Celtic Studies Bibliography Sample

Book collections

The Celtic collection is situated on the second floor of the Main Library (Wilkins Building) through the double doors at the end of the History corridor. Follow the signs to the History library from the first floor. 

The collection will be of particular interest to library users engaged in specialised research and to History undergraduates studying the Celtic History module (Hist 1212.)

To locate books, remember to use our library catalogue Explore, it will give details of the library site and collection in which the book can be found. Click here for instructions on how to find a book.

The Library has its own classification scheme for arranging books on the shelves (called Garside classification). 

The classmark for a book generally consists of a subject (indicating a collection within the library) followed by letters and numbers;for example, a general book about the history of the Celts - such as Malcolm Chapman's The Celts - would have the classmark CELTIC A 10 CHA, in which:

The main Celtic book collection is broadly arranged in the following subject sections:

  • Section A: Celtic studies generally
  • Section B: Celtic languages generally
  • Section C: Celtic literatures generally
  • Section D: Gaulish
  • Section G: Welsh
  • Section H: Cornish
  • Section J: Breton
  • Section M: Manx
  • Section N: Irish
  • Section P: Gaelic

Other Celtic related materials are housed in Special Collections with the classmarks CELTIC STORE or WHITLEY STOKES. Whitley Stokes was a scholar of Celtic Studies whose books were bequeathed to UCL in 1910. For more information about his work relating to Celtic Studies see the article in the CELT Corpus of Electronic Texts.

Some of the main sections you are likely to need are:

  • ANTHROPOLOGY (Science Library, 2nd floor)
  • ART (Main Library, South, 1st floor)
  • HISTORY (Main Library, South, 2nd floor)
  • LITERATURE (Main Library, North Corridor)
  • ARCHEOLOGY ( Institute of Archeology Library)
  • PHONETICS (Language &Speech Science-LaSS)

See separate pages for maps and opening hours. 

Older or lesser-used material marked on the Explore (UCL library catalogue) with the word STORE should be requested online via Explore or by using the Store Request form. Click here for more information about Stores.

Journal collections

Most journals are now available in electronic format only. See the Electronic journals webpage for full details.

CELTIC PERIODICALS are shelved with the Celtic book collection adjacent to the main classified book sequence.

Older journals are held in the library store and can be requested via the Store Request Form. They are not borrowable but may be photocopied.

Click here for instructions on how to find printed and electronic journals .

Online resources

Material held in electronic form is available to registered members of UCL. When off-campus, you will be prompted for your user ID and password in order to gain access to them. For the full list of electronic databases presently available please consult the Databases web pages.

MetaLib can display a full list of indexing & abstracting services which can be cross-searched. An extensive range of electronic resources are available and these databases will be of interest to those studying Celtic.

AV material

To find a film on Explore, use the "audiovisual" option from the home screen; type your search term - WEDDING BANQUET or ANG LEE, plus the word DVD or VIDEO if you want to specify the format

In the Main library films are shelved at the Issue Desk and can be taken home or watched in the viewing room off the Main Library Reference Room. Headsets and remote controls can be borrowed from the Issue Desk.

ANTHROPOLOGY DVD's are shelved in the Anthropology periodicals room in the Science library (second floor).

Other Internet resources

Some general humanities gateways are:

Other useful Web resources for Celtic Studies include:

You many also be interested in the Celtic Inscribed Stones Project (CISP), a project run by UCL's Departments of History and Archaeology to create a database of all known Celtic inscriptions. Search the CISP database.

General Resources

In a nutshell

*selgā is an ongoing collaborative project hosted by the A. G. van Hamel Foundation for Celtic Studies. It is building an ever-expanding web-based resource for teaching and research in the field of Celtic studies, whose core features are an integrated catalogue of texts and manuscripts as well as a bibliography. Entries are being constantly added, managed and updated as soon as new information becomes available. As a collaborative platform, the project is designed not only to inform and to guide, but also to serve as a communicative tool and workbench for scholars and students worldwide.

Mission and scope

It hardly needs explaining that primary sources are fundamental to the study of Celtic languages and cultures. Unfortunately, finding out about text editions, translations and photographic reproductions, manuscript attestations and textual relationships remains a daunting challenge for many scholars, students or other enthusiasts grappling with their sources. Although a number of isolated projects have been published to facilitate research, both in print and online, the current state of affairs still cries out for more concerted and integrative efforts to offer auxiliary tools for the benefit of anyone with an internet connection.

The *selgā project therefore aims to fill this gap by building an index to as many written texts and manuscripts as can be considered relevant to the field of Celtic studies. This will cover anything from the Mabinogion to the Ulster Cycle, from observers of the Graeco-Roman world to the Irish mirabilia of an Old Norse king's mirror, from Celtic hagiography and martyrologies to Otherworldly tales of adventure, from continental glosses to Cornish charters, and so on. The overall scope allows for inclusion of four basic types of source materials, with particular emphasis on the first two:

  1. Texts and manuscripts written by speakers of any of the Celtic languages (such as Irish or Welsh)
    1. either in the vernacular
    2. or in languages other than their native tongue, notably Latin.
  2. Texts written by 'outsiders' — from classical authors to John Derricke — about Celtic-speaking peoples
  3. Texts and manuscripts available to the Celtic-speaking world, such as apocryphal texts, Isidore of Seville, bestiaries, etc. After all, to understand a written culture, one needs to be aware of the sources to which it had access and of the nature of that access.
    n. 1 See Fontes Anglo-Saxonici, subtitled A register of written sources used by Anglo-Saxon authors, and Sources of Anglo-Saxon Literary Culture for projects devoted to similar aims in Anglo-Saxon studies.
  4. To some extent, key comparanda used in Celtic studies.

Note that a chronological cut-off point still needs to be defined, since other catalogues and databases may be better equipped to cater for modern texts.

It may be readily conceded that the general scope just outlined here would be too vast and unwieldy to be manageable even for a dedicated group of academic researchers working on a six-year project. Nevertheless, we believe that the very different nature of this platform may also open doors which would otherwise remain closed:

  1. Although comprehensiveness as a long-term ideal is not entirely eschewed, it is our intention that the project will serve as a framework for smaller, more manageable subprojects. Further details will be given below. In addition, the catalogue can be used as a unified point of entry for relevant initiatives elsewhere on the web.
  2. The project has not been designed as a one-off which will reach closure in the foreseeable future. The kind of temporal strictures that tend to come with academic research dependent on grants or other subsidies, do not apply here.
  3. A further reason that the project is not working towards a deadline is that it should remain open to re-evaluation and to the integration of the latest research done on source materials.

All this is not to say, of course, that the project is expected to supersede standard reference works, such as the detailed library catalogues cited here, but by taking a more integrative, organic approach, we hope that it will serve as a convenient compass to primary sources as well as the key secondary works which are available on them.

Methods and contributors

The project name has been chosen to reflect our aims and opus moderandi. What better noun, one could argue, than Proto-Celtic *selgā "hunt" (> OI selg "hunt" and > MW hela "to hunt") to capture the sense of following and interpreting the tracks left by Celtic cultures?
n. 2 For *selgā, see the entries in Henry Lewis • Holger Pedersen, A concise comparative Celtic grammar (1974); Joseph Vendryes • Édouard Bachallery • Pierre-Yves Lambert, Lexique etymologique de l'irlandais ancien (1959–1996): lettre S (1974): 80ff; Ranko Matasović, Etymological dictionary of proto-Celtic (2009): 329.
Faced with such a Herculean task, this project is very much a work in progress and aims to be alert to new development in Celic studies. The use of an online database has the great advantage, first, that it can be continually updated, expanded and corrected, second, that it can offer good search facilities and easy navigation, and third, that external links can be made to relevant publications, text/image archives and databases on the web, such as the Internet Archive, ISOS, CELT and Welsh Prose 1350-1425.


*selgā is built by a volunteering community of editors. Please be aware that the A. G. van Hamel Foundation is not by itself a research institute, even if our members include Celticists and enthusiasts with an academic background in Celtic studies and even if some of us are also active as editors. In creating *selgā and making its results available to the general public, our intention is primarily to provide a platform for Celtic studies and the tools to use that platform to maximum effect. This means that the creation of any actual content is largely the credit and responsibility of volunteering editors who are not necessarily affiliated to the foundation.

Scholars who are interested in contributing are cordially invited to contact us at selga@vanhamel.nl. Likewise, we welcome any corrections or suggestions sent to this address.

*selgā subprojects

There are not, in principle, any real restrictions to the range of an editor's contributions, as long as one does not stray too far from the intended scope of the project. However, it is our intention that the overarching project will serve as a host to a number of dedicated sub-projects which are created and coordinated to achieve more circumscribed aims. One might think, for instance, of a (sub)project focusing on texts which are often considered as a group, such as the Cycles of the Kings or the Mabinogion, but also projects approaching texts and manuscripts from a thematic angle, or from the perspective of textual transmission. The aim and scope of any future projects are, of course, open to discussion.

  1. We have been focusing primarily on medieval Irish literature, notably the narratives which modern scholarship assigns to the Cycles of the Kings, the Ulster Cycle, the Finn Cycle and the Mythological Cycle (and synthetic history), as well as early Irish poetry.
  2. The first steps are oriented towards setting up basic entries for individual texts and manuscripts, which allows us to create a common framework for the catalogue as a whole. At this stage, particular attention is being paid to the location of texts in the manuscripts, the language used in them, and the publications available, especially text editions, translations and manuscript catalogues. Two pages, ‘Edition wanted’ and ‘Translation wanted’, are used to keep track of texts which appear to be in need of editions and/or translations, or for which such information is not yet available to us.
  3. Much work has been done on the bibliographic system, which operates both as a research tool in its own right and as a semantic backend for the relevant entries in the catalogue.
  4. More specialised information, such as full summaries or overviews of past and recent scholarship, is planned for a later stage (although editors who prefer to contribute in this area are encouraged to do so).
  5. Tables of contents will be created for individual manuscripts, listing the texts which are contained in them, with a link to the relevant entry in the catalogue, or a red link if such an entry still needs to be created. Manuscript headings, first words (incipit), and scribal additions (which can be texts in their own right) will be noted if known. For some work in progress, see the Book of Leinster.
    1. Meanwhile, a link is provided to queries for texts which have been indexed thus far.
    2. T. K. Abbott • E. J. Gwynn, Catalogue of Irish MSS in TCD (1921).


If you need to cite the catalogue, you can use the following reference, with mention of entry and access date:

Groenewegen, Dennis (project director), *selgā: a catalogue of primary source materials for Celtic studies, Online: Stichting A. G. van Hamel voor Keltische Studies. URL: <http://www.vanhamel.nl/vhcodecs/Project:*selgā>.
A bronze boar figurine from Lunçani (Romania), which has been dated to the first century B.C., stood as the model for the *selgā logo.

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