British Library Renaissance Festival Books
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  Welcome to the Texts area of the Renaissance Festival Books website, which contains complete digital copies of the books.  
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How to view the texts of the festival books

You can select a book or books to view by searching on various attributes of the book or festival, for example book title, festival participants, type of page illustration etc. For full details of what can be searched see our Search tips page.

The 'Search the texts' box above offers a simple non-specific keyword search which covers most of the data held - eg entering 'Milan' would find festivals held in Milan, books published in Milan, festivals involving the Duke of Milan etc. Enter one or more words (e.g Bologna AND Charles V) and click the Go button.

There is also a full list of all the books held on this site, sorted by title, with links to the detailed description of each book.

For a more specific search follow the link above to the 'Advanced search' page, where you can more closely define the areas you want to search. Again the  Search tips page will guide you through the options.

The search, if successful, will then show a list of matching festival books with brief details of the festival and a thumbnail image of the book's title page. If you have used the Advanced search to search at page level (eg for a type of illustration) then you will also see thumbnails of those pages in the books which match your search.

If you then click on the link by the festival description, you will go to a page showing the full details of the book and festival, plus thumbnails of all the pages which have descriptions attached to them.

If you click on either a thumbnail or the plus icon beside it, you will go to a larger view of that page, from which point you can go through the whole book a page at a time, using the icons listed below.

Please note that a small number of blank pages (eg the reverse of an engraving) have not been filmed. You will get an explanatory message instead of an image.

The page view icons are as follows:

Magnify image

Shows a further enlarged view of the page, opening in a new window.


Show the next or previous page of the book. These icons also appear in the enlarged view.

As well as these icons, you can display any page directly by entering its page number in the 'go to page' box at the bottom of the screen.

print Gives a printer-friendly version of the pages.

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