This guide is intended as a starting place for student research in Old English language and literature. It aims to help students find print, database and web resources through Mullen Library related to the study of Old English at the Catholic University of America.
The Old English, or Anglo-Saxon, Period covers c. 449 (the date given by Bede as the first landing of the Saxons in Britain) to 1100 (following the Norman invasion and Battle of Hastings in 1066). These dates are approximate, as language changes over periods of time, not at one specific date. There are four principle dialects of Old Engish: Kentish, West Saxon, Mercian and Northumbrian (Mercian and Northumbrian are sometimes grouped together as Anglian).
The Old English Period includes such works as Beowulf, Caedmon's Hymn and the Dream of the Rood, as well as the works of Bede, King Alfred, and Aelfric.
The Franks Casket
Library of Congress Call Numbers
Some other helpful and related subjects can also be found in subclass PD - Germanic Languages, and PT - Germanic Literature. For more information, see the Library of Congress Classification Outline.
General Old English Web Resources
History of the English Language
Language changes over time, and in the course of your research you may want to learn how Old English fits in the larger history of the English language. Here are a few helpful places to start:
Katie is working on a Master of Arts in English Language and Literature at the Catholic University of America.