New: Arcadian Library Online: History of Science and Medicine collection

I am delighted to announce that thanks to a generous donation, the Bodleian Libraries has been able to purchase Arcadian Library Online: History of Science and Medicine collection.

This online resource enables easy exploration of the rich holdings of the Arcadian Library. A privately-owned collection of rare ancient manuscripts, early printed books, and documents from the 10th to 20th centuries, the Arcadian Library collects the shared cultural heritage of Europe and the Middle East.

The first module of this online resource, the History of Science and Medicine collection, contains the contributions of early Arab and Persian scientists, doctors and thinkers; their translation, reception and influence in Europe and their lasting influence on the development of Western scientific and medical knowledge. It also brings together 19th and 20th century records of science, medicine and natural history from across the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle Eastern regions.

There are texts on

Content highlights include:

  • Ibn Baklarish’s Kitab al-Musta’ini – Book of simple medicines
  • Haly Abbas’s (Al Majūsī) seminal tenth century medical text Liber Totius Medicine Necessaria Continens
  • Liber de cirurgia by Albucasis (Al-Zahrawi) – a pivotal fifteenth century medical treatise detailing early Arab surgical practices and instruments
  • An early edition of Serapion the Younger’s book of medical botany, Liber aggregatus in medicinis simplicibus
  • Reports of European scientific explorations documenting the animals, plants and geology of countries including Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria

I recommend browsing by period, place, people, topic, language and content type to get a sense of the scope of this curated collection.

The vast majority of the content comes from printed works and are in Latin. Texts are also in Arabic, Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Persian and Spanish. The medieval and early modern periods are particularly strong.

In due course the bibliographical details of each item in this collection will also be discoverable in SOLO.

Features include:

  • High-resolution, full-colour images (400ppi)
  • Searchable in either English or Arabic
  • Dedicated taxonomy enables filtered search by topic, place, period, people, language or content type
  • Commentary articles linked to primary texts
  • Full catalogue records include available provenance and condition notes
  • Integrated Arabic keyboard

Now online: Ambix: the Journal of the Society for the Study of Alchemy and Early Chemistry

Oxford researchers will be pleased to know that Ambix: the Journal of the Society for the Study of Alchemy and Early Chemistry is now available online, starting with volume 44 (1997). For issues before that date, you will need to consult the printed copy.

Ambix is an internationally-recognised, peer-reviewed journal and the leading specialist publication in its field, which is viewed as a major outlet for current research. Published four times a year, in February, May, August and November, its remit is to facilitate the publication of high-quality research and discussion in all areas relevant to the history of alchemy and chemistry, including:

  • ancient, medieval and early modern alchemy
  • the Chemical Revolution
  • the impact of atomism
  • the rise of organic chemistry
  • the chemical industry
  • quantum chemistry
  • interactions between the chemical sciences and other disciplines

The Journal’s scope extends to the history of pharmacy and chemical medicine, environmental studies of the chemical industry, and the material and visual culture of chemistry. ” (, accessed 15 May 2018)

Ambix also publishes reviews in English of books dealing with any aspect of the history of alchemy and chemistry.

New: Brepols Medieval Collection

I am pleased to report that Oxford researchers now have access to Brepols Medieval Collection, a major electronic resource for medievalists. It provides online access to books and articles in key subject areas in European Medieval Studies such as Church History & Monasticism, Language and Literature, Manuscript Studies, Philosophy, Theology and History of Science.

This resource was funded thanks to the generosity of the Madeline Barber Bequest.

It comprises two main parts:

  • Medieval Collection (559+ Brepols monographs).
  • Medieval Miscellanea Collection (5,000+ book chapters and articles in miscellanies Brepols publications since 1998) – this replaces Brepols Miscellanea Online: Essays in Medieval Studies

Books included are published in series such as Culture et société médiévales, Europa Sacra, Utrecht Studies in Medieval Literacy, Medieval Church Studies, Collection d’études médiévales de Nice, Studies in European Urban History (1100-1800) and more. Please note that not all volumes in a series may have been digitised.

The monographs will currently not be catalogued in SOLO (under investigation). I would expect the books and articles to be indexed in the International Medieval Bibliography (IMB) (Oxford users only). To find Brepols publications in IMB, add “Brepols” to the All Field in Advanced Search.

Please note that you will be directed to the Brepols Online portal which will also include ebooks outwith Brepols Medieval Collection. Look out for the green button which indicates free access:

Also useful:

More library news for medievalists.

New: Brill’s Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages

brill-enc-of-ma-onlineOxford medievalists, you will be delighted to know that you now have online access to Brill’s Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages. Access is via OxLIP+ and soon also via SOLO.

This authoritative reference work covers medieval European history, culture, religious and intellectual life, and technology, 400-1500 AD. It is an English translation of the 2013 update of the well-known German-language “Enzyklopädie des Mittelalters”, which was originally published by Primus Verlag / Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft in 2008.

Transnational and interdisciplinary in approach, topics cover current art and architecture, medicine, and law, archaeology, ecclesiastical history, and languages and literature. They focus not on “event” history but on the comparative study of wider processes and problems.

Articles are thematically organised and supported by extensive bibliographies. The themes are:

1. Society
2. Faith and Knowledge
3. Literature
4. Fine Arts and Music
5. Economy
6. Technology
7. Living Environments and Conditions
8. Constitutive Historical Events and Regions

There are alphabetical indices of authors and of contributors.

Also of interest:

New OA journal: Medieval Worlds, 1 (2015)-

Medieval Worlds (ISSN: 2412-3196) is an Open Access double‐blind peer reviewed journal open accesscovering interdisciplinary and transcultural studies of the Middle Ages. It is published semi-annually the Austrian Academy of Science (Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften (ÖAW)) and is licensed under the Creative‐Commons‐Attribution NonCommercial‐NoDerivs 4.0 Unported (CC BY‐NC‐ND 4.0).

The journal “encourages and links comparative research between different regions and fields and promotes methodological innovation in transdisciplinary studies. Focusing on the Middle Ages (c. 400 ‐ 1500 CE, but can be extended whenever thematically fruitful or appropriate) medieval worlds takes a global approach to studying history in a comparative setting.

Building upon studies of transcultural relations and processes of cultural hybridization between cultures, both of which have seen dynamic developments in recent years, the main approach chosen by medieval worlds is comparative. Taking such a comparative approach will not only allow researchers to highlight the global interaction within, or hybrid nature of particular cultural spheres, but also shed new light on more specific fields of interest. Moreover, medieval worlds will encourage a critical debate between the disciplines concerning approaches and methods, and thus will help to enrich the methodological frameworks of comparative history.” From, accessed 13 Sept 2016.

This journal will be soon added to SOLO and OU eJournals.

New: e-access to Mediaeval Studies (Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies) 1939-2006

Mediaeval Studies (PIMS) coverOxford medievalists now have electronic access to the backfile issues of another key medieval journal, Mediaeval Studies (Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, ISSN 0076-5872).

The backfiles include vol. 1 (1939) upto and including vol. 68 (2006). There doesn’t appear to be any option to subscribe to current or post-2006 content electronically. Details of the printed post-2006 issues can be found in SOLO.

Mediaeval Studies is published annually and covers research in the Middle Ages very widely, largely published in English and French. > Read more about this journal.


Some useful searchable indexes in PDF are available from the Mediaeval Studies website at They are:

Volumes 1–76 (1939–2014)

Volumes 51–69 (1989–2007)

Related links

> More news on resources for medievalists

ejournal updates: Journal of Transcultural Medieval Studies, London Journal, Mediaevalia, Midland History, Peritia, Viator

Oxford historians now have access to a new journal and to the backfiles of a number of other important academic journals. Medievalists and English local historians are benefitting most this time. Enjoy!

New ejournal: Journal of Transcultural Medieval Studies

de Gruyter
ISSN 2198-0357
v. 1, 2014 – current

Journal of transcultural medieval studies - cover“The new Journal of Transcultural Medieval Studies will provide a forum for scholarship of pre-modern times. It publishes comparative studies, which systematically reflect the entanglement and the interconnection of European, African, Asian and American cultures. The Journal will pursue an interdisciplinary approach. It also intends to foster methodological reflections on transculturality in the broad sense.

Each issue of the Journal of Transcultural Medieval Studies will comprise three sections: 1) Articles, either miscellaneous or in thematic panels, 2) Reviews of recent publications in the field, committed to detailed and constructive criticism, 3) News, offering an up-to-date forum for the most recent activities in transcultural research (institutions, projects, networks, conferences, workshops).

Papers are selected in a double-blind peer review process and accepted for publication by an international Advisory Board.” from (accessed 18 April 2016)

Complete e-access:

The London Journal: A Review of Metropolitan Society Past and Present (Routledge, ISSN 0305-8034): v. 1 (1), 1975 – current

Midland History (Routledge, ISSN 0047-729X). v. 1 (1), 1971 – current

Peritia (Brepols, ISSN 0332-1592). v. 1, 1982 – current

Viator: Medieval and Renaissance Studies (Brepols, ISSN  0083-5897). v. 1, 1971- current

Now partially available online:

Mediaevalia (State University of New York Press, ISSN 0361-946X): v. 32, 2011 – current


You might also be interested in…

… more news on history ejournals.

New: Early Church Texts

I am pleased to report that Oxford historians now have access to Early Church Texts.


Early Church Texts contains a growing number of original language Greek and Latin texts relating to the Early Church (from the first to the fifth century), including Creeds and Church Councils. The texts have online dictionary links, English translations, a search facility and notes.

It serves also as an encyclopaedia on the first five centuries of church history including information about Christian writers, bishops, emperors, controversies and Church Councils. Around 1,000 people and topics are covered.

Early Church Texts is now accessible via SOLO and OxLIP+.

New: Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources (DMLBS)

I’m pleased to report that following a successful trial, the Classics Librarian has taken out a subscription for the online Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources. It is accessible via SOLO and OxLIP+.DMLBS - snippet

The Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources (DMLBS), the first fascicle of which appeared in 1975 and the 17th and last in 2013, is “the most comprehensive dictionary of Medieval Latin to have been produced and the first ever to focus on British Medieval Latin”. Covering a particularly long period stretching from Gildas (fl. 540) to William Camden (1600), it is “wholly based on original research”, that is to say on the close reading of thousands of Medieval Latin texts. This has been carried out specifically for the purpose of recording their distinctive lexical characteristics, and, as far as possible, using the best available sources, whether original manuscripts or modern critical editions. It is also based on systematic searches within computer databases, including the Library of Latin Texts  (LLT-A and LLT-B), where many of the texts can be found that make up the sources for the DMLBS.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: Sept 2015 update

DNB_stamp_block logoNew biographies for religious men and women during medieval and Reformation periods and individuals active during the First World War.

The latest update to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography—published on Thursday 17 September 2015—adds biographies of 112 men and women active between the thirteenth and the early twenty-first century.

The new update includes a special focus on men and women active during the First World War—in combat and on the home front—with a particular interest in the events of 1915. New additions include the physicians Louisa Garrett Anderson and Flora Murray who opened the Endell Street Military Hospital, London, in May 1915; it remains the only British army hospital staffed and run by women. Military inventions from 1915 include the bowl-shaped Brodie helmet (named after its designer John Brodie) which went into production 100 years ago this month. By the end of the war, seven million of these helmets had been produced. Other war-time lives include the boy soldier Horace Iles (1900-1916) who was killed at the Somme; his biography is now part of school education programmes run by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

September’s update also concludes a 3-year research project to extend the Oxford DNB’s coverage of the medieval religious—the abbots, abbesses, priors, and prioresses who led England’s religious houses until the Reformation. The project has added 56 first-time biographies. To mark the project’s completion, Professor Claire Cross of York University considers these Lives of the Religious for what they can tell us about medieval monasticism, and how those in office in the 1520s and 1530s responded to the Reformation.

Dr Philip Carter, Publication Editor, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography