Grade 7 Research Project Pathfinder

European Renaissance, Protestant Reformation, Age of Exploration, and Scientific Revolution



Start with encyclopedia's to get a general understanding of the person you are researching. A good place to start are the encyclopedias in the library or the World Book Online (see below).


Encyclopedia Brittanica Online - Use "iusd" as the username and "irvine" as the password. - Companion website to the A & E television program.

Student Resource Center-Gold has excellent information about all these topics. From home, user name cinc48953; password cinc_log.

The Ancient World Online also includes the Middle Ages in Europe, Mesoamerica, and Africa (but not Asia) and will have overview articles. From home, user name: walnut; password: hills.

Infoplease Almanac- Biography Section - 30,000+ biographies, searchable by category or person.

PBS Biographies - Limited number, but great multimedia biographical material, based on PBS programs.

Museum biographies - mainly scientists


Here are a few Keywords and Phrases to help you search in Indexes, the Destiny (Online Card Catalog) and the Internet.  Remember to use quotation marks when typing more than one word or a phrase.




Italian Renaissance

William Shakespeare



The Medici's

Elizabeth I


European History

Age of Discovery

Elizabethan Period


Those are just a few keywords and phrases.  You may think of more specific ones depending on the focus of your research.  A good way to find key words surrounding your individual is to look up their name in the encyclopedia and write down any key vocabulary words that are important to your research.  You can combine keywords and phrases using Boolean Operators (AND, OR, NOT) to narrow your search.  For example: 


Art AND Renaissance

- If you want to find out about the arts in this period 

Renaissance NOT Architecture

- If you want information about the Renaissance excluding Architecture

Elizabeth I OR Elizabethan Period

        - If you want to find information about either Elizabeth I or Elizabethan Period

Renaissance, -Architecture

        - If you want to subtract a term from your search use the “minus” key.


You can access magazine archives through the Newport Beach Public Library's database ProQuest. You must have a library card to do this but you can get one online.


Use the suggested keywords and phrases to search on the Internet. Here is a great list of search engines to use.


Before you start your search on the Internet, it is important to know how to evaluate Websites.  Check this site for more information on how to evaluate Websites:

QUICK: A guide to evaluating web resources:

Use this checklist to help you decide if what you find is valid. You can download it to "My Documents" and add the information.



Plagiarism is the use of another person's ideas or words without giving credit.  Plagiarism is wrong and will incur in academic consequences. See the school's policy in your planner.



- see the note taking guide

- use Google Docs to store and organize your work. See this example on organizing your folders.

- save the files below into your "My Documents" folder, and then upload each one to your Google docs account. Then you can access your documents from any computer that has internet access!

***Note: If you are having a hard time downloading a file in Internet Explorer, use a different browser such as Firefox or Chrome.

Table of Contents-select your time period and get links to great resources!

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Newton Project (Imperial College London)
Biographies, a chronology, and primary documents make this site a worthwhile visit.

Galileo Project (Rice University)
Online exhibit focusing on the life, work , and influence of Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)

Galileo Instruments of Discovery - with these instruments Galileo was able to view another world.

Galileo Reconsidered - why was this astronomer put on trial?

Galileo's Vision - Learn how he changed our view of the universe.

Galileo and the telescope

Robert Hooke (Robert Hooke Science Centre, London)
Website devoted to Robert Hooke includes a chronology, excerpts from his writings, and information about his life.

Rene Descartes (Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
Extensive biographical essay.

Johannes Kepler: His Life, His Laws, His Times (NASA)
Educational webpage designed for students provides a concise overview.

Antony van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723) (University of Berkeley California Museum of Paleontology)
Brief biography.

Vesalius the Humanist (University of Virginia Health System)
Brief biography

Eric Weisstein’s World of Scientific Biography

Hyperlinked biographies.


MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive

Includes a long list of biographies of many scientists from this time period.


Historic Figures (BBC)

Includes biographies of many scientists.

Internet Modern History Sourcebook: Scientific Revolution
Index to writings of historic figures such as Galileo, Copernicus, Brahe, Johannes Kepler and others.

Bacon, Francis The Essays (1601)
Complete texts provides by the University of Oregon.

Nicholas Copernicus:  Wikipedia - Eric Weisstein's World of Scientific Biography: Copernicus, Nicholaus

Francis Bacon:  Wikipedia - Sir Francis Bacon

Galileo Galilei: Wikipedia - The Galileo Project

Johannes Kepler: Wikipedia - Johannes Kepler: His Life, His Laws and Times

Isaac Newton: Wikipedia - The Newton Project

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English Renaissance and Early 17th Century Literature Index
Presents an index of the major writers in England during the Renaissance and early seventeenth century, including links to online texts.

Includes sections on exploration and trade, printing and architecture.

Galileo Project
" The Galileo Project is a hypertext source of information on the life and work of Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) and the science of his time."

Medieval & Renaissance Europe: Primary Documents
A growing list of annotated links from Brigham Young University.

Catherine the Great: Wikipedia - Russia Engages the World- The Age of Catherine the Great

Denis Diderot: Wikipedia - Denis Diderot (Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy) - Denis Diderot

Renaissance by Annemberg CPB


WebMuseum Paris: La Renaissance

Renaissance: The Elizabethan World

Contains primary documents and biographical information on famous Elizabethan figures, such as Mary, Queen of Scots. Also has a long list of links to other sites.

Virtual Renaissance: A Journey Through Time


Rome Reborn:The Vatican Library and Renaissance Culture


Welcome to Renaissance Faire


William Shakespeare
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Absolute Shakespeare:

A comprehensive site covering Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets (and just about everything else Shakespeare).   The site provides study guides as well as a biography and timeline.  You can search the site by entering terms in the search box. Searches can range from specific characters or plays to words and phrases.  

Shakespeare Britannica:

This entry from Britannica online contains: The Plays, Chronology, Elizabethan World, Elizabethan Actors and Writers, Elizabethan Theatre, Special Essays, Filmography, Shakespeare Scholars, Since Shakespeare’s, Time and an Internet Guide.

Folger Shakespeare Library:    

The Folger Shakespeare Library is an authoritative research center based in Washington, DC.  To get to specific information on Shakespeare, click on the DISCOVER SHAKESPEARE tab. This site provides an overview of Shakespeare’s life, works, FAQ’s, and links to other relevant information regarding Shakespeare.


Talking to William Shakespeare:

A searchable question and answer site in which scholars assuming the persona of Shakespeare answer questions about his plays, poems,sonnets, life, world, and how he would view the world today.  

Complete Texts

Shakespeare Bookshelf :

A visual bookshelf display provides links to the 1914 Oxford Shakespeare Collected Works (via Included are Comedies, Histories, Poetry, and Tragedies.

Tales From Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb:

The classic 1807 prose adaptation for children by Charles and Mary Lamb is presented in full with the 1899 and 1909 illustrations by Arthur Rackham.  

Digitized Shakespeare—British library:

The British Library has digitized twenty one of Shakespeare’s plays printed in quarto before the theaters were closed in 1642. The collection contains ninety-three printings from this period. The site allows you to compare printings side by side (for example the 1603 printing of Hamlet to the 1637 printing). 

Shakespeare and the book:

All four of Shakespeare’s folios are included in this display as well as other works known to Shakespeare.

A Shakespeare Timeline:

Here, a complete genealogy of Shakespeare’s life is charted. Included is a summary chart plotting his life, his works, and other events and publications.

See also:Shakespeare--A Timeline:

A Chronological listing of when Shakespeare’s plays and poems were written and when they were published. Contains links to other timelines.

A Listing of Shakespeare’s Plays:

A listing of Shakespeare’s plays that were published individually between 1554-1623. Included original and variant dates of publication.

Shakespeare Quotations

Shakespeare Quotations—Database:

An interactive database that allows you to search for quotations by keyword, popularity, famous quotations, by text, and alphabetically. There is also an advanced find feature.

200+ Shakespeare Quotations:

“To be or not to be—that is the question” starts off this list of well known Shakespeare quotes.  By clicking on each quote, you will see the quote in   context of the play followed by a brief explanation of the significance of the quote.

All Great Quotes—Shakespeare:

All Great Quotes contains 2,283 Shakespeare quotations (listed by play). The quotations include the act and scene number. There is a special section for insults and insulting quotes.  

Wiki Shakespeare


Here is a detailed Wiki entry covering William Shakespeare. The entry includes reference notes as well as hyperlinks to other relevant entries and sources.

Shakespeare WIKI:

This is a Wiki dedicated entirely to William Shakespeare.

Shakespeare on the Big and Small Screen

Shakespeare’s Spin-off’s:

A bibliography of movies and television shows inspired by Shakespeare or movies or shows that spin off the characters from the plays (i.e. 10 Things I Hate About You or Gnomeo and Juliet).  

Complete Movie Listings

    [All Movie Guide]

         [Internet Movie Database]


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The European Voyages of Exploration: The Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries (University of Calgary)
Tutorial introducing Portugal's and Spain's role in the age of exploration.

American Journeys
"American Journeys contains more than 18,000 pages of eyewitness accounts of North American exploration, from the sagas of Vikings in Canada in AD1000 to the diaries of mountain men in the Rockies 800 years later."

Age of Exploration: Biographies of Explorers and Associated People (Mariner's Museum)
This website of the Mariner's Museum in Newport News, VA offers biographies of explorers, their sponsors, and other related figures.

Discoverer's Web
Webpage by a faculty member of Netherlands University organizes links to webpages that include biographies, articles, and maps.

Empire of the Bay
PBS Series about the "story of the shrewd merchants and bold explorers of the Hudson Bay Company, who tamed a wilderness and opened up the heart of America." Includes profiles of Hudson, Champlain, Mackenzie, and Cartier, among others.

PBS Series about Cortes, Pizarro, Orellana, and Cabeza de Vaca.

Vasco de Gama:



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Martin Luther (World Civilizations at Washington State University)
Good overview of his life written for college freshmen-level students.

Henry VIII (Official Website of the British Monarchy)
Short biography.

Henry VIII and the Act of Supremacy1534 (BBC History)
Brief description as part of a larger timeline of British History.

The Counter-Reformation (World Civilizations at Washington State University)
Brief overview written for college freshmen-level students.

Internet Medieval Sourcebook: Protestant Reformation
Index to writings of Luther, Calvin, and other "radicals" available online.

Luther, Martin 95 Theses (1517)
"Disputation of Doctor Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences". Complete English translation from Project Whittenberg. Included as part of the Selected Works of Martin Luther.

The Protestant Reformation
Links to primary Reformation texts. Compiled by the Hanover College History Department.


Updated 3/9/2011. Smith.