Thursday, 12 December 2013

JSTOR for your medieval research

JSTOR (journal storage) is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary sources. Not all science journals or science subjects, but quite a lot. You might ask yourself what this has to do with medieval furniture or re-enactment. But there is a link. Archaeological finds and medieval (art) history studies end up in scientific books and journals. These are not so easy to access for the common re-enactor outside the academic world. You have to go to an university library to find them. A lot of these scientific journals are electronically available on JSTOR. Normally an university pays for its employees to have access to the service, but JSTOR now also has a service available for you. You can read up to three items on-line for free (your 'bookshelf' is cleaned after 13 days, after which you can select another three). This opens up a lot of interesting material which can be used by us, re-enactors and replicators, and anyone interested in medieval history.

For instance, if you type 'medieval furniture' in the JSTOR search engine, you end up with more than 600 pages of results. Let's be clear, not all these articles primarily deal with medieval furniture, but many do. The top of the list is headed by the book of P. Eames (1977) "Furniture in England, France and the Netherlands from the twelfth to the fifteenth century" Journal of the Furniture History Society volume XIII. This fantastic 398 page book can be read on-line. You can of course buy this book second hand (I did) for over 100 Euro, but there are not many on the market. 

It is not restricted to furniture. You can read as well something on medieval purses and embroidery in "Maaslandische Stickerei um 1300" by Leonie von Wilckens in the Zeitschrift fur Kunstgeschichte (Vol 49, page 467-480).  The possibilities are unlimited ... Why not use it?

My first JSTOR shelve, tried out today.


  1. Thanks for the link! Awesome resource to help us further and learn more.

  2. That looks like a great resource, thanks for posting about it Marijn