Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
UMass Amherst Libraries

Italian 497H: Boccaccio's Decameron

Italian 497H: Boccaccio's Decameron Spring 2008

Reference resources

Old books


Reference books are usually encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, atlases, etc. They are intended to provide quick, reliable information, summaries of complex matters, and, very importantly, bibliographies--suggestions for futher reading.


These reference materials are invariably written by experts in their fields, so they are more trustworthy than Wikipedia--all have gone through a process of editorial review. For an illustrated explanation, see the home page presentation, "What is a referred or scholarly article?"

Reference sources

All reference sources are located on the Main level, Du Bois Library

Historical sources:

Raphael painting

Medieval Italy: An Encyclopedia      DG443  .M43 2004

A Concise encyclopaedia of the Italian Renaissance    DG445  .C66 1981    

Italy:a reference guide from the Renaissance to the present      DG461  .S27 2004   

The New Century Italian Renaissance encyclopedia      DG537.8.A1  N48

Dictionary of the Middle Ages    D114 .D5 1982 +

Europe 1450 to 1789 : encyclopedia of the early modern world    D209  .E97 2004  +   

The Oxford dictionary of the Renaissance   CB361  .C27 2003  

Encyclopedia of the Renaissance and the Reformation    CB359  .B47 2004

The late medieval age of crisis and renewal, 1300-1500 : a biographical dictionary   CB353  .L38 2001

Dictionary of medieval civilization     CB351  .D24 1984    


Literary sources:

First page of


Dictionary of Italian literature      PQ4006  .D45  

Dizionario enciclopedico della letteratura italiana      PQ4006 .D5

The Oxford companion to Italian literature       PQ4006  .O84 2002  

The Cambridge history of Italian literature  PQ4038  .C36 1999

Dizionario critico della letteratura italiana  PQ4057  .D59 1986

The Dante Encyclopedia      PQ4333  .D36 2000    


Ecclesiastical sources:

Papal seal

New Catholic encyclopedia      BX841  .N44 2003  +

The papacy : an encyclopedia      BX955.3  .D5313 2002  +

The Oxford dictionary of saints      BR1710  .F34 1987  

The encyclopedia of Christianity      BR95  .E8913 1999

The Oxford dictionary of the Christian Church       BR95  .O8 1997    


Classical sources:

Greek spear-bearer

Brill's New Pauly : encyclopaedia of the ancient world    DE5  .N4813 2002

The Oxford companion to classical civilization    DE5  .O92 1998  

Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology    DE5  .S7 1867