British Literary Manuscripts Online

Representing the largest digitisiation project of its kind, British Literary Manuscripts Online consists of two digital collections, British Literary Manuscripts Online, c.1660-1900 and British Literary Manuscripts Online: Medieval and Renaissance. Both parts are available to institutions as stand alone collections. Alternatively, institutions can purchase both parts together enabling students and researchers to cross-search the collections on the one intuitive and user-friendly interface and access 700 years of British literary manuscripts online.

British Literary Manuscripts Online: Medieval & Renaissance

The second part of the British Literary Manuscripts Online series, British Literary Manuscripts Online: Medieval & Renaissance offers students and researchers unprecedented online access to 565,000 pages of rare manuscripts from the Medieval and Early Modern periods, c.1100 to 1660. Researchers and students can explore online a rich tapestry of letters, poems, stories, plays, chronicles, religious writings and commonplace books through searchable catalogue records.

Consisting primarily of works in Middle and Early Modern English, BLMO: Medieval and Renaissance is an essential resource for any scholar of the Medieval and Renaissance periods. Scholars can access online the original manuscripts of seminal literary, religious and philosophical texts and trace the prevailing social and cultural attitudes of the times through important historical documents like the letters of Alcuin and Lanfranc and the Chronicles of Waverly, Glastonbury, St Martin’s and Lichfield.

Medieval period:

Major works of Medieval English literature include:
  • Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: The Abingdon Chronicle II 
  •  Beowulf  and Judith
  •  The Book of Margery Kempe
  •  Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales
  •  Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
  •  The Pearl
  •  The Vision of Piers the Plowman

Key religious and philosophical texts include: 
  • The Sermon of the Wolf by Archbishop Wulfstan
  •  Coventry Mystery Plays and York Mystery Plays
  •  The Prick of Conscience
  •  The writings of Boethius, John Wycliffe, Julian of Norwich and St Bede the Venerable

Renaissance period:

  • Plays by Shakespeare, his predecessors and contemporaries
  • Poetry by the great Renaissance poets including Thomas Campion, John Dryden, John Donne, Ben Jonson, Philip Sidney, Edmund Spenser and Thomas Wyatt
  • Cultural resources such as odes and songs, medical treatises and commonplace books

British Literary Manuscripts Online c.1660-1900

British Literary Manuscripts Online c.1660-1900 provides an intimate look into the lives and works of Britain’s major writers across two hundred years. From the rise of Charles II to the death of Queen Victoria British Literary Manuscripts Online c.1660-1900 contains complete facsimile copies of author manuscripts including poems,plays, and novels, diaries and letters as well as drawings and handwritten drafts. The collection traces the development of literary movements from the classicism of Pope and Johnson to the Romanticism of Wordsworth and the gothic novels of the Brontës. Users can search across 400,000 pages by metadata which includes author, named person and title of the work. 

Please note:

“Our databases and digital archives are only available for institutions to trial and purchase. They are not available at this stage for individual subscriptions. For individuals seeking specific content within one of our resources, Gale, part of Cengage Learning does not have the rights to provide this service. If you wish to obtain a specific article, issue or book, please contact your library and enquire about online access to our products. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.”