Renaissance Literature (1500–1660)

Many works listed in section M: English Literature/General are useful for research in Renaissance literature.

Research Methods


Bowers, Jennifer, and Peggy Keeran. Literary Research and the British Renaissance and Early Modern Period: Strategies and Sources. Lanham: Scarecrow, 2010. 381 pp. Lit. Research: Strategies and Resources 8. (Updates appear at PR421.B68 820.9′003.

A guide to research strategies and reference sources for the scholar working with early modern British literature (1500–1700) with an emphasis on works produced in England. Following an admirably clear explanation of the basics of online searching are chapters on general literary reference sources (including some devoted to individual writers); library catalogs; print and electronic bibliographies, indexes, and annual reviews (again, with some devoted to individual writers); scholarly journals; seventeenth-century periodicals; resources for studying the contemporary reception of a writer or a work; manuscripts and archives; genres; translations and lexicons; microform and digital collections; and Web resources. A final chapter demonstrates how to use many of the works and strategies previously discussed to develop a research plan. Indexed by titles, authors, and subjects. Describing fully the uses of kinds of reference tools, providing illuminating examples in discussions of key individual resources, detailing techniques for finding kinds of information (including primary works), and illustrating research processes, Literary Research and the British Renaissance admirably fulfills its intent: “to cover the best practices and to describe important references sources . . . that can be used in conducting literary research on this era.” In a series noted for its quality, this volume stands out.


Jenkinson, Hilary. The Later Court Hands in England from the Fifteenth to the Seventeenth Century: Illustrated from the Common Paper of the Scriveners’ Company of London, the English Writing Masters, and the Public Records. 2 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1927. Z115.E5 J57 745.6′1.

A manual for reading the hands used in documents from c. 1400 to c. 1700. Vol. 1 consists of succinct discussions of the development of the hands; forms of documents; languages used in English archives; the teaching and practice of handwriting in England; letter forms current in the fifteenth century; runes; abbreviations, ligatures, conjoined letters, and elisions; the letter forms of each of the hands; dating court hands; personal marks, paraphs, and signatures; symbols and ciphers; numerals; punctuation, accents, and the apostrophe; paragraph marks and other conventional divisions; alterations and corrections; decoration; and hints on reading, interpreting, transcribing, and describing hands. Concludes with a selective bibliography and annotated transcriptions of the plates in vol. 2. Among the plates are alphabets for each of the hands. Indexed in vol. 1 by persons and subjects. Although more detailed in its treatment of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, it remains the best introduction to the reading of the hands commonly used between 1400 and 1700. Also useful are Giles E. Dawson and Laetitia Kennedy-Skipton, Elizabethan Handwriting, 1500–1650: A Manual (New York: Norton, 1966; 130 pp.), and Jean F. Preston and Laetitia Yeandle, English Handwriting, 1400–1650: An Introductory Manual (Binghamton: Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 1992; 103 pp.); the illustrations of variant letter forms in the latter are especially useful. The National Archives offers an online tutorial for reading hands from 1500 to 1800 ( For earlier hands, see Johnson and Jenkinson, English Court Hand (M1765).

Anthony G. Petti, English Literary Hands from Chaucer to Dryden (Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1977; 133 pp.), which emphasizes manuscripts after 1500, must be consulted with care because of its oversimplifications and errors (see the review by M. C. Seymour, followed by Petti’s response, Library 5th ser. 33.4 [1978]: 343–49).

Useful for tracing the later development of English handwriting is P. J. Croft, comp. and ed., Autograph Poetry in the English Language: Facsimiles of Original Manuscripts from the Fourteenth to the Twentieth Century, 2 vols. (London: Cassell, 1973), which reproduces and transcribes examples from holograph manuscripts by 146 poets.

See also

Bland, Guide to Early Printed Books and Manuscripts (U5195a).

Histories and Surveys


Bush, Douglas. English Literature in the Earlier Seventeenth Century, 1600–1660. 2nd ed. rev. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1962. 680 pp. Vol. 5 of The Oxford History of English Literature (M1310). Bonamy Dobrée, Norman Davis, and F. P. Wilson, gen. eds. (Reprinted in 1990 as vol. 7, with the title The Early Seventeenth Century, 1600–1660: Jonson, Donne, and Milton.) PR431.B8 820.903.

A literary history of the period organized by “types of writing and modes of thought,” with chapters on the background of the age; popular literature and translations; successors of Spenser, songbooks, and miscellanies; Jonson, Donne, and their successors; travel literature; essays and characters; history and biography; political thought; science; religion; heroic verse; and Milton. Concludes with a chronology and a now outdated selective bibliography (both omitted in the 1973 paperback edition). Indexed by authors and subjects. A magisterial work that fully merits its reputation as the best volume of the Oxford History and a model of traditional literary history. Review: Arthur E. Barker, JEGP: Journal of English and Germanic Philology 62.3 (1963): 617–28 (a detailed examination of revisions).


Lewis, C. S. English Literature in the Sixteenth Century Excluding Drama. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1954. 696 pp. Vol. 3 of The Oxford History of English Literature (M1310). F. P. Wilson and Bonamy Dobrée, gen. eds. (Reprinted in 1990 as vol. 4, with the title Poetry and Prose in the Sixteenth Century.) PR411.L4 820.903.

A literary history covering the latter part of the fifteenth century to 1600. After an initial chapter outlining the background of the age, divides the literature into three periods: late medieval, “drab,” and “golden”—a division that has not gained wide acceptance. Includes a chronology and a now outdated selective bibliography (both omitted in the 1973 paperback edition). Indexed by authors, subjects, and anonymous works. A provocative, opinionated, sometimes brilliant work that has occasioned widespread controversy. Reviews: Donald Davie, Essays in Criticism 5.2 (1955): 159–64; Charles T. Harrison, Sewanee Review 63.1 (1955): 153–61; Yvor Winters, Hudson Review 8.2 (1955): 281–87.


The Cambridge History of Early Modern English Literature. Ed. David Loewenstein and Janel Mueller. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2002. 1,038 pp. New Cambridge Hist. of English Lit. PR421.C26 820.9′003. Online through Cambridge Histories Online (

A collaborative history of “English literature written in Britain between the Reformation and the Restoration.” Although separately authored, the 26 chapters are designed to attend to “the aesthetic and generic features of early modern texts” as well as the conditions (especially political and religious) of their production and reception. Unlike many recent multiauthored literary histories, this one has a chronology and bibliography; unfortunately, the layout of the former makes it useless for comparisons of literary and historical events, and the lack of any topical organization will deter most readers from skimming the 40-page selective bibliography of secondary works (a curious mishmash that omits too much essential to the study of the period). Indexed by persons, subjects, and anonymous works (the online version omits the index). Including contributions by many of the leading early modern scholars, Cambridge History of Early Modern English Literature will likely exert substantial influence on the study of the period.

See also

Sec. M: English Literature/General/Histories and Surveys.

Literary Handbooks, Dictionaries, and Encyclopedias


Ruoff, James E. Crowell’s Handbook of Elizabethan and Stuart Literature. New York: Crowell, 1975. 468 pp. British ed.: Macmillan’s Handbook of Elizabethan and Stuart Literature. London: Macmillan, 1975. PR19.R8 820′.9′003.

A handbook to the period 1558–1660, with entries for authors, works, genres, movements, and literary terms. Author entries include biographical information, a brief career survey, and a summary critical evaluation. Entries for works note details of composition, date, and source and offer a brief synopsis and critical evaluation. Those for genres survey major developments and works. Most entries conclude with a very brief list of standard editions, reference works, and major critical studies. Indexed in Biography and Genealogy Master Index (J565). Although a useful compendium, whose commentary is frequently more illuminating than one expects in a handbook, the work must be used with care, since there are inexplicable omissions, questionable evaluations, untrustworthy or outdated bibliographies, and numerous factual errors. Reviews: J. Max Patrick, Seventeenth-Century News 35.1-2 (1977): 26–27; Warren W. Wooden, Literary Research Newsletter 3.3 (1978): 135–37.

Historical topics and persons are more fully covered in John A. Wagner, Historical Dictionary of the Elizabethan World: Britain, Ireland, Europe, and America (Phoenix: Oryx, 1999; 392 pp.).

Bibliographies of Bibliographies

For a survey and selected list of bibliographies published before 1700, see Archer Taylor, Renaissance Guides to Books: An Inventory and Some Conclusions (Berkeley: U of California P, 1945; 130 pp.).

See also

Secs. D: Bibliographies of Bibliographies and M: English Literature/General/Bibliographies of Bibliographies.

Guides to Primary Works


For an overview of studies relating to codicology, paleography, attribution, and other aspects of manuscripts, see Noel J. Kinnamon, “Recent Studies in Renaissance English Manuscripts,” English Literary Renaissance 27.2 (1997): 281–326 and “Recent Studies in Renaissance English Manuscripts (1996–2006),” English Literary Renaissance 38.2 (2008): 356–83.


Index of English Literary Manuscripts (M1365). Ed. P. J. Croft, Theodore Hofmann, and John Horden. Vol. 1: 1450–1625. 2 pts. Comp. Peter Beal. Vol. 2: 1625–1700. 2 pts. Comp. Beal. London: Mansell; New York: Bowker, 1980–93. (In progress is Catalogue of English Literary Manuscripts, 1450–1700 [CELM], comp. Beal [].) Z6611.L7 I5 [PR83] 016.82′08.

A descriptive catalog of extant literary manuscripts. Vol. 1 covers 72 British and Irish authors who flourished between 1450 and 1625, with the bulk dating from the latter years of the period; vol. 2 covers 52 authors from the years 1625–1700. The authors are essentially those listed in Concise Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature, 600–1950 (M1365a). The emphasis is (rather loosely at times) on literary manuscripts, including scribal copies. Letters are excluded, although the introductions to individual authors list either individual ones or collections. Moreover, the introductions alert researchers to special problems and relevant scholarship, point out additional manuscripts, discuss canon, and conclude with an outline of the arrangement of entries. A typical entry provides a physical description, identifies the hand(s), dates composition of the manuscript, includes any necessary commentary (as well as references to editions or scholarship), and identifies location (with shelf mark). Since some entries are based on inquiries to libraries and collectors, bibliographies and other reference works, and booksellers’ and auction catalogs, rather than personal examination by the compiler, descriptions vary in fullness and accuracy. Also, terminology and format vary somewhat from part to part.

Addenda to the list of Donne manuscripts can be found in Peter Beal, “More Donne Manuscripts,” John Donne Journal 6 (1987): 213–18; Ernest W. Sullivan II, “Updating the John Donne Listings in Peter Beal’s Index of English Literary Manuscripts,” John Donne Journal 6 (1987): 219–34, and “Updating the John Donne Listings in Peter Beal’s Index of English Literary Manuscripts II,” John Donne Journal 9 (1990): 141–48.

Although there are errors and omissions, and the scope is unduly restricted by reliance on the Concise Cambridge Bibliography, these volumes have brought to light a number of significant unrecorded manuscripts and are an essential, if limited, source for the identification and location of manuscripts. They must, however, be supplemented by the works listed in section F: Guides to Manuscripts and Archives. Reviews: (vol. 1) Hilton Kelliher, Library 6th ser. 4.4 (1982): 435–40; Anthony G. Petti, Analytical and Enumerative Bibliography 5.3 (1981): 153–56.

Catalogue of English Literary Manuscripts, 1450–1700, which will initially record the surviving manuscripts of more than 200 authors, will eventually supersede Beal’s Index. The database will be searchable by “authors, patrons, scholars, compilers, composers, etc. (with the ability to distinguish by gender), titles of works, first lines of poems and songs, and up-to-date locations.” For a description of the project, see


Digital Scriptorium. U of California, Berkeley, Lib., n.d. 15 Jan. 2015. <>.

The Digital Scriptorium is a still growing database of images of medieval and Renaissance manuscripts (over 5,000 to date), hosted by the Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley. It brings together resources from twenty disparate institutions to create a unified scholarly research and teaching tool. Over 24,000 images of manuscripts are accompanied by descriptive metadata. Users are able to browse the collections by location or language. The basic option searches the complete record or the shelf mark. The advanced option allows keyword searching with Boolean and proximity operators and can be limited by date, country of origin, current location, and figurative decoration. Researchers can also browse the Census of Greek Manuscripts and the Census of Petrarch Manuscripts. Because the catalog is a combination of records from many catalogs, there are occasional irregularities among records, and the controlled vocabulary is weak.

Developers of this amalgamation of collections concentrated on adding items that were signed and dated by scribes and that were not widely reproduced. To include as much material as possible, catalogers describe collections in broad terms, cataloging many items extensively rather than few items intensively. Images can be used for “research, teaching, and private study,” and owning institutions request that proper attribution be provided, although sercuring permission in advance is not required.

See also

Sec. F: Guides to Manuscripts and Archives.

Ricci, Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts (M1815).

Printed Works

Bibliographies and Indexes

Pollard, A. W., and G. R. Redgrave, comps. A Short-Title Catalogue of Books Printed in England, Scotland, and Ireland, and of English Books Printed Abroad, 1475–1640 (RSTC, NSTC). Rev. Katharine F. Pantzer, W. A. Jackson, and F. S. Ferguson. 2nd ed., rev. and enl. 3 vols. London: Bibliog. Soc., 1976–91. Z2002.P77 015′.42.

A bibliography of extant editions, impressions, issues, and occasionally states and variants of books and other printed matter published or printed in the British Isles and of books in English, Irish, or Welsh printed abroad from c. 1473 through 1640. Although it lists a few unique items seen by the compilers but now destroyed or untraceable, RSTC is not a bibliography of all works actually printed during the period. The work revises—more precisely, transforms—the venerable Short-Title Catalogue (STC), comp. Pollard and Redgrave (London: Bibliog. Soc., 1926; 609 pp.), by adding some 10,000 entries, including fuller transcriptions of titles, and providing considerably expanded bibliographical detail and helpful cross-references. (For a full account of the revision and the history of STC and RSTC, see the preface to vol. 1 and ““ STC: The Scholar’s Vademecum”,” Book Collector 33 [1984]: 273–304.) As far as possible, RSTC retains the STC numbers, which have become the standard of reference for printed works of the period.

Entries, based largely on personal examination of copies or extensive correspondence with librarians and scholars, are arranged by author; corporate heading (with extensive sections such as “England” or “Liturgies” clearly subdivided); or, for anonymous works, by author’s initials, proper noun or adjective, or first noun. (See vol. 1, pp. xxx–xxxi for a fuller explanation of the handling of anonymous works. A useful aid to locating entries for attributed works in English is Halkett and Laing, Dictionary of Anonymous and Pseudonymous Publications [U5110], which includes RSTC references as well as a concordance of RSTC numbers.) A typical entry includes author, title, format, imprint, Stationers’ Register entry, locations, references to standard bibliographies, and editorial information (which offers sometimes extensive bibliographical detail and references to scholarship). Each volume concludes with a list of additions and corrections, which are cumulated, revised, and supplemented in vol. 3. Other addenda are printed in Stephen Tabor, ““Additions to STC ”,” Library 6th ser. 16 (1994): 190–207. Although the ESTC (M1377) once assumed responsibility for augmenting and amending RSTC records, the agreement with the Bibliographical Society has lapsed. (On the difficulties of identifying in ESTC works, editions, and issues not in RSTC, see David McKitterick, “‘Not in STC’: Opportunities and Challenges in the ESTC,” Library 7th ser. 6.2 [2005]: 178–94.) Users should study the admirably clear explanation of parts of an entry and procedures in the introduction to vol. 1.

Each entry lists up to five locations in Europe (principally in the British Isles) and five in North America (primarily), Australia, or New Zealand. A plus sign signifies that additional copies are known. Most locations are institutions or libraries, although a few private collections are listed. For the location “Private Owner,” a query addressed to the secretary of the (London) Bibliographical Society will be forwarded to the owner where possible. (For the secretary’s address, see the current issue of Library or the society’s Web site [].) Additional locations for entries in the STC may be found in William Warner Bishop, comp., A Checklist of American Copies of Short-Title Catalogue Books, 2nd ed. (Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 1950; 201 pp.), and David Ramage, comp., A Finding-List of English Books to 1640 in Libraries in the British Isles (Excluding the National Libraries and the Libraries of Oxford and Cambridge) (Durham: Council of the Durham Colls., 1958; 101 pp.). Researchers should also note that most STC works are available on microfilm through Early English Books, 1475–1640 (UMI) and Early English Books Online (M2009). Reels are indexed by STC numbers, some of which are changed in RSTC, and there are instances where the filmed image does not match the STC record (see McKitterick, above).

Vol. 3 offers several invaluable indexes—printers and publishers; places of publication (other than London); London imprints; dates of publication (by Philip R. Rider)—that will make practicable numerous studies of publishing, printing, and intellectual history. As Pantzer cautions, users of vol. 3 must “remember to read the headnotes” to the indexes and their appendixes. Some title access is offered by A. F. Allison and V. F. Goldsmith, Titles of English Books (and of Foreign Books Printed in England): An Alphabetical Finding-List by Title of Books Published under the Author’s Name, Pseudonym, or Initials, vol. 1: 1475–1640 (Hamden: Archon–Shoe String, 1976; 176 pp.). This source must be used with care, however, since it omits anonymous works and is based on unauthorized use of an unrevised draft of vol. 1 and proof of vol. 2 of RSTC. (For details, see the review by Peter Davison, Library 5th ser. 31.3 [1976]: 273.) Writers of prefatory matter and dedicatees are indexed in Franklin B. Williams, Jr., Index of Dedications and Commendatory Verses in English Books before 1641 (London: Bibliog. Soc., 1962; 256 pp.) and “Dedications and Verses through 1640: Addenda,” a 19-page supplement printed at the end of Library 5th ser. 30.1 (1975). Works of American interest are identified in Jackson Campbell Boswell, A Check List of Americana in A Short-Title Catalogue of Books Printed in England, Scotland, and Ireland and of English Books Printed Abroad, 1475–1640 , Supplement to Early American Literature 9.2 (1974), 124 pp. Several of the preceding works are being superseded by ESTC (M1377). Provisional statistical analysis of the data in RSTC is offered by Maureen Bell and John Barnard, ““Provisional Count of STC Titles 1475–1640”,” Publishing History 31 (1992): 48–64; however, anyone using these statistics must first read Peter W. M. Blayney, “STC Publication Statistics: Some Caveats,” Library 7th ser. 8.4 (2007): 387–97.

RSTC is the indispensable source for identifying and locating extant works (and various editions, issues, variants, and impressions). Exemplary thoroughness in searching out material and precision in its analysis make the RSTC one of the truly monumental reference works. Like its predecessor, RSTC is the essential basis for scholarship of the period; however, it is gradually being supplanted but not superseded by ESTC, which incorporates augmented, corrected, and new records and offers all the advantages of computer searching. Continued by Wing, Short-Title Catalogue, 1641–1700 (M1995). Reviews: (vol. 1) Book Collector 35 (1986): 417–30; Arthur Freeman, TLS: Times Literary Supplement 13 Feb. 1987: 170; Freeman, Library 6th ser. 9.3 (1987): 289–92; (vol. 2) R. C. Alston, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 71.3 (1977): 391–95; James L. Harner, Seventeenth-Century News 36.1 (1978): 24–25; David Rogers, TLS: Times Literary Supplement 27 Aug. 1976: 1061; William P. Williams, Review 1 (1979): 249–54; (vol. 3) T. A. Birrell, TLS: Times Literary Supplement 13 Dec. 1991: 25; (vols. 1–3) Peter W. M. Blayney, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 88.3 (1994): 353–407.

A useful complement is M. A. Shaaber, Check-list of Works by British Authors Printed Abroad, in Languages Other Than English, to 1641 (New York: Bibliog. Soc. of America, 1975; 168 pp.).


Wing, Donald, comp. Short-Title Catalogue of Books Printed in England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and British America and of English Books Printed in Other Countries, 1641–1700 (Wing). 2nd ed., rev. and enl. 4 vols. New York: MLA, 1982–98. Z2002.W52 015.42. CD-ROM: Chadwyck-Healey, 1996.

  • Vol. 1: A1–E2926L. Rev. and ed. John J. Morrison and Carolyn W. Nelson. 1994. 954 pp.

  • Vol. 2: E2927–O1000. Ed. Timothy J. Crist. 1982. 690 pp.

  • Vol. 3: P1–Z28. Ed. Morrison. 1988. 766 pp.

  • Vol. 4: Indexes. Comp. Nelson and Matthew Seccombe. 1998. 1,078 pp.

Continues the Short-Title Catalogue (M1990), employing the same basic organization but providing less comprehensive coverage and much less bibliographical detail. Like RSTC, Wing is an enumerative bibliography of extant works printed in the British Isles and North America, and in English elsewhere in the world. Vols. 2 and 3 do include a few unique items destroyed during World War II; other than annuals, periodicals, which are listed in Nelson and Seccombe, British Newspapers and Periodicals (M2060), are excluded.

Works are entered by author, corporate author, or title of anonymous work. A typical entry provides author, short title (several titles are truncated too much to indicate contents or subject), imprint, format, references to standard bibliographies, and locations. Researchers should note that “anr. ed.” (another edition) refers indiscriminately to edition, issue, or state, and “var.” merely indicates that undifferentiated variants exist. The revised vol. 3 provides somewhat fuller descriptions and is more precise in identifying editions and variants. There are occasional duplicate entries.

Up to 10 copies are located in libraries and a few private collections: five in the British Isles, and five in North America (primarily), New Zealand, Australia, or the Continent. (Several entries actually provide more than 10 locations.) Additions and corrections are printed in Studies in Bibliography 29 (1976): 386–87; 30 (1977): 276–80; 31 (1978): 266–71; and in works listed in vol. 1, p. ix. Like RSTC, Wing is not a census of copies; however, information on additional locations—as well as some details of bibliographical references, provenance, and auction records—can be obtained from the editor (Wing STC Revision Project, Yale U Lib., 130 Wall St., Box 208240, New Haven, CT 06520-8240).

The Indexes volume, which covers additions and corrections made to the CD-ROM version, provides an index of printers, publishers, and booksellers and a chronological list of non-London publications. The CD-ROM or ESTC (M1377) offers the best way to locate anonymous works, those listed by corporate author, and those for which a researcher knows only the titles. Poems in Wing titles are being indexed in Union First Line Index of English Verse (M2190a).

Researchers must be certain to use only the 1994 revised edition of vol. 1, not the original revision (1972), because of serious flaws arising from the reassignment of 7–8% of the original numbers that serve as standard references in bibliographies, catalogs, studies, and editions and are essential to locating microfilmed works in University Microfilms International’s Early English Books, 1641–1700 collection. Several entries were canceled without notice or moved without cross-reference, and typographical errors abound. These problems are not fully redressed by the list of changes in vol. 2, pp. 669–90. Vol. 2 seldom reassigns numbers and the 1994 revision of vol. 1 and vol. 3 never does; all three scrupulously note canceled or moved entries.

The Wing STC has spawned a number of useful supplementary works:

  • Early English Books, 1641–1700: A Cumulative Index to Units 1–60 of the Microfilm Collection. 8 vols. Ann Arbor: UMI, 1990. Author, title, subject, and reel-position-Wing-number indexes to the first 42,500 titles in the microfilm collection. The title index expands the short titles in Wing and is sometimes useful in locating anonymous works in the catalog; the subject index, based on Library of Congress headings, is not adequate for most narrow subject searches. The indexes must be used with the original edition of vol. 1. The handlists to the later microfilm units are not indexed. Works filmed are searchable through WorldCat (E225) and Early English Books Online (M2009).

  • Allison, A. F., and V. F. Goldsmith. Titles of English Books (and of Foreign Books Printed in England): An Alphabetical Finding-List by Title of Books Published under the Author’s Name, Pseudonym, or Initials. Vol. 2: 1641–1700. Hamden: Archon–Shoe String, 1977. 318 pp. Only marginally useful because of the exclusion of anonymous works and the failure to include many entries in the revised vol. 1. Better title access to many entries is offered by the CD-ROM, title index to Early English Books, 1641–1700, and ESTC.

  • Smith and Cardinale, Women and the Literature of the Seventeenth Century: An Annotated Bibliography Based on Wing’s Short-Title Catalogue (M2007).

  • Wing, Donald. A Gallery of Ghosts: Books Published between 1641–1700 Not Found in the Short-Title Catalogue . New York: Index Committee of the MLA, 1967. 225 pp. A catalog of works and editions listed in bibliographies and dealers’ or auction catalogs but not identified or located. Those found are incorporated in the revised edition.

Despite its faults, Wing is an essential guide to the identification and location of works published during the period. The CD-ROM resolves many of the difficulties of searching Wing; much fuller records (with additional access points) are being added to the ESTC, which will eventually supplant but not completely supersede Wing.

For an account of the compilation of the first edition, see Donald G. Wing, ““The Making of the Short-Title Catalogue, 1641–1700 ”,” Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 45.1 (1951): 59–69; for the revision, see Timothy Christ [i.e., Crist], ““The Wing STC Revision Project: A Progress Report”,” Literary Research Newsletter 4.2 (1979): 67–72. Provisional statistical analysis of the data in Wing is offered by Maureen Bell and John Barnard, ““Provisional Count of Wing Titles, 1641–1700”,” Publishing History 44 (1998): 89–97.

Reviews: (vol. 1) TLS: Times Literary Supplement 26 Jan. 1973: 100 (and the subsequent correspondence by James M. Osborn and the reviewer, 23 Mar. 1973: 325; and Peter Grant, 6 Apr. 1973: 395); B. J. McMullin, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 72.4 (1978): 435–54 (with a reply by Timothy Crist, 73.2 [1979]: 273–75); (vol. 2) D. F. McKenzie, TLS: Times Literary Supplement 17 Dec. 1982: 1403; Alexandra Mason, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 80.2 (1986): 255–62; (vol. 3) Theodore Hofmann, Library 6th ser. 11.4 (1989): 383–88; David McKitterick, Book Collector 37.4 (1988): 461–78.


A Transcript of the Registers of the Company of Stationers of London, 1554–1640 A. D. Ed. Edward Arber. 5 vols. London and Birmingham: Privately printed, 1875–94. Z2002.S69 655.442. <>.

An edited transcript of part of the surviving records relating to the ownership of written works or to members of the company, as well as a number of miscellaneous documents. (See entry M1380 for a discussion of the records of the company.) Of principal interest to literary scholars are the registers of copies entered and records of fines for unlawful printing. In the registers, entries are listed chronologically according to the Old Style calendar and include the member entering the work (or being fined), a descriptive “title” (sometimes accompanied by the author’s name), and registration fee. (For the typographical distinctions of parts of an entry, see vol. 1, pp. 27–30.) Users must remember that (1) the registers are records of ownership claims by members of the company; (2) they were never intended as a record of authorized publication; (3) an entry does not automatically mean the work actually existed at that date; (4) many works entered were never published (or intended to be, as in the case of “blocking entries” used to prevent unauthorized printing of plays) or are no longer extant; (5) many works were printed with a different title; (6) sometimes a year or more elapsed between entry and publication; (7) later editions, unless a transfer of ownership occurred, were typically not entered; (8) a considerable number of works actually printed were never entered; (9) Register B and Arber’s transcript of it include entries forged by John Payne Collier (see Franklin Dickey, “The Old Man at Work: Forgeries in the Stationers’ Registers,” Shakespeare Quarterly 11.1 [1960]: 39–47).

The online version consists of DjVu or PDF files of OCR scans, some of which are difficult to read.

Because the Transcript is incomplete, confusingly organized, and inadequately indexed, it must be supplemented by the following:

  • Short-Title Catalogue (M1990), which includes references to entries in the register and thus serves as a handy index to extant publications that were entered.

  • Greg, W. W. Bibliography of the English Printed Drama (M2135), which prints a superior transcription of all entries relating to the drama.

  • Greg, W. W., ed. A Companion to Arber: Being a Calendar of Documents in Edward Arber’s Transcript. . . . Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1967. 451 pp. A calendar and index to the illustrative documents scattered haphazardly through the Transcript, as well as documents from other sources.

  • Greg, W. W., and E. Boswell, eds. Records of the Court of the Stationers’ Company, 1576 to 1602, from Register B. London: Bibliog. Soc., 1930. 144 pp.

  • Jackson, William A., ed. Records of the Court of the Stationers’ Company, 1602 to 1640. London: Bibliog. Soc., 1957. 555 pp. This and the preceding work transcribe documents Arber was not allowed to publish.

  • Rollins, Hyder E., comp. An Analytical Index to the Ballad-Entries (1557–1709) in the Registers of the Company of Stationers of London. 1924. Rpt., with some corrections in a foreword by Leslie Shepard. Hatboro: Tradition, 1976. 324 pp.

Of major value would be a published index to the early records. (Although one can search the DjVu or PDF files, the old-spelling transcription and abbreviations require considerable ingenuity to identify all possible spellings of a word, and there are errors in the OCR transcriptions, e.g. “Jonsox” for “Jonson.”)

Despite its faults, the Transcript offers the most convenient access to records essential for identifying lost works, researching publishing history, and dating composition (but the evidence must be carefully evaluated, since entry in the register establishes only a possible terminus ad quem for composition and only a possible terminus a quo for publication). Some research will require the use of the original records at Stationers’ Hall or the microfilm (M1380a). For a description of the records and a useful annotated list of published and unpublished catalogs, indexes, and transcripts, see Myers, Stationers’ Company Archive (M1380a).


A Transcript of the Registers of the Worshipful Company of Stationers from 1640–1708 A. D. [Ed. George Edward Briscoe Eyre, Charles Robert Rivington, and Henry Robert Plomer.] 3 vols. London: Privately printed, 1913–14. PR1105.R7. <>.

A transcript that continues the 1554–1640 Transcript (M2000) to March 1709 (NS) and employs the same typographic conventions to print entries. See entry M2000 for a discussion of the organization and use of the registers and entry M1380 for the records of the Stationers’ Company. Fortunately for scholars, the Transcript has been indexed by printers, publishers, authors, editors, translators, compilers, and titles in William P. Williams, ed., Index to the Stationers’ Register, 1640–1708: Being an Index to A Transcript of the Registers of the Worshipful Company of Stationers from 1640–1708 A. D. , Edited by Eyre, Rivington, and Plomer (1913–1914) (La Jolla: McGilvery, 1980; 67 pp. and 2 microfiche). Ballad entries are indexed in Rollins, Analytical Index to the Ballad-Entries (M2000a).


Smith, Hilda L., and Susan Cardinale, comps. Women and the Literature of the Seventeenth Century: An Annotated Bibliography Based on Wing’s Short-Title Catalogue . New York: Greenwood, 1990. 332 pp. Bibliogs. and Indexes in Women’s Studies 10. Z2013.5.W6.S6 [PR113] 016.8208′09287.

An annotated bibliography of works published between 1641 and 1700 by and about women. Although based on the revised edition of Wing, Short-Title Catalogue (M1995), Smith includes some works not in Wing, buried in collections unanalyzed in Wing or published after but written before 1700. The approximately 1,800 entries are listed alphabetically by author in three divisions: works by women (including some of indeterminate authorship and a few published after 1700 but written before that year); works about specific living or dead females (but excluding fictional characters); works discovered too late to be annotated and incorporated into the preceding divisions. A typical entry records author, title, publication information, number of pages, Wing number of the edition consulted, and reel and position location for the Early English Books (M1995a) or Thomason Tracts microfilm collections. The accompanying annotations—obviously based on a careful perusal of each work—offer a succinct, informative account of contents. The concluding list of women printers, publishers, and booksellers is rendered useless since it cites no page or entry numbers. Because the chronological and subject indexes cite page numbers, users must be certain to scan all entries on a given page.

Given the shortened titles in Wing, merely to have identified therein works by and about women would have rendered an important service to researchers; by offering informative annotations for all but 183 of the works, Women and Literature makes feasible a variety of studies of themes, subjects, social attitudes, groups of writers, and types of works that would otherwise daunt all but the hardiest scholar. Unfortunately, users must examine every entry because of utterly inadequate indexing: works in the third division are unindexed; the subject indexing of the other divisions is incomplete and inconsistent. Review: Mary Ann O’Donnell, Analytical and Enumerative Bibliography ns 4.4 (1990): 212–16.

Researchers can also use EEBO (M2009) to identify works about women, both real and fictional.

Text Archives

English Broadside Ballad Archive (EBBA). U of California, Santa Barbara, 2008– . 15 Jan. 2015. <>.

Developed by the Early Modern Center in the English Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara, EBBA provides access to facsimiles and transcriptions of broadside ballads predominantly from the seventeenth century, items that are difficult to access in their original form and disappointing to use in microform. The project explores the ballads for their text, their artistic features, and their musical history.

Ballads are available on the site as facsimiles, transcriptions, and recordings accompanied by comprehensive catalog records. Thus far, the archive includes over 1,800 ballads from the Pepys Collection at Magdalene College, Cambridge University; 1,500 ballads from the Roxburghe Collection at the British Library; 420 ballads from the Euing Collection at the University of Glasgow; and 600 ballads from various smaller collections

EBBA is searchable by a basic keyword search. The advanced option allows searching by title, full text, first lines, date, author, printer or publisher, imprint, license, collection, and ESTC number; searching can be limited to EBBA or Pepys categories. The site includes extensive explanations of transcription, deciphering words and phrases, and fonts and features several scholarly resources: commentary on the ballads, a lengthy bibliography of secondary resources, and a list of other ballad sites. All resources are for noncommercial use, free of charge. Attribution is required for all noncommercial use of resources.


Early English Books Online (EEBO). Chadwyck-Healey. ProQuest, 2003–13. 3 Sept. 2013. <>. Updated regularly.

Digitized copies of approximately 128,000 titles included in the two Short-Title Catalogues (M1990 and M1995), in the Thomason Collection (tracts, periodicals, broadsides, and other publications from 1640 through 1660), and (eventually) a group of tract volumes (bound collections of broadside ballads, proclamations, almanacs, some manuscripts, and ephemera). Although most of the images are captured from the microfilms that make up Early English Books, 1475–1640 and Early English Books, 1641–1700 (M1990a and M1995a) and thus are not searchable, an increasing number of titles (approximately 44,000 of a planned 69,000) can be searched by keyword in a rekeyed full text. For the current status of the archive, click the About EEBO button on the EEBO home page and follow the Status—What’s Online Now? and Status of the Microfilm Project links; for information about the Text Creation Partnership that is producing the keyed full-text documents, see; to search the keyed documents, go to

Users must understand that the microfilms that are the source of most of the images preserve some incomplete copies, include copies whose missing leaves were photographed from other copies, reproduce nineteenth-century type facsimilies of some copies, do not necessarily reproduce the most authoritative edition(s) of a work, and do not include multiple copies of an edition that exists in variant states. Although the EEBO record for a document records the owner of the copy filmed, it does not identify the specific copy among multiple copies in an institutional collection. Thus, like the majority of text archives, EEBO is a resource for text-based studies but cannot be relied on for bibliographical analyses. (For particulars, see B. J. McMullin, “Getting Acquainted with EEBO,” Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand Bulletin 26.3–4 [2002]: 220–30; Diana Kichuk, “Metamorphosis: Remediation in Early English Books Online (EEBO),” Literary and Linguistic Computing 22.3 [2007]: 291–303; and Ian Gadd, “The Use and Misuse of Early English Books Online,” Literature Compass 6.3 [2009]: 680–92.)

Users can browse or search the contents. The browse window allows users to browse by author (with the option of restricting the list to those with at least one work available in full text), to scan the Thomason Collection volume by volume (an important feature since the volumes are organized chronologically), and to peruse the periodicals by date or title. The Basic Search window allows users to search by full-text keyword, author, title keyword, subject (Library of Congress subject headings assigned to the MARC record for each title), and bibliographic record number (e.g., RSTC and Wing numbers); default fields are combined with the Boolean “and.” Searches can be limited by date. Records can be sorted alphabetically, by author or title, or chronologically (with either the earliest or most recent first). The Advanced Search window offers additional options: users can search by record keyword, imprint, reel position in the Early English Books microfilm collections, and type of illustration; they can limit full-text keyword searches to genres or parts of texts (e.g., colophons, dedications, prefaces); and they can select additional limiters: UMI collections, libraries (i.e., owners—some of which are not libraries—of the digitized copies at the time they were microfilmed), language, and country of origin. Because the full-text transcriptions follow the spelling of the underlying original copies, searchers must be certain to check the Variant Spellings and Variant Forms boxes and click the Check for Variants link when performing a keyword search. Periodicals, which have their own search screen, can be searched by keyword, date, author or editor, title, bibliographic record number, reel position, and type of illustration; users must remember to click the Variant Spelling and Variant Forms boxes at the top of the screen. Records can be sorted by date, title, or chronologically by separate issue. Users can combine searches by clicking on Search History.

Images can be viewed on-screen (and resized or adjusted), printed, or downloaded as PDF or TIFF files (users must save a title to the marked list before exporting it); full-text files are linked to each screen image of the transcribed text.

Although the digitized images vary in quality because of the condition of the copies originally microfilmed and although there are quirks in the search engine (e.g., locating a record by RSTC number requires the insertion of the Boolean “and” between “STC” and the number, but no “and” is required between “Wing” and the number; the addition of Library of Congress subject headings to records sometimes results in false hits, especially in author searches), the ability to search the database in such a variety of ways and the increasing number of keyed full-text documents make EEBO an incomparable resource, and studies—linguistic and topical—that would otherwise take a lifetime of searching and reading are now feasible. Review: John Jowett and Gabriel Egan, Interactive Early Modern Literary Studies (Jan. 2001): 1–13. 3 Sept. 2013. <>.

Addenda, corrigenda, and commentaries can be found at EEBO Interactions: A Social Network for Early English Books Online (

ECCO (M2238) and EEBO can be cross-searched.

See also

New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature, vol. 1: 600–1660 (M2035).

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism

Surveys of Research


““Recent Studies in the English Renaissance”.” English Literary Renaissance 1 (1971)– . PR1.E43 920.9′002.

Most issues of English Literary Renaissance conclude with a survey of recent research on an author, topic, or group of related works from 1485 to 1665. Modeled on those in Logan and Smith (M2145) and based on MLAIB (G335), ABELL (G340), and Year’s Work in English Studies (G330), the surveys typically examine biographical and general works, editions, studies of special topics and individual works, canon and text, and the current state of scholarship. Each survey concludes with a bibliography of works not discussed in the text. Coverage and evaluation vary with the individual contributor, but the general quality is high and the series treats a number of authors who are not the subject of a more comprehensive author bibliography. The individual surveys are conveniently indexed in MLAIB (G335) and ABELL (G340).


““Recent Studies in the English Renaissance”.” Studies in English Literature, 1500–1900 1 (1961)– . Annually in the Winter issue. PR1.S82 820′.9.

A commissioned survey by an established scholar of studies on nondramatic literature, with recent ones emphasizing full-length critical and historical works and typically offering only cursory attention to editions or reference works. (Drama is covered in the Spring issue [M2150].) The essays vary considerably in soundness and rigor of assessment. Although it is the most current annual survey, the work is generally limited to books submitted for review and must be supplemented by the chapters in Year’s Work in English Studies (G330) on the nondramatic literature of the period.

Some volumes of Manuscripta (7–28 [1963–84]) include “A Review of English Renaissance Textual Studies,” a survey of editions and textual and bibliographical scholarship.

Broader authoritative surveys include the following:

  • Hamilton, A. C. “The Modern Study of Renaissance English Literature: A Critical Survey.” Modern Language Quarterly 26.1 (1965): 150–83.

  • Schoeck, Richard J. “English Literature.” The Present State of Scholarship in Sixteenth-Century Literature. Ed. William M. Jones. Columbia: U of Missouri P, 1978. 111–68.

  • Summers, Joseph H. “Notes on Recent Studies in English Literature of the Earlier Seventeenth Century.” Modern Language Quarterly 26.1 (1965): 135–49.

  • Tuve, Rosemond. “Critical Survey of Scholarship in the Field of English Literature of the Renaissance.” Studies in Philology 40.2 (1943): 204–55.

See also

YWES (G330): Chapters for Sixteenth Century: Excluding Drama after 1550; Shakespeare; Renaissance Drama: Excluding Shakespeare; Earlier Seventeenth Century: Excluding Drama; Milton.

Serial Bibliographies


World Shakespeare Bibliography Online [1960– ] (WSB Online). Ed. James L. Harner. Johns Hopkins UP for the Folger Shakespeare Lib., 2000–13. 3 Sept. 2013. <>. Updated quarterly. An expanded cumulation and continuation of ““World Shakespeare Bibliography, [1949–2003]”.” Shakespeare Quarterly 1–55 (1950–2004). Annual. Title varies. PR2885.S63 822.3′3.

An annotated bibliography of Shakespearean scholarship and productions that lists a significant number of works important to Renaissance literature generally. The international coverage (120 languages) encompasses books, articles, dissertations, productions, films, computer software, and reviews of the foregoing—in short, anything that is related to the study of Shakespeare. Basic Search allows users to search by keyword; Advanced Search allows searches by keyword, title, author, persons other than authors, publisher or journal, date, version, type of document, language, and year. The Browse feature allows users to access records according to the taxonomy employed in the annual print version (e.g., users can skim all textual studies of Hamlet, translations of Coriolanus, or discussions of the sources of As You Like It). In all three search modes, records can be sorted in ascending or descending order by date, author, or title. Records can be marked for printing, exporting, or e-mailing. The extensive coverage, clear organization, numerous hyperlinks, and thorough indexing make this work the indispensable bibliography of Shakespeare studies and an important guide to scholarship on Renaissance literature generally.

Earlier Shakespeare scholarship can be located in

  • Ebisch, Walther, and Levin L. Schücking. A Shakespeare Bibliography. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1931. 294 pp.

  • ———. Supplement for the Years 1930–1935 to A Shakespeare Bibliography . Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1937. 104 pp.

  • Sajdak, Bruce T., ed. Shakespeare Index: An Annotated Bibliography of Critical Articles on the Plays, 1959–1983. 2 vols. Millwood: Kraus, 1992. An admirably thorough guide to English-language articles that is noteworthy for its incisive annotations and its character, scene, and subject indexes.

  • “Shakespeare.” Year’s Work in English Studies (G330).

  • Smith, Gordon Ross. A Classified Shakespeare Bibliography, 1936–1958. University Park: Penn State UP, 1963. 784 pp.

  • “The Year’s Contributions to Shakespeare Studies.” Shakespeare Survey 1 (1948– ).

The best selective bibliographies of Shakespeare scholarship are David M. Bergeron and Geraldo U. de Sousa, Shakespeare: A Study and Research Guide, rev. 3rd. ed. (Lawrence: UP of Kansas, 1995; 235 pp.), and Larry S. Champion, The Essential Shakespeare: An Annotated Bibliography of Major Modern Studies, 2nd ed. (New York: Hall-Macmillan; Toronto: Maxwell, 1993; 568 pp.; Reference Pub. in Lit.).


Bibliographie internationale de l’humanisme et de la Renaissance (BIHR). Genève: Droz, 1966– . Annual. Z6207.R4 B5 016.9402′1. <>.

An international, interdisciplinary bibliography of scholarship on all aspects of humanism and the Renaissance that continues and expands “Bibliographie des articles relatifs à l’histoire de l’humanisme et de la Renaissance [1956–64],” Bibliothèque d’humanisme et Renaissance 20–27 (1958–65). Coverage in BIHR begins with 1963. Since vol. 34 (for 1998), entries are organized in a single alphabetized list followed by four indexes: subjects; geographic areas; persons and anonymous works; and document authors (largely superfluous given the alphabetized list of entries). Earlier volumes consisted of seven divisions: studies of individuals and anonymous works; general studies; history (including geography and political, social, and economic history); religion, philosophy, politics, and law; general literary studies, linguistics, and bibliography; the arts (including music and dance); science and technology. Except in the first division, which is organized alphabetically by writer, historical personage, or anonymous work, studies are grouped by country or geographic area, then listed alphabetically by author. Two indexes: scholars; writers and other individuals not separately classified in the first division. Researchers would benefit from a more refined classification system and greater currency (the lag is currently five to six years).

The online version can be searched by document author, title keyword, date, subject, geographic area, and persons; before using the last three search fields, users should consult the Help file. Results can be sorted by author (ascending), date (descending), or theme (apparently, subject headings). Records can be printed or copied to a file but not e-mailed. Although the subject and geographic area searches are limited by the taxonomy of vols. 1–33 and by the indexes since vol. 34, although records for essays from edited collections lack a full citation and are (inexcusably) not linked to main-entry records, and although the search interface is cumbersome, the online version keeps searchers from having to slog through stacks of printed volumes.

The coverage of British literature is much less thorough than in MLAIB (G335) or ABELL (G340), but the interdisciplinary scope and more extensive survey of European publications make BIHR an essential complement to these standard serial bibliographies.

For a discussion of the editorial difficulties that have beset BIHR and the unsuccessful attempt to establish an Annual Bibliography of Early Modern Europe, see John B. Dillon, “Renaissance Bibliography in the Electronic Age: Recent Work on a Computer-Produced Annual Bibliography of Studies on Early Modern Europe,” Collection Development 6.1–2 (1984): 217–26. Coverage must be complemented by Iter: Gateway to the Middle Ages and Renaissance (M1835a)


““Literature of the Renaissance in [1917–68]: A Bibliography”.” Studies in Philology 14–66 (1917–69). P25.S8 405.

An annual bibliography originally limited to English literature but expanded in vol. 36 (1939) to encompass French, Germanic, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese literature. At its demise, coverage was international and included dissertations and some reviews as well as books and articles. Entries in the English division are listed by author in nine sections: general; history, manners, and customs; drama and stage; Shakespeare; nondramatic literature; More; Spenser; Donne; Milton. Indexed by persons. Although never comprehensive, it includes many works omitted from the other standard bibliographies such as MLAIB (G335) and ABELL (G340).

See also

Secs. G: Serial Bibliographies, Indexes, and Abstracts and H: Guides to Dissertations and Theses.

ABELL (G340): English Literature/Sixteenth Century and Seventeenth Century sections.

MLAIB (G335): English Language and Literature division in the volumes for 1921–25; English VII and VIII in the volumes for 1926–56; English VI and VII in the volumes for 1957–80; and English Literature/1500–1599 and 1600–1699 sections (as well as any other larger chronological section encompassing either century) in the later volumes. Researchers must also check the headings beginning “Elizabethan,” “Jacobean,” and “Renaissance” in the subject index to post-1980 volumes and in the online thesaurus.

Progress of Medieval and Renaissance Studies (M1835a).

Other Bibliographies


The New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature (NCBEL). Vol. 1: 600–1660. Ed. George Watson. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1974. 2,476 cols. Z2011.N45 [PR83] 016.82.

(For a full discussion of NCBEL, see entry M1385.) The part devoted to Renaissance literature (1500–1660) has seven divisions, each subdivided and classified as its subject requires: introduction (general works, literary relations with the Continent, book production and distribution); poetry (general works, Tudor poetry, Elizabethan sonnet, minor Tudor poetry, Jacobean and Caroline poetry, Milton, minor Jacobean and Caroline poetry, emblem books, epigrams and formal satire, songbooks); drama (general works, theaters and actors, Puritan attack on the stage, moralities, early comedies, early tragedies, later Elizabethan drama, minor Elizabethan drama, Shakespeare, Jacobean and Caroline drama, minor Jacobean and Caroline drama, university plays); religion (humanists and reformers, English Bible, Prayer Book, versions of the Psalms, sermons and devotional writings, Richard Hooker, Marprelate controversy, Caroline divines); popular and miscellaneous prose (pamphleteers and miscellaneous writers, minor popular literature, character books and essays, prose fiction, news sheets and newsbooks, travel, translations into English); history, philosophy, science, and other forms of learning (historians, biographers, and antiquaries; letters, diaries, autobiographies, and biographies; economics and politics; law; scholarship; literary criticism; philosophy; science; education); and Scottish literature (general works, poetry and drama, prose). The general introduction for the volume as a whole lists bibliographies, histories, anthologies, and works about prosody, prose rhythm, and language important to the study of the Renaissance period. Vol. 1 of the Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature (M1385a) is still occasionally useful for its coverage of the social and political background (which NCBEL drops).

Users must familiarize themselves with the organization, remember that there is considerable unevenness of coverage among subdivisions, and consult the index volume (vol. 5) rather than the provisional index in vol. 1. Despite its shortcomings (see entry M1385), NCBEL offers the best general coverage of both primary and secondary works for the study of Renaissance literature, but it must be supplemented by the other works in this section and by MLAIB (G335), ABELL (G340), and Year’s Work in English Studies (G330). Review: Fred C. Robinson, Anglia 97.2 (1979): 511–17.


Tannenbaum, Samuel A., and Dorothy R. Tannenbaum. Elizabethan Bibliographies. 10 vols. Port Washington: Kennikat, 1967. Z2012.T3 016.8208′003.

A convenient reprint of the 41 volumes and seven supplements privately printed in limited numbers between 1937 and 1950. The individual volumes—devoted to a variety of Renaissance writers, some of Shakespeare’s works, and Mary Stuart—vary in organization but typically include sections for editions, selections, biography and commentary, and bibliography. Indexed by person and subject. The highly abbreviated entries rarely transcribe a title exactly, include a number of inessential passing notices, and are replete with errors.

The Tannenbaums also compiled the annual “Shakespeare and His Contemporaries (A Classified Bibliography for [1925–48]),” Shakespeare Association Bulletin 1–24 (1924–45), which supplements their Elizabethan Bibliographies series. Many of the volumes are updated and new authors added in Elizabethan Bibliographies Supplements, Charles A. Pennel, gen. ed., 17 vols. (London: Nether, 1967–71). Entries are listed chronologically and indexed by scholar and title.

The Tannenbaum and Pennel volumes are convenient starting points for research on a writer who has not been the subject of a recent author bibliography. Neither series, however, offers comprehensive coverage.


Oxford Bibliographies Online: Renaissance and Reformation. Ed. Margaret L. King. Oxford UP, 2010– . 15 Jan. 2015. <>.

Oxford Bibliographies Online are peer-reviewed concisely annotated, expertly selected bibliographic citations. Each of the articles within a bibliography, written by scholars in the field, consists of an introduction that covers the history behind the field or subfield, followed by a categorized list of useful academic publications (e.g., introductions, textbooks, journals, handbooks and guides, reference works, primary texts or documents) and sections on debates and controversies, criticism, genres, and more. The lists of citations are highly selective, chosen to represent the best scholarship in a given field. Some articles include links to full text or Web content.

Renaissance and Reformation includes articles covering astrology, alchemy, and magic; Francis Bacon; black death and the plague, the disease and medical thought; Calvinsim; Cervantes; opera; and scores of other subjects.

Content is browsable, and users can search the database with the option of limiting by resource type. Searches can be saved, and users can receive e-mails alerting them to new additions.

See also

Kallendorf, Latin Influences on English Literature from the Middle Ages to the Eighteenth Century (S4895).

Related Topics


Davies, Godfrey, ed. Bibliography of British History: Stuart Period, 1603–1714. Ed. Mary Frear Keeler. 2nd ed. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1970. 734 pp. Z2018.D25 016.9142.

An extensive, albeit selective, bibliography of primary and secondary materials published for the most part before 1963. Entries are organized in 15 classified divisions: general reference works, politics, constitutional history, law, ecclesiastical history, military history, naval history, economics, social history, cultural history (e.g., fine arts, music, science, and education), local history, colonization, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. Annotations are largely descriptive, with frequent references to related studies, but many entries lack annotation. Indexed by persons and subjects. The authoritative guide to historical studies on the period and a valuable resource for cross-disciplinary research. Entries for pre-1901 publications are included in Bibliography of British and Irish History (M1400). Review: J. P. Cooper, English Historical Review 89.350 (1974): 118–22.

A useful supplement because of its pointed evaluations and inclusion of works published to mid-1979 is J. S. Morrill, Seventeenth-Century Britain, 1603–1714 (Folkestone: Dawson; Hamden: Archon–Shoe String, 1980; 189 pp.; Critical Bibliogs. in Mod. Hist.). Coverage is highly selective and for articles does not extend before 1957.


Read, Conyers, ed. Bibliography of British History: Tudor Period, 1485–1603. 2nd ed. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1959. 624 pp. Z2018.R28 016.94205.

An extensive, albeit rigorously selective, bibliography of primary and secondary materials published largely before 1 January 1957. Entries are organized in 14 classified divisions: general studies (including reference works); political history; constitutional history; political theory; law; ecclesiastical history; economics; discovery, exploration, and colonization; military and naval history; cultural and social history (e.g., education, music, science, and fine arts); local history; Scotland; Ireland; and Wales. Several annotations are helpfully evaluative or refer to related studies; unfortunately, many entries are inadequately annotated or not at all. Indexed by persons and subjects (with several errors in the indexing). The authoritative guide to historical studies on the period and a valuable resource for cross-disciplinary research. Entries for pre-1901 publications are included in Bibliography of British and Irish History (M1400).

A very selective but useful supplement with coverage through 1 September 1966 is Mortimer Levine, Tudor England, 1485–1603 (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1968; 115 pp.; Conf. on British Studies Bibliog. Handbooks), with frequent brief but pointed annotations.

See also

Bibliography of British and Irish History (M1400).




Bailey, Early Modern English (M1410a).

———. Michigan Early Modern English Materials (M1410a).

Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources (M1700).

Biographical Dictionaries

The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (M1425) remains the standard general source of biographical information for the period. Additional details, especially about less prominent individuals, may be found in Mark Eccles, Brief Lives: Tudor and Stuart Authors, Texts and Studies, 1982, Studies in Philology 79.4 (1982): 135 pp.; and J. W. Saunders, A Biographical Dictionary of Renaissance Poets and Dramatists, 1520–1650 (Brighton: Harvester; Totowa: Barnes, 1983; 216 pp.). The latter suffers from a lack of balance and numerous errors. Neither fulfills the need for a reliable and thorough biographical dictionary of Renaissance authors.

See also

Bell, Parfitt, and Shepherd, Biographical Dictionary of English Women Writers, 1580–1720 (M1433a).

Dictionary of Literary Biography (J600).

Ruoff, Crowell’s Handbook of Elizabethan and Stuart Literature (M1980).


Guides to Primary Works


Nelson, Carolyn, and Matthew Seccombe, comps. British Newspapers and Periodicals, 1641–1700: A Short-Title Catalogue of Serials Printed in England, Scotland, Ireland, and British America. New York: MLA, 1987. 724 pp. Index Soc. Fund Pubs. Z6956.G6 N44 [PN5115] 015.41034.

An enumerative bibliography and finding list of extant issues of serials printed between 1641 and 1700, with a supplementary checklist extending coverage through March 1702. The approximately 700 titles encompass newspapers, newsbooks, miscellanies, official journals, trade bulletins, and other publications with numbered or dated issues bearing uniform titles and formats and published at intervals of less than a year. (Annuals are included in Wing, Short-Title Catalogue [M1995].) The serials are organized alphabetically by title of the first number, followed by issues in chronological order, with separate entries for different editions or versions; variant, general, and later titles are thoroughly cross-referenced to main entries. Preceding the list of issues is a headnote that includes, when known, variant titles, inclusive dates, format, average length of issue, frequency, price, author or editor, notes on variants, and references to standard bibliographies. The entry for an issue cites, when appropriate, title, volume number, issue number, date (in New Style), imprint, variants, standard bibliographies, and up to 20 locations (with those in the British Isles to the left of the semicolon, and those elsewhere in the world to the right). An extensive appendix on variants identifies different typesettings of selected serials after June 1642; variants in earlier publications are described in the main list. Descriptions are based on personal examination of at least one copy of nearly every issue. Six indexes: chronological by month; publishers and printers; editors and authors; subjects; places of publication other than London; foreign languages. Users must be certain to study the full explanation of organization and editorial policies and remember that, like Wing, this work is not a census of copies and that the identification of authors and editors is based on New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature (M2035 and M2255), which is not trustworthy in many of its ascriptions. The first reliable guide to the identification and location of issues, British Newspapers and Periodicals provides the necessary groundwork for further bibliographical investigations and studies of authorship, editorship, and content. For addenda and corrigenda, see Joad Raymond, ““Some Corrections and Additions to British Newspapers and Periodicals 1641–1700: A Short-Title Catalogue ”,” Notes and Queries ns 42.4 (1995): 451–53. Review: Michael Harris, Library 6th ser. 11.4 (1989): 378–83.

For a preliminary analysis of publishing practices, along with suggestions for further research on serial publications, see Nelson and Seccombe, Periodical Publications, 1641–1700: A Survey with Illustrations (London: Bibliog. Soc., 1986; 109 pp.; Occasional Papers of the Bibliog. Soc. 2).

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism


Linton and Boston, Newspaper Press in Britain (M1455).

Weed and Bond, Studies of British Newspapers and Periodicals (M2285).



Histories and Surveys

Salzman, Paul. English Prose Fiction, 1558–1700: A Critical History. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1985. 391 pp. PR836.S24 823′.3′09.

A critical history of the development of prose fiction, organized by genre or type and including an extended critical analysis of at least one example of each. Concludes with a two-part bibliography of extant works: pt. 1 is an author list of Elizabethan fiction; pt. 2 classifies seventeenth-century fiction in 25 types. Although the bibliography is not comprehensive, it does complement Mish, English Prose Fiction (M2095), and O’Dell, Chronological List of Prose Fiction (M2100). Indexed by persons, genres, and titles (but with some inconsistencies in the last). Salzman is by far the best survey, with especially perceptive treatment of seventeenth-century fiction. Reviews: Jerry C. Beasley, Studies in the Novel 17.3 (1985): 303–10; John J. O’Connor, Renaissance Quarterly 39.1 (1986): 130–32.

For fiction before 1558, Margaret Schlauch, Antecedents of the English Novel, 1400–1600 (from Chaucer to Deloney) (Warszawa: PWN; London: Oxford UP, 1963; 264 pp.), remains useful although colored by an anachronistic search for realism.

See also

Baker, History of the English Novel, vols. 1–2 (M1505).

Guides to Primary Works
Bibliographies and Indexes

Mish, Charles C., comp. English Prose Fiction, 1600–1700: A Chronological Checklist. Charlottesville: Bibliog. Soc. of the U of Virginia, 1967. 110 pp. Z2014.F4 M5.

A chronological short-title list of editions of original fictional works and translations that depends heavily on the Short-Title Catalogues (M1990 and M1995) and Arundell Esdaile, A List of English Tales and Prose Romances Printed before 1700 (London: Blades for the Bibliog. Soc., 1912; 329 pp.). Editions are listed alphabetically by author or title of anonymous work under the year of publication (although the dating of many editions is conjectural). Indexed by authors and titles. Although Mish is more conservative than O’Dell (M2100) in defining fiction and generally superior to O’Dell for editions after 1599, both works are bedeviled by the difficulty in determining what constitutes prose fiction before the eighteenth century. Mish supersedes Esdaile but must be supplemented by the bibliography in Salzman, English Prose Fiction (M2090).


O’Dell, Sterg. A Chronological List of Prose Fiction in English Printed in England and Other Countries, 1475–1640. Cambridge: Technology P of MIT, 1954. 147 pp. Z2014.F5 O33 016.823.

A chronological list of editions of original works and translations that is based largely on Short-Title Catalogue (M1990), Transcript of the Registers of the Company of Stationers (M2000), and Esdaile, List of English Tales and Prose Romances (M2095a). Editions are listed alphabetically by author or title of anonymous work under the year of publication (or entry in the Stationers’ Register for nonextant editions). Entries include Short-Title Catalogue or Stationers’ Register references, locations of copies (superseded by the revised Short-Title Catalogue), and occasional citations to modern editions (superseded by Harner, English Renaissance Prose Fiction [M2105]). Indexed by authors and anonymous works. Although it is the fullest bibliography of early fiction, O’Dell is swollen by the inclusion of many works that cannot qualify as fiction and several bibliographical ghosts. O’Dell supersedes Esdaile, but Mish, English Prose Fiction (M2095), is generally preferable as a guide to editions printed after 1599; see also the bibliography in Salzman, English Prose Fiction (M2090).

Text Archives

Early English Prose Fiction. Chadwyck-Healey Literature Collections. ProQuest, 1996–2013. 3 Sept. 2013. <>.

An archive of rekeyed texts of about 211 works of English-language fiction printed between 1500 and 1700. Editions were selected by an editorial board to offer “a balanced and representative survey of fictional prose in English from the period 1500–1700”; no other selection criteria are stipulated.

Simple keyword, title, and author searches can be limited by date of publication, date during an author’s lifetime, gender, nationality, and part of a work (e.g., front matter, epigraphs). Searchers must be certain to check the Include Typographical Variants box but must be aware that this feature works on simple variants (e.g. “glove/gloue”) but not more complicated ones (“dogs/dogges/doges”). Searchers can also browse an author or title list of the contents of the database. Results appear in ascending alphabetical order and cannot be re-sorted. Citations (but not the full text) can be marked for e-mailing, downloading, or printing; each citation includes a durable URL to the full text.

Some works are rekeyed from textually unsound editions; however, the bibliographic record for each work identifies the source of the text and any omissions (e.g., preliminary matter). Besides being a useful source for identifying an elusive quotation, Early English Prose Fiction’s text archive makes feasible a variety of kinds of studies (stylistic, thematic, imagistic, and topical).

The contents of Early English Prose Fiction can also be searched through LiOn (I527).

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism

Harner, James L. English Renaissance Prose Fiction, 1500–1660: An Annotated Bibliography of Criticism. Boston: Hall, 1978. 556 pp. Reference Pub. in Lit. English Renaissance Prose Fiction, 1500–1660: An Annotated Bibliography of Criticism (1976–1983). 1985. 228 pp. 1984–1990. 1992. 185 pp. Z2014.F4 H37 [PR833] 016.823′009.

An annotated bibliography of studies and editions since 1800 of English-language fiction (including translations) written or printed in England from 1500 to 1660. The descriptively annotated entries are arranged in four divisions: bibliographies; anthologies; general studies; and authors, translators, and titles. The last is organized alphabetically, with anonymous works entered (sometimes awkwardly) by title of the earliest extant edition. Each author, translator, or title includes sections for bibliographies, editions, and studies. Indexed by persons, anonymous works, and subjects (with the supplements more fully indexed). Although conservative in defining prose fiction and overlooking some studies, English Renaissance Prose Fiction offers the most thorough coverage of international scholarship on the topic. Reviews: Jane Belfield, Library 6th ser. 3.1 (1981): 73–74; Charles C. Mish, Seventeenth-Century News 38.1 (1980): 10; Robert Yeager, Studies in the Novel 13.3 (1981): 340–41.

Selected recent studies (as late as 1994) are surveyed in Reid Barbour, “Recent Studies in Elizabethan Prose Fiction,” English Literary Renaissance 25.2 (1995): 248–76.

Drama and Theater

Several works in sections L: Genres/Drama and Theater and M: English Literature/General/Genres/Drama and Theater are useful for research in Renaissance literature.

Histories and Surveys

Bentley, Gerald Eades. The Jacobean and Caroline Stage. 7 vols. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1941–68. PN2592.B4 792.0942.

  • Vols. 1–2: Dramatic Companies and Players. 1941.

  • Vols. 3–5: Plays and Playwrights. 1956.

  • Vol. 6: Theatres. 1968. 309 pp.

  • Vol. 7: Appendixes to Volume VI; General Index. 1968. 390 pp.

A massive cumulation of factual information on all aspects of the stage from 1616 to 1642, designed to continue Chambers, Elizabethan Stage (M2115). Vols. 1–2 trace the history of each of the London dramatic companies (with lists of actors and repertory) and the career of each known actor (quoting in chronological order “every scrap of biographical evidence”); appendixes transcribe various documents. Vols. 3–5 collect biographical details on dramatists and bibliographical information on plays. A typical entry for a play lists editions, scholarship, and seventeenth-century records and evaluates what is known of its date, authorship, source(s), allusions, and performance. Vol. 6 examines the private and public London theaters. Vol. 7 prints appendixes to vol. 6 (among which is a chronology of theatrical affairs) and a detailed analytical index of plays, authors, scholars, actors, places, and subjects. The careful evaluation of primary evidence and scholarship makes Bentley the essential source for facts about acting companies, players, playwrights, plays, and theaters. Reviews: (vols. 1–2) K. M. Lea, Review of English Studies 18.72 (1942): 491–96; (vols. 3–5) Harold Jenkins, Review of English Studies ns 9.34 (1958): 196–202; (vols. 6–7) Jenkins, Review of English Studies ns 20.78 (1969): 222–24.


Chambers, E. K. The Elizabethan Stage. 4 vols. Rpt. with corrections. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1951. PN2589.C4 792.0942. (The 2009 reprint includes White’s Index [see below].)

Continues Chambers’s Mediaeval Stage (M1905) in a history of the development of the Elizabethan stage that emphasizes the social and economic conditions affecting the drama from 1558 to 1616. Detailed examinations of court entertainments, the control of the stage, acting companies, playhouses, and plays and playwrights are supplemented by extensive appendixes (a calendar of court entertainments, extracts from records and texts, and bibliographies of academic, printed, lost, and manuscript plays). For additions, see Chambers, “Elizabethan Stage Gleanings,” Review of English Studies 1.1 (1925): 75–78 and 1.2 (1925): 182–86. Four indexes: plays; persons; places; subjects; more fully indexed by Beatrice White, comp., An Index to The Elizabethan Stage and William Shakespeare by Sir Edmund Chambers (Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1934; 161 pp.). An indispensable source, Elizabethan Stage has never been superseded but must be supplemented with other histories (such as Revels History of Drama [M1530]) and specialized studies such as those listed in the bibliographies of the Revels History, vol. 2, pp. 259–82; vol. 3, pp. 475–508. For an important critique of Chambers’s treatment of the Revels Office, see W. R. Streitberger, “Chambers on the Revels Office and Elizabethan Theater History,” Shakespeare Quarterly 59.2 (2008): 185–209. Continued by Bentley, Jacobean and Caroline Stage (M2110). Review: Ralph Berry, Notes and Queries 57.4 (2010): 586–88.


Hunter, G. K. English Drama, 1586–1642: The Age of Shakespeare. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1997. 623 pp. Vol. 6 [originally vol. 4, pt. 2] of The Oxford History of English Literature (M1310). PR421.H86 822′.309.

A history of English drama from 1586 to 1642 that emphasizes the contradictory pressures—from audiences, censorship, profit-driven theatrical managers, and authors hoping for social or literary esteem—on the composition and production of plays. Following an introductory chapter on the “preconditions of Elizabethan drama,” organizes chapters around genres; Shakespeare is central in the discussions. Concludes with brief biographies, a chronology, and a selective bibliography. Two indexes: playwrights and plays; persons and subjects. Written by one of the foremost scholars of Renaissance drama, English Drama, 1586–1642 seems destined to become one of the classic volumes in the Oxford History. Reviews: Paul Dean, English Studies 79.5 (1998): 441–46; Marion Trousdale, Huntington Library Quarterly 64.1-2 (2001): 237–44.


Wilson, F. P. The English Drama, 1485–1585. Ed. G. K. Hunter. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1969. 244 pp. Vol. 4, pt. 1 of The Oxford History of English Literature (M1310). Bonamy Dobrée and Norman Davis, gen. eds. (Reprinted in 1990 as vol. 5 of OHEL.) PR641.W58 822′.2′09.

A critical history of the morality, interlude, masque, pageant, entertainment, sacred drama, comedy, and tragedy, with a chapter on the major dramatic companies. Includes a chronology and a now dated selective bibliography. Indexed by authors, titles, and subjects. A judicious, authoritative account that remains one of the better introductions to the drama of the period. Reviews: Norman Sanders, Shakespeare Studies 6 (1970): 389–91; S. Schoenbaum, Yearbook of English Studies 1 (1971): 226–27.

See also

Chambers, Mediaeval Stage (M1905).

Revels History of Drama in English (M1530).

Wickham, Early English Stages, 1300 to 1660 (M1915).


Kawachi, Yoshiko. Calendar of English Renaissance Drama, 1558–1642. New York: Garland, 1986. 351 pp. Garland Reference Lib. of the Humanities 661. PN2589.K36 792′.0941.

A daily calendar of performances of plays, masks, entertainments, and other theatrical presentations and of tours of acting companies in England. Modeled on Harbage, Annals of English Drama (M1535), and borrowing many of its conventions and symbols (along with a good bit of information), the Calendar presents details in tabular format, with columns for date of production (according to the New Style calendar), information (such as licensing or entry in Stationers’ Register [M1380 and M2000]) that qualifies the preceding date, acting company, location of performance or tour (including patrons or other important persons in the audience), title, type of play, author(s), date of manuscript or earliest printed text, and sources of information. Deciphering an entry requires constant reference to the explanations of abbreviations and symbols (pp. x–xvi). Three indexes: titles of plays; playwrights; dramatic companies (classified by types of companies). Although the lack of running heads makes the year difficult to ascertain and articles used as sources are not identified (e.g., the code “K” stands for 23 different journals), Kawachi is valuable for its compilation and organization of widely scattered scholarship. While the daily record of performances allows for more precise studies of dramatic trends, stage history, and repertory than does its complement, Harbage, Annals of English Drama (M1535), Kawachi must be used with due regard to the impreciseness and incompleteness of the records as well as the provisional dating of many plays and performances. Review: Carol Chillington Rutter, Theatre Notebook 42.2 (1988): 83–86.

See also

Harbage, Annals of English Drama, 975–1700 (M1535).

Guides to Primary Works

Greg, W. W. A Bibliography of the English Printed Drama to the Restoration. 4 vols. London: Bibliog. Soc., 1939–59. Illustrated Monographs 24: 1–4. Z2014.D7 G78 016.822.

A descriptive bibliography of all editions, issues, and variants to 1700 of dramatic works (including many translations) “written before the end of 1642 . . . and printed before the end of 1700 . . . together with those written after 1642 but printed before the beginning of 1660.” After an initial section that transcribes extracts relating to drama from the records of the Stationers’ Company (M1380), plays are described in four divisions: individual plays, Latin plays, lost plays, and collected editions. Individual and Latin plays are listed chronologically by publication date of the earliest extant edition (with issues, variants, and later editions following in order of printing); lost plays, by date of presumed publication; and collected editions, by author. Additions and corrections appear in vol. 4, pp. 1643–711.

An entry for a printed play includes the Greg number (now the standard reference number); a full analytical description for each edition, issue, and variant, with notes on bibliographical and textual matters; references to advertisements and bibliographies; and locations in a limited number of British and American libraries (see the revised Short-Title Catalogue [M1990], Wing, Short-Title Catalogue [M1995], and English Short Title Catalogue [M1377] for current and additional locations). Users must consult the lengthy introduction (vol. 4, pp. i–clxxiv) for a detailed explanation of scope, content, and procedures.

Vol. 3 prints several useful appendixes—advertisements in newspapers, prefatory matter and actor lists from editions, contemporary lists of plays—as well as 18 indexes (e.g., prologues and epilogues; acting companies; court performances; printers, publishers, and booksellers; and general indexes of persons and titles and of subjects mentioned in descriptions and commentary). Vol. 4 provides a title index to the entire work.

A cornucopia of historical, bibliographical, and textual detail derived from meticulous examination of copies, Greg is the authoritative source for information on the publication and identification of early texts and the foundation for much of the important research on Renaissance drama. For a discussion of the genesis and reception of the work, see T. H. Howard-Hill, “W. W. Greg as Bibliographer,” Textual Cultures 4.2 (2009): 63–73. Reviews: (vols. 3–4) Times Literary Supplement 15 Jan. 1960: 40; Harold Jenkins, Review of English Studies ns 12.46 (1961): 201–04.


Wiggins, Martin. British Drama, 1533–1642: A Catalogue. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2012– . Z2014.D7 016.8223.

  • Vol. 1: 1533–1566. 2012. 500 pp.

  • Vol. 2: 1567–1589. 2012. 519 pp.

An analytic catalog of plays, extant and lost, written by English, Welsh, Irish, and Scottish writers between 1533 and 1642. Included are plays written by British expatriates and translations by British authors of foreign plays; for criteria determining inclusion of such forms as dialogues, civic pageants, tilts, masques, and royal entertainments, see vol. 1, pp. xii–xx. A supplementary list of plays written before 1533 and printed or transcribed between 1533 and 1642 appears in vol. 1, pp. 471–72. Two appendixes are planned for the final volume: “plays of doubtful status and works which are sometimes said to be dramatic, but which have been definitively excluded from the Catalogue.” For plays that exist in more than one substantive state, the main entry records the earliest extant one followed by a separate subentry for any other state. Entries are arranged chronologically by year, then as far as possible by date within each year; both chronological sequences follow the Julian calendar. A full entry includes the following:

  • heading (title or descriptive title, with combinations of white or black type against white, grey, or black background indicating whether a play is largely extant, known only by fragments, or lost; since preference is given to the title as performed rather than the title of a manuscript or a printed edition, users will be confronted with some unfamiliar titles)

  • text (a list of substantive manuscript and print sources with information about the textual nature of each)

  • evidence (source of evidence for the existence of a lost play)

  • genre

  • title (a list of all titles, including variants, associated with the play)

  • author

  • date

  • original production (with information on acting company and venue)

  • plot summary

  • scene designation (a record of act and scene division along with prologues, epilogues, and choruses)

  • roles (a list, in order of appearance onstage, with name or descriptor and “information about their age, occupation, relationships with other roles, and gender”)

  • number of speaking parts

  • number of allegorical roles

  • doubling (with evidence for actual doubling)

  • stage directions and speech prefixes (a list of “all forms used to refer to a role in the non-dialogue parts of the original witness to the text”)

  • other characters (for the most part, a list of characters who are mentioned but are never onstage [e.g., Yorick in Hamlet])

  • setting (geographic and chronological)

  • sources (a list of narrative and verbal sources [e.g., quotations] and allusions)

  • language (includes the principal language and the number of words in all others spoken)

  • form (meters and rhyme; formal structures such as prologues or dumb shows; number of lines, both spoken and written)

  • staging (including architectural features of the playing space and audience)

  • music and sound

  • props

  • costumes and makeup (organized by role)

  • early stage history (up to 1 January 1649)

  • early textual history (significant aspects of textual transmission from composition to 1699)

  • editions (selective)

  • references (sources of the entry’s information)

Before consulting an entry, users absolutely must read the detailed explanation of the preceding parts in vol. 1, pp. xxii–xxxix, which unfortunately is not reprinted in subsequent volumes. Three indexes: persons; places; plays.

Prefaced by an admirably thorough (and sometimes humorous) explanation of scope, editorial principles, and organization, vol. 1 of British Drama, 1533–1642 offers an astounding amount of information that is clearly organized and whose analysis is based on a magisterial command of the primary works and scholarship; however, until the remaining volumes are complete and the electronic edition (being prepared by Catherine Richardson and Mark Merry) is available, extracting and synthesizing much of the detail will be laborious. Users will quickly prefer a simpler way of identifying at a glance whether a play is extant, a fragment, or lost (see heading above). When complete, British Drama, 1533–1642 will make possible sophisticated analyses of a vast amount of data and will be enshrined as one of the monumental works of scholarship on Renaissance drama.


Farmer, Alan B., and Zachary Lesser. DEEP: Database of Early English Playbooks. University of Pennsylvania. School of Arts and Sciences, U of Pennsylvania, 2007–13. 3 Sept. 2013. <>.

A database of information about plays printed in England, Scotland, and Ireland through 1660. Users should note that this is not a text archive. Records for single-play playbooks, collections of plays, and plays within collections consist of four parts: reference information (including RSTC [M1990], Wing [M1995], Greg [M2135], and DEEP numbers; type of play; genre; date of first publication and approximate date of the first production; acting company; edition and total number of editions printed before 1660; number of leaves; format; presence of black letter typeface; and variant issues and states); transcription of the title page (although in original spelling, the transcription is not a quasi-facsimile), as well as a colophon and a description of any title-page illustration or frontispiece; paratextual material (e.g., dedications, dramatis personae, advertisements, and illustrations within the body of the book); and stationer information (printer, publisher, bookseller, imprimatur, and references to the Stationers’ Register [M2000 and M2005]). Entries for a play from a collection or a collection of plays vary somewhat in the information provided; users should see “Understanding the Results Display” on the “How to Use DEEP” page. Both Basic Search and Advanced Search use pull-down menus for most search fields. In Basic Search users can combine two of the following fields: title (in modern spelling), author (modern attribution), acting company, theatrical venue, stationer, Greg number, and RSTC or Wing number. Advanced Search allows combinations of the following fields: title (in modern spelling), title-page text (in both old and modern spelling), author (both modern and playbook attribution), acting company, venue, genre, paratext, illustrations, presence of black letter type or Latin motto, printer, publisher, stationer, imprint location, date of first production or publication, format, edition number, Greg number, and RSTC or Wing number. Searches can be restricted to separately published plays, plays in collections, or collections. Thus researchers could identify editions that included commendatory verses or lists of actors, claim a play was acted at court, identify a play’s genre, or name an author on the title page. (For other examples of how the database can be used, see Farmer and Lesser, “Early Modern Digital Scholarship and DEEP: Database of Early English Playbooks,” Literature Compass 5.6 [2008]: 1139–53.)

In making information from several standard sources readily and quickly accessible, DEEP allows for sophisticated analyses of data involving printed plays that would otherwise be inordinately time-consuming or impossible. In doing so, it is superior to ESTC (M1377) and EEBO (M2009) for the analysis of editions of plays printed before 1660.


Berger, Thomas L., William C. Bradford, and Sidney L. Sondergard. An Index of Characters in Early Modern English Drama Printed Plays, 1500–1660. Rev. ed. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1998. 170 pp. PR1265.3.B4 016.822009.

An index to characters (including animals and inanimate objects represented by actors, such as Wall in Midsummer Night’s Dream) who appear in printed English and Latin plays listed in Greg, Bibliography of the English Printed Drama (M2135). Characters are indexed by surname, given name, alias, nationality, occupation, religion, psychological state (e.g., melancholic), and type (e.g., poisoner, tyrant, magician). Plays are identified by Greg number (a finding list is appended). Effective use requires close familiarity with the description of scope and procedures in the introduction. Although the indexing by psychological state and type is sometimes inexact, surname and given name are not indexed together, and variants of the same name are entered separately, the work is a valuable resource for character studies of the drama. Reviews: (first edition) G. K. Hunter, Yearbook of English Studies 9 (1979): 297–99; J. L. Simmons, Research Opportunities in Renaissance Drama 18 (1975): 25–28.

See also

Lancashire, Dramatic Texts and Records (M1925).

Records of Early English Drama (M1920).

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism
Surveys of Research

Logan, Terence P., and Denzell S. Smith, eds. The Predecessors of Shakespeare. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1973. 348 pp. Z2014.D7 L83 [PR646] 016.822′3′09.

———. The Popular School. 1975. 299 pp. Z2014.D7 L82 [PR651] 016.822′3′09.

———. The New Intellectuals. 1977. 370 pp. Z2014.D7 N29 [PR671] 016.822′3.

———. The Later Jacobean and Caroline Dramatists. 1978. 279 pp. Z2014.D7 L816 [PR671] 016.822′3′09.

  • (Each volume bears the subtitle A Survey and Bibliography of Recent Studies in English Renaissance Drama.)

Selective surveys of research and bibliographies for dramatists (excluding Shakespeare) and plays from 1580 to 1642. Coverage extends from 1923 to 1968–76, supplemented by some important earlier and later publications (see the preface to each volume for details of coverage). Each volume consists of chapters on individual major writers, anonymous works, and minor dramatists. Those on individual authors are in three parts: (1) a survey of biographical and general studies of the plays as well as nondramatic works; (2) a survey of criticism of individual plays (with plays awkwardly arranged in order of critical importance) and a summary of the state of scholarship; (3) a survey of scholarship on canon, dating, and textual studies and a critique of editions. A selective bibliography of studies not discussed concludes each chapter. Anonymous plays are grouped by date of performance in a single chapter with sections, when necessary, on editions, authorship, date, source, genre, and general studies. The chapter on minor dramatists consists of an annotated bibliography of studies and editions. Two indexes: persons; plays. Although the extent and quality of evaluation vary from contributor to contributor and although many playwrights are now the subjects of more thorough author bibliographies, these volumes remain important for their evaluative surveys of scholarship. Reviews: (Popular School) Michael Shapiro, Literary Research Newsletter 3.2 (1978): 79–83; (New Intellectuals) David M. Bergeron, Shakespeare Quarterly 31.3 (1980): 443–44; Philip R. Rider, Analytical and Enumerative Bibliography 2.1 (1978): 63–71; (Later Jacobean) Rider, Analytical and Enumerative Bibliography 4.1 (1980): 49–54.

Coverage should be supplemented with Year’s Work in English Studies (G330); Wells, English Drama (M1555); “Recent Studies in Tudor and Stuart Drama” (M2150); World Shakespeare Bibliography Online (M2020); installments devoted to dramatists in the “Recent Studies in the English Renaissance” survey in English Literary Renaissance (M2010); and the following:

  • Fordyce, Rachel. Caroline Drama: A Bibliographic History of Criticism. 2nd ed. New York: Hall; Toronto: Maxwell, 1992. 332 pp. Reference Pub. in Lit. Although occasionally useful for its inclusion of early scholarship, the work is badly marred by poor organization, superfluous entries in the divisions for reference works and textual studies, and numerous errors.

  • Lidman, Mark J. Studies in Jacobean Drama, 1973–1984: An Annotated Bibliography. New York: Garland, 1986. 278 pp. Garland Reference Lib. of the Humanities 597. Updates Logan and Smith’s coverage of English-language scholarship on Chapman, Dekker, Heywood, Tourneur, Marston, Middleton, Webster, Massinger, Ford, Brome, and Shirley.

The best (albeit dated) selective bibliography of studies of non-Shakespearean drama 1580–1642 is Brownell Salomon, Critical Analyses in English Renaissance Drama: A Bibliographic Guide, rev. 3rd ed. (New York: Garland, 1991; 262 pp.; Garland Reference Lib. of the Humanities 1370). The 936 informatively annotated entries are accompanied by an admirably thorough subject index of themes, images, topics, character types, forms, rhetorical figures, topoi, titles, critical approaches, dramatic and theatrical conventions, and individuals.


““Recent Studies in Tudor and Stuart Drama”.” Studies in English Literature, 1500–1900 1 (1961)– . Annually in the Spring issue. PR1.S82. 820'.9.

A commissioned survey by an established scholar, with recent ones emphasizing full-length critical and historical studies and typically offering only cursory attention to editions and reference works. (Nondramatic literature is covered in the Winter issue [M2015].) The essays vary considerably in soundness and rigor of assessment. Although the most current annual survey, the work is generally limited to books received for review and must be supplemented by the chapters in Year’s Work in English Studies (G330) on Renaissance drama and Shakespeare. The broader surveys listed in entry M2015 also treat drama.

See also

YWES (G330): Chapters for Shakespeare; Renaissance Drama: Excluding Shakespeare.

Other Bibliographies

Bergeron, David M. Twentieth-Century Criticism of English Masques, Pageants, and Entertainments, 1558–1642. With a supplement on the folk play and related forms by Harry B. Caldwell. San Antonio: Trinity UP, 1972. 67 pp. Checklists in the Humanities and Educ. Z2014.D7 B44 016.822′3.

A selective bibliography of English-language studies published through 1971. Entries are arranged alphabetically in five divisions: general studies, Ben Jonson (including works on Inigo Jones), Milton’s Comus, other writers, and folk plays, with additions to the first four parts on pp. 39–40. Two indexes: authors; subjects. Although in need of updating, sometimes superseded by author bibliographies (especially the sections on Jonson and Comus), and limited by the exclusion of foreign language criticism, Bergeron remains useful as a starting point for research on the masque and related dramatic forms.

Recent studies are selectively surveyed in Suzanne Gossett, “Recent Studies in the English Masque,” English Literary Renaissance 26.3 (1996): 586–627.


Stevens, David. English Renaissance Theatre History: A Reference Guide. Boston: Hall, 1982. 342 pp. Reference Guide to Lit. Z2014.D7 S78 [PN2589] 016.792′0942.

An annotated bibliography of scholarship published between 1664 and 1979 on theater history from 1558 through 1642. The descriptively annotated entries, arranged chronologically, include (for example) studies of acting, playhouses, the stage, audience, actors and other theater personnel, finance, government regulation, and music. Indexed by playwrights, scholars, and subjects. There are errors and omissions, and reviewers have criticized the inadequate coverage of music and repertory, but Stevens offers the best starting point for research on many aspects of theater history of the period. Reviews: David M. Bergeron, Shakespeare Quarterly 35.2 (1984): 253–54; Reavley Gair, Analytical and Enumerative Bibliography 7.4 (1983): 239–42.


White, D. Jerry. Early English Drama, Everyman to 1580: A Reference Guide. Boston: Hall, 1986. 289 pp. Reference Guide to Lit. Z2014.D7 W48 [PR641] 016.822′2′09.

An extensive, although not comprehensive, bibliography of studies and scholarly editions (published from 1691 to 1982, with a few later items) on plays from c. 1495 to 1580 by British playwrights. Biographical material not related to plays is excluded, as are studies of folk drama, pageants, entertainments, masques, and John Skelton, since they are the subjects of other bibliographies (see Stevens, English Renaissance Theatre History [M2160]; Bergeron, Twentieth-Century Criticism of English Masques [M2155]; and Robert S. Kinsman, John Skelton, Early Tudor Laureate: An Annotated Bibliography, c. 1488–1977 [Boston: Hall, 1979; 179 pp.; Reference Pub. in Lit.]). The succinctly annotated entries are listed chronologically in divisions for bibliographies, collections, general studies, and authors, translators, or anonymous works; the last has sections for bibliographies and editions and studies. Since there are few multiple listings, users must consult the index to locate all studies on an author or work. Indexed by authors, scholars, anonymous works, and subjects. Breadth, accuracy, and clear annotations make this an essential starting point for research on the early drama.

See also

Berger, Medieval English Drama (M1930a).

Kallendorf, Latin Influences on English Literature from the Middle Ages to the Eighteenth Century (S4895).

Lancashire, Dramatic Texts and Records (M1925).

Stratman, Bibliography of Medieval Drama (M1930).


Many works in sections L: Genres/Poetry and M: English Literature/General/Genres/Poetry are important to research in Renaissance poetry.

Histories and Surveys

Lewis, English Literature in the Sixteenth Century (M1975), and Bush, English Literature in the Earlier Seventeenth Century (M1970), remain the best general histories of Renaissance poetry.

Guides to Primary Works

Case, Arthur E. A Bibliography of English Poetical Miscellanies, 1521–1750. London: Oxford UP for the Bibliog. Soc., 1935. 386 pp. Z2014.P7 C3 016.8210822.

An analytical bibliography of 481 collections of miscellaneous verse (including translations) by British writers in any language and printed in any country. Case excludes song and hymn books but otherwise lists any volume with “a fairly considerable section devoted to miscellaneous verse.” Collections are listed chronologically by date of earliest known edition, followed by later editions to 1750 (with additions on p. 344). An entry includes title, collation, brief indication of content (but not a list of individual poems), bibliographical notes, and a few locations (superseded by the Short-Title Catalogues [M1377, M1990, and M1995]); for additional locations of eighteenth-century editions, see Richard C. Boys, “A Finding-List of English Poetical Miscellanies, 1700–48, in Selected American Libraries,” ELH: A Journal of English Literary History 7.2 (1940): 144–62. Five indexes: titles; chronological index of editions other than the earliest known ones; places of publication (other than London); persons; printers and publishers. The descriptions are accurate, but researchers would benefit from a published list of first lines (a first-line index compiled by Boys and Arthur Mizener is held by the Dept. of Special Collections, Kenneth Spencer Research Lib., U of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045). Review: Times Literary Supplement 10 Oct. 1935: 626.

For 54 collections published before 1640, a first-line index to English-language poems is available in Frederic William Baue, A Bibliographical Catalogue and First-Line Index of Printed Anthologies of English Poetry to 1640 (Lanham: Scarecrow, 2002; 282 pp.). Although Baue includes some miscellanies not in Case, his descriptions must be used with caution since the majority of his title-page transcriptions and collations are based on examination of a single microfilm copy. The disorganization of data and ineffective indexing means that most users will be reduced to scanning all entries. Review: T. H. Howard-Hill, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 97.4 (2003): 621–22.

Miscellanies published between 1640 and 1682 are more fully described and more easily searched in Adam Smyth, Index of Poetry in Printed Miscellanies, 1640–1682 ( The 4,639 poems in 41 collections are arranged in fully searchable tables that include first and last lines, title of miscellany, date, page number and title of poem, number of lines, and author. Developed as part of the research underlying Smyth’s doctoral dissertation, Index of Poetry in Printed Miscellanies, 1640–1682 serves as a fine example of how scholars can use the World Wide Web to share valuable data.

The Digital Miscellanies Index ( indexes c. 1,400 eighteenth-century miscellanies.


Frank, Joseph. Hobbled Pegasus: A Descriptive Bibliography of Minor English Poetry, 1641–1660. Albuquerque: U of New Mexico P, 1968. 482 pp. Z2014.P7 F7 016.821′4′08.

A bibliography of English-language poetry written and printed in the British Isles from March 1641 to 29 May 1660 (with a few additional works to June 1661). Frank excludes plays and any work of which more than half is in prose. The approximately 800 entries, listed chronologically by date of first publication, give Wing, Short-Title Catalogue (M1995), and Case, Bibliography of English Poetical Miscellanies (M2180), numbers; short title; author; length (see p. 29 for an explanation of the abbreviations); publication details; subsequent editions to 1700; political or religious classification, “literary category,” and subject (see pp. 5–12 for an explanation); meter or stanza form; illustrative extract; content; an incomplete list of reprints; and references to related poems, scholarship, and bibliographies. Additions appear on p. 462. Two indexes: authors; titles. There are numerous inconsistencies and inaccuracies in transcribing details; the lack of a first-line index seriously inhibits use; and most editions are listed in Wing, Short-Title Catalogue. Even so, Hobbled Pegasus is a time-saving compilation for researchers interested in this body of mostly second-rate poetry. Review: Charles Clay Doyle, Eighteenth-Century Studies 2.4 (1969): 490–93.


Ringler, William A., Jr. Bibliography and Index of English Verse Printed, 1476–1558. London: Mansell, 1988. 440 pp. Z2014.P7 R56 [PR531] 016.811′208.

Ringler, William A., Jr. Bibliography and Index of English Verse in Manuscript, 1501–1558. Prepared and completed by Michael Rudick and Susan J. Ringler. London: Mansell, 1992. 315 pp. Z2014.P7 R55 [PR521] 016.821′208.

May, Steven W., and William A. Ringler, Jr. Elizabethan Poetry: A Bibliography and First-Line Index of English Verse, 1559–1603. 3 vols. London: Thoemmes Continuum, 2004. Z2014.P7 M348 [PR531] 016.821′308.

Bibliography and Index of English Verse Printed, 1476–1558 indexes more than 2,900 English-language poems or parts thereof. Books containing poems are organized by revised Short-Title Catalogue (M1990) number in separate lists for 1476–1500 and 1501–58. Each entry provides revised STC number; author; title; notes on authorship; publication information; copy consulted; reel number for editions available in University Microfilms International’s Early English Books, 1475–1640 (M1990a) series; earliest, best, and most recent reprints and facsimiles; number of poems in the volume; and Brown-Robbins-Cutler (M1940a) or first-line index number of each poem. Each chronological list is followed by a first-line index, whose entries cite, when appropriate, Brown-Robbins-Cutler number, first line, author, title of poem, date of composition if different from publication date, total number of lines and verse form (as well as number of stresses or syllables per line, burdens, and refrains), revised STC number of the edition(s) printing the poem and its location in the first edition of each book, and genre and subject classifications. Two indexes (1475–1500; 1501–58); both have headings for refrains, verse forms, poets, authors translated, literary kinds and subjects, and titles; that for 1501–58 adds headings for burdens, rhyme schemes, historical persons and events, religious topics, and translations and adaptations (by language). Unfortunately, the volume is marred by numerous typographical errors and inconsistencies and is incompletely indexed. Review: Thomas Moser, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 84.3 (1990): 305–08.

Bibliography and Index of English Verse in Manuscript, 1501–1558 records 2,045 poems from nearly 400 documents, including manuscripts, printed books, and funeral monuments. Entries are grouped by libraries and other depositories. A typical entry cites shelf mark, describes the contents, lists printed versions, records the total number of poems and lines transcribed, and concludes with a sequential list (keyed to the first-line index) of poems transcribed. Entries in the first-line index cite collection and shelf mark, date of transcription, location of the poem within the manuscript or printed book, title or other identification of the poem (including author when known), number of lines in the copy, verse form, stanza form, rhyme scheme, verse measure, burden or refrain, other manuscript copies, references to standard bibliographies (including Brown-Robbins-Cutler number), and subject and genre categories under which the poem is indexed. Concludes with separate indexes for burdens, refrains, verse forms and rhyme schemes, poets, composers, historical persons and events, genres and kinds, subjects (including titles and fictional characters), and translations. An appendix offers a concordance of transcribed poems with Brown-Robbins-Cutler and Bibliography and Index of English Verse Printed, 1476–1558.

Elizabethan Poetry covers verse printed or transcribed (including drama—with prologues, epilogues, and songs entered separately— as well as “a sampling of epitaphs from contemporary funeral monuments, poems from Elizabethan paintings, and one couplet from a wall painting”) between 1559 and 1603 (though several works were composed well before 1559 and many poems written during the period were not published until after 1603). Coverage of printed verse is, understandably, much more complete than that in manuscript. Books containing verse are listed by Short-Title Catalogue (M1990) number, with each entry supplying the revised STC number; author; short title; date of publication; copy examined; details of facsimile reprints or modern editions (though this information is not intended to be exhaustive); reel number for editions available in University Microfilms International’s Early English Books, 1475–1640 series; number of poems in the volume; and the first-line index number for each poem in the volume. Manuscripts are listed alphabetically by sigla (largely those used in the STC), with an entry typically including shelf mark; number of folios or pages; date of transcription of the Elizabethan verse; contents; modern editions or facsimiles; references to scholarship on the manuscript; number of poems; and the first-line index number of each poem in the document. In the first-line index entries for poems in printed works typically consist of entry number, first line (in modern English to facilitate searching), STC number, date of publication, signature(s) on which the poem is printed, author, context in which the poem appears, title of book, number of lines, number of stanzas and lines per stanza, rhyme scheme and meter (and the number of lines, rhyme scheme, and meter of any burden, along with its first line), refrain, and subject matter and genre. The entry for a poem from a manuscript includes entry number, first line, symbol for the location of the manuscript, shelf mark, date of transcription, folios on which the poem is written, author, title, number of lines, rhyme scheme and meter, and subject matter and genre. Eleven indexes (some of which are subdivided): English poets; fictional names and topics; historical persons and events; literary kinds (genres and forms); poems set to music; rhyme schemes and verse forms; scribes and owners; subjects; subscriptions (i.e., a name, phrase, or pseudonym affixed to a poem); titles; and translations. Reviews: Brian Vickers, TLS: Times Literary Supplement 10 Feb. 2006: 7–8; Paul J. Voss, Ben Jonson Journal 12 (2005): 259–66.

Bibliography and Index of English Verse in Manuscript, 1501–1558, Bibliography and Index of English Verse Printed, 1476–1558, and—especially—Elizabethan Poetry are invaluable compilations. They complement and continue Brown and Robbins, Index of Middle English Verse (M1940a), offer a nearly exhaustive finding list of English verse for the period (including a substantial amount hidden in unlikely volumes), and—by indexing of subjects, genres, rhyme schemes, and verse forms—make feasible a number of approaches to the study of early Tudor poetry (for valuable examples, see May, “Interdisciplinary Research with the Indexes of Tudor Verse,” Ben Jonson Journal 11 [2004]: 89–101; for the value of the works to editors, see May, “Queen Elizabeth’s ‘Future Foes’: Editing Manuscripts with the First-Line Index of Elizabethan Verse (a Future Friend),” New Ways of Looking at Old Texts, III: Papers of the Renaissance English Text Society, 1997–2001, ed. W. Speed Hill [Tempe: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies–Renaissance English Text Soc., 2004; Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies 270]1–12).

A useful complement to all of the preceding is Union First Line Index of English Verse (, which covers manuscript verse (primarily) and some printed poetry from 1300 to 1900 but emphasizes the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It also includes data from several major libraries and published sources (including Crum, First-Line Index of English Poetry, 1500–1800 [M1590]; manuscripts in Elizabethan Poetry; and first lines in Pollard and Redgrave, Short-Title Catalogue [M1990], and Wing, Short-Title Catalogue [M1995]). Keyword Search searches all searchable fields (first line, author, title, last line, shelf mark, reference number, names, translations, musical setting); searches can be limited to a collection, source, or women poets. Advanced Search allows a keyword search to be limited to searchable field, a collection, source, or women poets. Results can be sorted by first line/author/library, author/title/first line/library, library/shelf mark/folio, or gender/author/first line. Users should consult the “Searching the Union First Line Index” page for instructions on coding keyword searches. Although the search interface is unsophisticated, Union First Line Index helpfully brings together information from several in-house and printed resources.

See also

Crum, First-Line Index of English Poetry, 1500–1800 (M1590).

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism

There is no adequate general bibliography of scholarship on Renaissance poetry; however, most poets, major and minor, are the subjects of author bibliographies, and studies of poetry are well covered in the guides to scholarship and criticism listed at the beginning of the Renaissance literature section.


Brogan, English Versification, 1570–1980 (M1600).

Donow, Sonnet in England and America (L1250).

Kuntz and Martinez, Poetry Explication (L1255).

Martinez and Martinez, Guide to British Poetry Explication, vol. 2 (L1255a).