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Medieval Church History: Manuscripts & Editions

This guide identifies resources for the study of medieval church history found in Pius XII Memorial Library. The guide is intended for use by both beginning or advanced graduate students and faculty.

Manuscripts & Editions

The Vatican Film Library, housed in Pius XII Library, is one of the premier centers for manuscript research in the U.S. The library has both a large collection of manuscripts on microfilm and a reference collection to support manuscript research. For more information on the collection, visit the Vatican Film Library homepage at

The Stanford University Library's Medieval Pages have a Manuscripts page and Georgetown University's Labyrinth has a page for Manuscripts, Paleography and Codicology.

The sources listed below are only a small sampling of the electronic and print resources available either in the Vatican Film Library or Pius XII Library.

In Principio: Incipit Index of Latin Texts. 
      Please click "Enter Databases" button on the Brepols Web site, then the "Go" button to the right of the database name to begin searching. In Principio is a index of approximately 1,000,000 incipits (first few words of text) of Medieval and Renaissance Latin manuscripts.

Iter Italicum.
      Electronic version of Paul Kristeller's multivolume listing of "uncatalogued or incompletely catalogued humanistic manuscripts of the Renaissance in Italian and other libraries" (to borrow from the subtitle of the printed work). Both the printed volumes (Z 6611 .H8 K7) and the CD-ROM version (Z6611.H8 K7 1995) of the database may also be consulted in the Vatican Film Library Reference collection.

Kristeller, Paul Oskar. Latin Manuscript Books Before 1600: A List of the Printed Catalogues and Unpublished Inventories of Extant Collections. 4th ed. revised and enlarged by Sigrid Kraemer. Muenchen: Monumenta Germaniae Historica, 1993.
     Vat. Film Ref. DD3 .M84
Essentially a catalogue of manuscript catalogues. This tool will not identify manuscripts of individual writers but identifies catalogues where such information may be found. Four sections: "Bibliography and Statistics of Libraries and their Collections of Manuscripts," "Works Describing Manuscripts of More than One City," "Printed Catalogues and Handwritten Inventories of Individual Libraries, by Cities," and "Directories and Guides to Libraries and Archives."

Schoenberger, Rolf and Brigitte Kible. Reportium edierter Texte des Mittelalters aus dem Berich der Philosophie und angrenzender Gebiete. Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 1994.
     Ref. B721.S33 1994
A bibliography, listing in alphabetical order by the Latinized form of a medieval author's name, the primary critical editions of medieval authors from Alcuin to Nicholas of Cua (800-1450). The "Philosophie" of the title is interpreted broadly and includes most if not all titles of theological relevance; the only types of texts that are deliberately excluded are texts of primarily literary or scientific (astronomy, medicine) character. Includes translations and dual-language editions.

Your Librarian

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Ron Crown
Lewis Annex 977-3083