This guide has been designed as a starting point for research involving the Renaissance and Early Modern time period.
A useful starting point is the book Literary research and the British Renaissance and early modern period : strategies and sources.
Encyclopedias and companions
Key concepts in Renaissance literature [print]
Encyclopedia of Renaissance literature [print]
A new companion to English Renaissance literature and culture [print]
The Oxford handbook of Tudor literature, 1485-1603 [print]
A companion to Renaissance drama [print]
The Blackwell companion to the Bible and English literature [print]
A companion to Shakespeare [print]
The new Cambridge companion to Shakespeare [print]
The Cambridge companion to Spenser [print]
Dictionary of literary and dramatic censorship in Tudor and Stuart England [print]
Dictionaries and literary terms
The Oxford dictionary of literary terms [online]
The Penguin dictionary of literary terms and literary theory [print]
The Bedford glossary of critical and literary terms [print]
A glossary of contemporary literary theory [print]
Shakespeare's language : a glossary of unfamiliar words in Shakespeare's plays and poems [print]
Shakespeare's bawdy [online]
Dictionary of literary-rhetorical conventions of the English Renaissance [print]
Classical myths and legends in the Middle Ages and Renaissance : a dictionary of allegorical meanings [print]
The Oxford chronology of English literature [print]
The Hutchinson chronology of world history [online]
BBC History Timelines
Interactive timelines for topics in archeology, British history and the World Wars.
Handbook of British chronology [print]
A Milton chronology [print]
A Sidney chronology, 1554-1654 [print]
A Christopher Marlowe chronology [print]
State Papers Online
When you log in choose "Research Tools" and then click on the Chronologies link.
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
An illustrated collection of 50,000 specially written biographies of the men and women who shaped all aspects of Britain's past, from the fourth century BC to the year 2000.
Oxford Dictionary of Quotations [online]
Longman guide to Shakespeare quotations [print]
Shakespeare's wordcraft [print]
Roget's thesaurus of the Bible [print]
The Figurative language of the tragedies of Shakespeare's chief 16th-century contemporaries [print]
Open Source Shakespeare: Concordance of Shakespeare's Complete Works [George Mason University]
World Shakespeare Bibliography
Annotated entries for all important books, articles, book reviews, dissertations, theatrical productions, reviews of productions, audiovisual materials, electronic media, and other scholarly and popular materials related to Shakespeare and published or produced between 1964 and early 2005.
British Literary Manuscripts: Part 2: British Literary Manuscripts Online: Medieval & Renaissance
Offers students and researchers unprecedented online access to 565,000 pages of rare manuscripts from the Medieval and Early Modern periods, c.1100 to 1660. Researchers and students can explore online a rich tapestry of letters, poems, stories, plays, chronicles, religious writings and commonplace books through searchable catalogue records.
Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts [Columbia University]
English Broadside Ballad Archive
Website dedicated to early ballads in English, especially 17th-century broadside ballads; provides full transcriptions and images of the originals, search facilities, sung versions of ballads, and background essays [Early Modern Center, University of California-Santa Barbara].
The Shakespeare Quartos Archive
A digital collection of pre-1642 editions of William Shakespeare's plays.
Treasures in Full: Shakespeare in Quarto
See copies of the 21 plays by Shakespeare printed in quarto before the 1642 theatre closures [British Library].
Internet Shakespeare Editions
One of the web's widest varieties of Shakespeare-related resources, including fully annotated texts of his plays and poems, exciting multimedia materials and records of his plays in performance, and thousands of searchable pages devoted to the history, arts, politics, society, and stage of Shakespeare's world, as well as biographical details of his life [University of Victoria]
Images & film
Folger Digital Image Collection
Offers online access to over 40,000 images from the Folger Shakespeare Library collection, including books, theater memorabilia, manuscripts, art, and more.
The age of Reformation : the Tudor and Stewart realms, 1485-1603 [print]
Bible in English
A collection of 20 different versions of the English Bible from the tenth to the twentieth century, including 12 full Bibles, 5 New Testament texts, 2 versions of the Gospels only, and William Tyndale's translations of the Pentateuch, Jonah and the New Testament.
The Book of Common Prayer - 1559
Online version of the 1559 edition of the Book of Common Prayer. Includes background information and links to other resources.
Digital Library of Classic Protestant Texts
More than 1,200 works from the Reformation and post-Reformation eras, including the theological writings of more than 300 Protestant authors, as well as confessional documents, biblical commentaries, polemical treatises, and Bible translations.
Digital Library of the Catholic Reformation
Includes over 450,000 pages of primary-source material from the 16th and 17th Centuries, including all the key catechisms, scholarly treatises, papal documents, devotional works, and theological volumes that sparked and sustained the reform from within the Catholic Church.
ATLA Religion Database
Indexes journal articles on all aspects of religion and theology, including church and religious history.
English professional theatre, 1530-1660 [print]
English Renaissance theatre history : a reference guide [print]
The English stage : a history of drama and performance [print]
The Shakespearean stage 1574-1642 [print]
The Shakespeare Company, 1594-1642 [print]
Playgoing in Shakespeare's London [print]
Staging in Shakespeare's theatres [print]
The Elizabethan stage [print]
Annals of English drama, 975-1700 [print]
Database of Early English Playbooks (DEEP)
Contains early modern plays and playwrights with additional useful information, such as genre, dates of first publication and production.
Records of Early English Drama (REED): Patrons & Performances
Designed to include a wide range of data about professional performers on tour in the provinces – their patrons, the performance venues they used and the routes they took across the kingdom.
Early Modern London Theatres
Provides an abstract record of the relationship between primary (pre -1642 sources) and secondary (post-1642) materials discussing plays, theatre audiences, lives of players and the theatre buildings themselves that were built in and around London from 1567 to 1629.
An international online resource dedicated to further the understanding of Shakespeare in performance.
Early English Prose Fiction
More than 200 full text works which provide a representative view of prose fiction by writers from the British Isles from the period 1500-1700.
Provides access to over 33,000 downloadable e-books.
Luminarium: Anthology of English Literature
Provides information on medieval, renaissance, 17th and 18th century authors, with the full text of selected works, and additional materials including biographical sketches, book reviews, essays, and graphics.
An online repository of works printed in English between the years 1477 and 1799.
Early Modern Literary Studies Electronic Texts
Gathering of links to select electronic texts of fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth century materials which are on the Internet, as well as others which have bearing upon this time period.
Oxford Text Archive
Develops, collects, catalogues and preserves electronic literary and linguistic resources for use in research, teaching and learning.
Electronic Text Center - Modern English Collection
This heterogeneous collection contains fiction, non-fiction, poetry, drama, letters, newspapers, manuscripts and illustrations from 1500 to the present, arranged for browsing by author's last name or by category of interest [University of Virginia].
Representative Poetry Online
Includes 3,162 English poems by 500 poets from Caedmon, in the Old English period, to the work of living poets today. It is based on Representative Poetry, established by Professor W. J. Alexander of University College, University of Toronto.
Early Stuart Libels: An Edition of Poetry
Web-based edition of early seventeenth-century political poetry from manuscript sources. It brings into the public domain over 350 poems, many of which have never before been published.