Skip to main content

History 3120 / 3330 : Medieval European/English History: Finding manuscripts

Finding Manuscripts

Early English Books



Texts of Early English manuscripts in are in digital and microfilm collections available at the University of Denver's Penrose Library and the University of Colorado at Boulder's Norlin Library .  The collections are entitled English Books 1475-1640 (Penrose microfilm EEB1, Norlin Microfilm 603a) and English Books 1641-1700 (Penrose microfilm EEB2, Norlin microfilm 604).  Once you are in the Penrose catalog, in Keyword mode, type "Early English Books" AND your topic (include quotes and the AND command.  Click here to see an example of a search for manuscripts on herbs.

You may limit your results further by the publish date feature on the right hand frame.

SCETI manuscripts

Many manuscripts are available in an online facsimile format at  the Schoenberg Center for Electronic Text and Image (University  of Pennsylvania), in the Horace  Howard Furness collection and other collections.  This collection has many outstanding features.  For  example, one feature lets the viewer simultaneously compare two texts.  Harvard's Houghton Library Digital Medieval Manuscripts is another excellent source.

Pollard & Redgrave

To locate manuscripts from the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries, locate your desired subject, author or title in the following catalogues:


A Short-Title Catalogue of Books Printed in England, Scotland, & Ireland and of English Books Printed Abroad, 1475-1640 (known as Pollard and Redgrave's ). First compiled by W.W. Pollard and G.R. Redgrave.  London:  Bibliographical Society, 1976. Ref. Z2002.P77 1976, Vol. 1-3


Short-Title Catalogue of Books Printed in England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and British America, and of English Books Printed in Other Countries, 1641-1700 (known as Wing's) . 2nd edition. Compiled by Donald Wing.  NY: MLA, 1972, 1982  Ref. Z2002.W52 Vol. 1-3 .