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Research Guides

HSTAM 320: Reacting to the Past: Religion & Politics in Medieval Europe: Finding Additional Secondary Sources

Using UW Libraries Search for Finding Books


Advanced Search | FAQ | Known Issues

To find books: 

  • On a topic: type in the keywords (including those listed under subject headings) that broadly describe your topic. Use quotations with phrases. For example: "canon law" medieval
  • By title - type in the first few words of the title in quotations. For example: "lawyers of the last capetians" 
  • By author - Type in the last name followed by the first name of the author in quotations.  For example: "ullmann walter"

Subject headings:

Books are assigned official subject headings that group like books together. However assignments can be idiosyncratic and those that cover this period in history are varied. You may find pertinent books when searching any of the following subjects: 

General Headings    Canossa    Unam Sanctum    Joan of Arc
  • Church history Middle Ages 600-1500
  • Canon law History
  • Papacy History
  • Popes Temporal power
  • Religious Thought Middle Ages 600-1500
  • Church and State Europe History

  • Gregory VII Pope
  • Henry IV Holy Roman Emperor 1050-1106
  • Holy Roman Empire History Henry IV, 1056-1106
  • Germany History 843-1273
  • Germany Politics and government to 1517
  • Investiture History
  • Church History 11th Century
  • Monasticism and religious orders History Middle Ages, 600-1500
  • France Politics and government 987-1328
  • France History Medieval period 987-1515
  • France History Capetians, 987-1328
  • Boniface VIII Pope 
  • Philip IV King of France 1268-1314
  • France History Philip IV 1285-1314
  • France Church history 987-1515
  • Crusades 13th-15th centuries
  • Templars
  • Joan of Arc Saint
  • Charles VII King of France 1403-1461
  • France History Charles VII, 1422-1461
  • Hundred Years' War 1339-1453
  • France History House of Valois 1328-1589
  • France History Military 1328-1589
  • France History Medieval period 987-1515
  • France Church history 987-1515
  • Women Mystics Europe
  • Mysticism History Middle Ages 600-1500

 Getting non-books? Use the toolbar on the left and choose the format "Book." Getting too many irrelevant results? Add an additional keyword if you are searching by topic. Also use the toolbar on the left to narrow down your search.  You can limit by format, author, language, publication date, etc.

Why Use Books & Journal Articles?

The raison d'être of historians is to explore the past and attempt to describe, explain, interpret and analyze it. Historians use evidence from the past (primary sources) to support their interpretations which are most often published in the form of books and journal articles (secondary sources). So why should you use secondary sources?

  • Secondary sources provide historical/broader context for a topic. For example, if you are looking into Joan as a mystic, you may want to use a secondary source to get information on other female mystics of the medieval period.
  • Secondary sources are written by expert scholars. Before publication academic books and articles are vetted by other scholars in a process known as peer review. 
  • Secondary sources provide historiographical context for a topic. In other words, how has this topic been interpreted by past historians. History is not stagnant but is constantly being reinterpreted in light of new evidence and new outlooks.
  • Secondary sources are based on evidence (primary sources) that are cited in the footnotes and bibliography. Secondary sources are often a quick way to identify important primary sources that you too may wish to use in your research paper. Look for published primary sources such as books and articles. Search UW Libraries Search or the other sources listed in this guide to see if we have a copy.

Finding Articles & Dissertations

Use the following databases to find articles and other material related to your topic. Keep in mind that there may be overlap between some of the databases and that the subject headings that work in UW Libraries Search may not be the same as those used in these databases.

If the fulltext of the article is not available directly in a database such as International Medieval Bibliography, click on the purple Check for UW holdings button to find out if the UW has an electronic or print copy of the journal article you need.  If there is no button, then use UW Libraries Search and look for the title of the journal (or book if it is a chapter from a book) to determine if the UW Libraries owns a copy.