Encyclopedias | Journals | Literary Biography


Articles & Books

British Periodicals: Collection I (1681 - 1920)
Contains more than 160 journals that comprise the UMI microfilm collection Early British Periodicals, the equivalent of 5,238 printed volumes containing approximately 3.1 million pages. Topics covered include literature, philosophy, history, science, the fine arts and the social sciences.

Early English Books Online (EEBO) (1473 - 1700)
Contains digital facsimile page images of virtually every work printed in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and British North America and works in English printed elsewhere from 1473-1700. Now contains about 100,000 of over 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.

International Medieval Bibliography
For use in the library's Reference area, this is a bibliography of the European Middle Ages (ca.450-1500) covering articles on medieval topics.

Iter: Gateway to the Middle Ages and Renaissance
A bibliography of over 225,000 journal articles and reviews pertaining to the Middle Ages and Renaissance (400 to 1700).

MLA International Bibliography (1926 - Current)
Compiled by the Modern Language Association, this is an essential bibliography for literary criticism on all nationalities, periods, types of literature, and authors, with the exception of classical Greek and Latin literature, which is covered in L'Annee philologique. MLAIB is also strong in scholarship on folklore, linguistics, and the teaching of rhetoric, composition, and literature. It covers articles, books, and dissertations in literature and the additional fields mentioned above.

Web of Science (1980 - Current)
Web of Science is a collection of citation indexes, which includes Arts and Humanities Citation Index. A special feature of a "citation index" is the ability to search for a specific book or article mentioned within the bibliographies of other articles. By tracing who cites whom, the impact of one scholar's ideas on another's can be better understood. Citation indexes are also helpful in finding scholarly reviews of scholarly books. To look for reviews, search the book as the source being cited.


Concordances are alphabetical lists of words and phrases that provide their context in a particular work or body of works.

Concordance to the Complete Works of Geoffrey Chaucer and the Romaunt of the Rose
The standard concordance to Chaucer, based on the Globe edition (1913).
Chaucer Globe Edition

Glossarial Concordance to the Riverside Chaucer
This is a concordance to the authoritative Riverside edition of Chaucer. Words and phrases are provided in their contexts. Indexes provide such things as modern English equivalents and words ranked by frequency.
The Riverside Chaucer (Google books)

Dictionaries & Encyclopedias

Reference resources, such as dictionaries and encyclopedias, provide working knowledge and definitions of topics pertaining to literature. Below are some relevant to the study of Chaucer.

Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language
Authoritative source on topics about the English language.
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Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages. Ed. André Vauchez. © 2001 by James Clarke & Co. Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages (e-reference edition). Distributed by Oxford University Press.
A multi-disciplinary work covering the period from the fifth to the fifteenth century. It focuses on Europe and Christendom, but also examines topics on the Near East with whom Europe came in contact.

LEME: Lexicons of Early Modern English (Public Version)
Produced by the University of Toronto, this is the public version of LEME, which allows for simple searches of words. LEME is a database of historical, multilingual lexical materials that helped form Modern English.

Middle English Dictionary (MED)
Lexicon and usage for the period 1100-1500, with references to the words in context.
MED Online (University of Michigan)

Oxford Companion to Chaucer
Brief and authoritative entries on Chaucer, fourteenth-century Great Britain, and Medieval civilization, written in a companionable manner.

Oxford Companion to the Book
Topics on the evolution of the book.
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Oxford English Dictionary (OED)
Electronic text of the standard historical dictionary of the English language, including the Additions Series and frequent updates.


Chaucer Review: A Journal of Medieval Studies and Literary Criticism (1966 - Current)
A major journal of medieval studies that publishes articles on Chaucer, other authors, and topics on the middle ages. CR is also a significant source for bibliography, as it provides updates of important published bibliographies that Chaucerians rely on, such as Caroline Spurgeon's Five Hundred Years of Chaucer Criticism and Allusions, 1357-1900. Also, an annual research update describes important research in Chaucer that are published or in progress in a given year.

Studies in the Age of Chaucer: The Yearbook of the New Chaucer Society (2009 - Current)
Annual volumes publish several important studies on Chaucer and his contemporaries, critical reviews of recent books, and a list of books received.

Literary Biography

Old and Middle English Literature
This volume in the series Dictionary of Literary Biography provides authoritative overview of Chaucer's life and writing. Grouping Chaucer with other writers in Old English and Middle English provides a larger historical picture of the era. Authoritative texts and core secondary sources are also identified.

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