Period Bibliography: Definition & Examples

Instructor: Mary Firestone
Find out what period bibliographies are, how they're different from other types of bibliographies, and how they're useful. Read the lesson, and then take a brief quiz to test your new knowledge.


A period bibliography is a list of works about a particular time in history. Like other types of bibliographies created for academic papers, period bibliographies show your readers which sources you've used in your research.

Another type of period bibliography is published separately, as a book or a pamphlet. These publications provide long lists of works on a significant era in history, and are very helpful when you're doing research on the same topic and time period. Bibliographies should be formatted according to the discipline your topic is in, for example, if you're writing in the Humanities, use MLA (Modern Language Association) style or, in the social sciences, use APA (American Psychological Association) style.

Example of a Period Bibliography

Below are the first few entries of a period bibliography from the Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907-21). Vol. 5. The Drama to 1642, Part One.

Bacon, Francis (Viscount St. Alban). Constables. In Works (1857-9), vol. VII. - Essays. With introductory notes, etc., by Abbott, E. A. 2 vols. 1876. Also ed. by West, A. S., Cambridge, 1897, and by Wright, W. Aldis, Golden Treasury Series, 1863.

Bansley, C. Treatise on the Pride and Abuse of Women. Rptd. 1841.

Brathwaite, Richard. The Smoking Age, or The Man in the Mist. 1617.

Camden, William. Britannia. 1586. Tr. and ed. by Gough, R. 4 vols. 1806.

Cunningham, P. Account of Revels at Court, under Elizabeth and James. Shakesp. Soc. Publ. 1842.

Example of period bibliographies published as books:

Martin, Geoffrey. A Bibliography of the Amarna Period and Its Aftermath. New York: Columbia University Press, 1990. Print.

Hanham, H.J. Bibliography of British History 1851-1914. Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1976. Print

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