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Curriculum Resources: Beowulf Resources


Selection of children's books about Beowulf

This page shows some of the resources available in the Curriculum Resources section of the library for teaching Beowulf. It also links to some freely available audio visual material which can be accessed via the internet.

In the centre panel click the link to go to the library catalogue entry for the item. This will show you where the item is shelved and will show if it is on loan.

If you have difficult finding any of the resources shown here please ask a member of library staff or contact the Curriculum Resources Librarian, John Iona.

Background to Beowulf

The library has many resources intended for classroom use on the Anglo-Saxons, which provide excellent context for the study of Beowulf. They are generally shelved at 942.01 or 941.01. Many of these books can also be used in developing information literacy skills. They contain useful tools for extracting information efficiently such as indexes, glossaries, chronologies and bibiographies/further reading sections. Many have references to Beowulf in their indexes.

Resources on the Staffordshire Hoard and Sutton Hoo provide stimulating primary evidence for life in Anglo-Saxon times, and can be supplemented with resources on archaelogy and how history is studied.

The library can also support broader themes related to Beowulf, such as weaponry, festivals and rituals, art and culture.


Watercolour painting of Beowulf

With thanks to Emma Wendorff Skjøth for permission to use her watercolour of Beowulf

Versions of the Text

Beowulf has been presented in many printed formats. The ones below are all available in the library and include:

  • Poetry.
  • Picture books.
  • Children's Novels.
  • Graphic novels.
  • Play and Film scripts.
  • A version for storytelling.

Beowulf in sound and vision

 Logo for BBC Radio 4

In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg on Beowulf

Melvyn Bragg discusses Beowulf with:

Laura Ashe, Associate Professor in English at the University of Oxford and Fellow of Worcester College.

Clare Lees, Professor of Medieval English Literature and History of the Language at King's College London.

Andy Orchard, Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at the University of Oxford.

Michael Wood: In Search of Beowulf

BBC4 documentary where Michael Wood traces the history and background of the epic story.

Logo for Electronic Beowulf

Electronic version  produced by the British Library and the University of Kentucky for close study of the text and line by line translation.

Image result for british library logo

Listen to Beowulf read in Old English.

Seamus Heaney reads Beowulf

Part 1

 Part 2 

Beowulf on the Big Screen

Beowulf has been filmed many times. The library holds a copy of the 2007 'Beowulf' directed by Robert Zemeckis

Beowulf in the British Library

It is believed that Beowulf existed for many generations in an oral form, but was written down in Anglo-Saxon England, probably during the 11th century. A copy of the manuscript, in Old English, is held in the British Library. The British Library's Beowulf website shows an example of the manuscript and describes its history.

More on Old English

The language used in the British Library manuscript of Beowulf is Old English. There are a number of resources to support learning Old English, including:

UCL's other libraries also have extensive resources on Beowulf, Old English and Anglo-Saxon epic poetry, in particular the Main Library. Go to the library home page  to search Explore.

All about Sutton Hoo

The Sutton Hoo Society

The Sutton Hoo Society webpage covers all aspects of the Sutton Hoo site and history. It also has useful links to other online resources.

Discover Sutton Hoo Game (University of Westminster)

The Discover Sutton Hoo Game for children which allows them to excavate Sutton Hoo with Basil Brown and learn about archaeology and some of the artifacts found on the site.