No image

Medieval Textiles of the British Isles AD 450-1100

An annotated bibliography

Elizabeth Coatsworth and Gale R. Owen-Crocker


The Manchester Medieval Textiles Project began in 1994, as a collaboration between Elizabeth Coatsworth of Manchester Metropolitan University and Gale Owen-Crocker of the University of Manchester. Both had specialist interests in the literary and material culture of the early medieval period, and both were conscious of a gap in general knowledge of an important and all-pervasive part of that material culture, through the relative inaccessibility of sources of information regarding medieval textiles. The Manchester Medieval Textiles Project developed with two objectives, both attempting to bring the basic materials of the subject to a wider audience. The first is to establish a catalogue of all medieval textiles in the British Isles. This starts from the needs of a seeker after specific textiles, or textile objects, who will also be interested in the context of discovery, and will be accompanied by a glossary of textile terms relevant to the finds. The catalogue will be published in due course on the internet, as a searchable database, the most useful form for those who want to devise their own, new, research questions of this material. The second objective was to produce this annotated bibliography of publications relevant to these textiles. It is intended to show the range of sources available to the historian of material culture, who wishes to consider the evidence from the surviving textiles, and whether specific publications will have the kind of information they seek. Both parts of the Project should enable those interested in this material to see what materials comparative to their object of interest exist throughout the British Isles and Ireland; and the differences between cultural areas should also be more readily apparent.