UNIVERSITY OF WARWICK LIBRARY Bibliographic Resources for Renaissance Studies

Bibliographic Resources for Renaissance Studies
This handbook is based on the resources available in the Library homepage. Resources in the Library site are
mostly (but not exclusively) subscription services – ie they are accessible only to registered members of the
university or on PCs on the campus network.
Renaissance Studies page:
History page:
Access to electronic resources
All our electronic resources are accessible to members of the university from off campus via a number of different
routes: either via Shibboleth/ATHENS authentication, or by IP address recognition (proxy server access). For more
information go to the Library A to Z Index and choose Off-campus access.
Online access to other university libraries
From the Library webpage A to Z Index choose C, then Catalogues (other libraries):
Click on COPAC. This includes the holdings of the major British research libraries (including Warwick, Birmingham
and the British Library). Or try the links further down this page for other universities.
For library catalogues abroad, scroll to the National and Public Libraries (Worldwide) heading further down the
Visiting other libraries
From the Library’s Essential Information page choose Using other libraries:
This page will show you which access schemes are available to you. The best option for research postgraduates is
SCONUL Access, which gives borrowing rights in other member libraries.
Please also note that neither the University of Oxford nor Cambridge is a member of this scheme. But they will admit
postgraduate readers from other universities; you need to apply directly to them.
Current book information
The COPAC catalogue mentioned above is a good source of book information, since it contains the catalogues of all
six British copyright libraries - including the British Library. If an English-language book doesn’t appear in COPAC
that’s a pretty good indication that it doesn’t exist, or that the details you have for it are incorrect. For current book
information you should find Global Books in Print useful: this lists all books “in print” (available for purchase)
worldwide in English, plus a few out of print and forthcoming titles. From the Library Resources page choose Eresources, Databases, then Books in Print.
Web resources for Renaissance Studies
Click on the Resources page in the Library homepage, choose Subjects, and from the drop-down box select
Renaissance Studies. Then choose Useful Websites for Renaissance Studies in the left margin.
This is quite an extensive site for e-resources of all kinds – information on societies, research centres and libraries;
and links to other online resources. The main bibliographic databases of interest to Renaissance Studies are on the
Key Electronic Resources page (see below).
The Useful websites page contains links to many texts from the Renaissance period. The main text resource for the
period is Early English Books Online (EEBO). This contains all significant books published in Britain or in English
from 1473 to 1700 – approximately 110,000 texts; all are available in page images.
Some of the more important texts are also available in searchable full text. You can search to find a text, or browse
by author. A “camera” icon next to each search result indicates images; a “page” icon indicates full text; a “pen nib”
means there are illustrations viewable. Each icon is clickable.
Some texts offer online tables of contents: these let you select a specific chapter or section of the text. A plus sign
next to a heading in one of these TOCs indicates there are further subdivisions below it.
Once in page image view you can scroll forwards and back, go to a particular image, change the image size and
format the item for printing or downloading.
To download the whole of a text you first need to mark it (click in the checkbox). Then go to your marked list, and
click on the Download document image sets in PDF format link. Then you have the option to download the entire
document or a range of document images.
Bibliographic information for Renaissance Studies
The Key Electronic Resources page illustrated above lists the bibliographic databases of particular relevance to the
You might be familiar already with Iter – Gateway to the Middle Ages and Renaissance. This is not a huge database
but is good for multidisciplinary sources on the period 400 -1700. It indexes journals and books.
Also listed in the is page is the International Medieval Bibliography IMB - this is an excellent database, very useful for
any topics in cultural history before 1500.
The other line to follow is to try a general database of current periodical contents information. These won’t have
such a strong subject-specific focus but can offer other potentially useful features. You’ll find the two best databases
of this kind in our E-resources, Databases lists: they are Zetoc and Web of Knowledge.
Zetoc ( )is the British Library’s “tables of contents” database – freely available to all HE
institutions. It contains the tables of contents only of about 20,000 journals since 1993 - no full text, though it can
help to link you to full text. You will need ATHENS authentication to use it off campus.
A word of warning: the journals it contains are those most frequently requested through the British Library’s
document supply service – so there will inevitably be a strong science and social science bias. It is a potentially
good way of keeping up to date if you’re working on a topic well covered by the journals it indexes.
If you do find the content relevant you might like to use Zetoc’s current awareness service, Zetoc Alert. This will
inform you automatically when new content relevant to you (a new issue of a journal of interest, for example) is
added to the database.
Web of Knowledge – this contains details of articles published in nearly 1200 arts and humanities journals since 1975
(plus relevant items from journals in other disciplines), so its relevant coverage isn’t great. But its “cited reference”
feature makes it an excellent source of book reviews, and for articles on a particular text or work of art.
Click on the Connect ISI Web of Knowledge button, then on the Web of Science tab.
You need Cited Reference Search:
In the Cited Author box type surname initial* (note space and asterisk!)
and in the Cited Work box type any title word(s), followed by an asterisk, then click on the Search button.
This process finds all the articles that refer to, or cite, the book, play, artwork etc whose author and title you enter.
To find reviews specifically, scroll down the Cited Reference Index page, and in the document types box select
Book Review.
Then click on Select page, then Finish Search.
Finding electronic journals by subject
Go to the Library’s Resources page, then click on the drop-down box next to E-resources, and choose Journals.
How many electronic journals do we have with the word Renaissance in the title?
You’ll find the next three resources in the Library’s E-resources, Databases page, arranged alphabetically.
IngentaConnect – probably the best interdisciplinary collection of e-journals to offer current content
JSTOR - this has long back-runs of journals in full text, but no current content (for cost reasons). But its backfiles
make it a good choice for most humanities subjects. NB: All JSTOR titles contain the same illustrations as the print
originals. You can find lists of JSTOR journals under the About JSTOR link.
Muse - Project Muse – a companion service to JSTOR: many titles are available in both services, but Muse holds the
current issues. As with JSTOR, a general word search may well throw up articles of interest.
Electronic newspapers
The other good place for current information on any topic considered newsworthy is of course a newspaper
Go to the Library Resources page (again!), then click on Newspapers in the drop-down box next to E-resources.
Factiva is the main source to use. This contains full text of many newspapers worldwide, for the last twenty or so
There are links to other online newspaper collections and individual titles further down this page.
Theses and dissertations
At some point you’ll need to find out what theses have been presented in your subject area. There are two relevant
places to look: Dissertation Abstracts is for US and worldwide theses, Index to Theses for British theses.
From the Library Resources page choose Databases from the drop-down box next to E-resources. Then search
for either Dissertation Abstracts or Index to Theses from the alphabetic database menu.
Formatting a bibliography
Your department issues guidelines as to how to present written work with regard to footnoting, citation style etc. Both
the MHRA and MLA Style Guides are available to download as pdf documents: .
You might also like to look at WorldCat:
- it's searchable like Google – with phrases, plus signs etc.
- you can refine your search by library subject headings to make the results more precise
- it ranks your results by relevance and by the number of libraries which own the book - the more libraries own a book
the more academically respectable it's likely to be and the higher up your list of results it comes
- it will search your library catalogue to see if the book you’ve found is in your library (or in any library you care to
- you can create your own account and compile lists of good titles and have them formatted for you as a
downloadable list in the main citation styles - thus creating a rudimentary bibliography for your essay.
Managing your bibliographic references
You can build a database of all the references you collect in the course of your study. There is a web-based
resource that will do this: EndNoteWeb. This is the web-based version of the bibliographic software package
Then click on EndNoteWeb login, then Sign up for an account.
EndNoteWeb allows you to build folders of references in a consistent format. You can import references
automatically into EndNoteWeb from databases and our Catalogue. You can automatically footnote from within
Word, and compile a bibliography for your essay automatically: references are pasted into your document direct
from EndNoteWeb. The product offers several hundred “output styles” – it will format references in any one of these.
So you can be sure that you can conform to your department’s style automatically and consistently!
Document Supply (Inter-Library Loans)
From the Library A-Z Index page click on D, then Document Supply. You are eligible to use this service, with your
tutor’s permission. There is an online application form on this page.
This page also includes a list of frequently-asked questions on all aspects of obtaining material from other libraries!
Any other questions?
Don’t hesitate to contact me, preferably by email:
Richard Parker, Renaissance Studies subject specialist