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Medieval and Renaissance Studies: Other Primary Source Collections

A Guide to Research in Medieval and Renaissance Studies

Introduction

Medieval scholarship has been shaped by various efforts to gather, edit and publish the available primary sources of the period. Some of these efforts have revolved around topics, such as the crusades and the councils of the church, while others have focused on the documentary record of the several great national groups of the period. The following is a basic bibliography of the major source collections. Several have now been placed online, but most remain available only in print.

An excellent introduction to the history and contents of many of these collections can be found in: David Knowles, Great Historical Enterprises: Problems in monastic history. London, 1963. - Available in the Bobst collection at: BX4662 .K6.

For information on how to navigate the chronicles in many of the sources cited below, see M. McCormick, Les annales du haut Moyen Age. Typologie des sources du Moyen Age occidental,  fasc. 14. Turnhout: Brepols, 1975. - Available in the Bobst collection at:  Z6203 .T95 fasc. 14.

Note: Many medieval primary sources have been edited outside the various collections listed below, as separate volumes. They may be searched in BobCat under their authors and /or titles.

The Crusades

L'Académie des inscriptions et belles-lettres. Documents relatifs à l'histoire des croisades. Paris, Librairie Orientaliste P. Geuthner, 1946- .
The volumes in this series have been separately cataloged in the Bobst collection. A search for the title in BobCat will bring up the available volumes.
This series is really a continuation of the earlier series, Recueil des historiens des Croisades, which appeared in the following subseries:
Recueil des historiens des Croisades :historiens grecs. 2 vols. Farnborough, Hants., Gregg, 1967-1969.
Available in the Bobst collection at: D151 .A32 Oversize.
Recueil des historiens des Croisades :historiens occidentaux. 5 vols. in 6. Farnborough (Hants.) : Gregg Press, 1967.
Available in the Bobst collections at: D151 .A33 1844a Oversize.
Recueil des historiens des Croisades :historiens orientaux. 5 vols. in 4. Farnborough, Hants., Gregg, 1967-1969.
Available in the Bobst collection at: D151 .A34 Oversize.
Recueil des historiens des Croisades :documents arméniens. 2 vols. Farnborough, Eng., Gregg Press, 1969.
Available in the Bobst collection at: D151 .A315 Oversize.
Assises de Jérusalem. Hants., England : Gregg Press, 1967.
Available in the Bobst collection at: D151 .A35 1967 Oversize.
Cartulaire général de l’ordre des Hospitaliers de S. Jean de Jérusalem (1100-1310),  ed. J. Delaville Le Roulx. 4 vols. Paris, E. Leroux, 1894-1906. - This is an important collection of the cartularies of the crusading order of the Hospitaliers. - Bobst stacks at: CR4715 .D34 Oversize.
Crusade Texts in Translation. Aldershot, Ashgate. - This series, published by Ashgate, provides important primary source texts for the Crusades in translation. They are cataloged separately in BobCat under their titles but can be seen collectively with a search under the series title.

The French Sources

Bautier, Robert Henri. Chartes, Sceaux et Chancelleries: études de diplomatique et de sigillographie médiévales. 2 vols. Mémoires et documents (Société de l’Ecole des chartes (France) 34. Paris, 1990. - A broad treatment of French charters, seals and chancellery records. Available in Bobst at: CD71 .B38 1990.

Brunel, Ghislain & Elisabeth Lalou, edd. Sources d’histoire médiévale : IXe - milieu du XIVe siècle. - Includes 500 primary texts in French translation. Available in Bobst at: DC60 .S68 1992.

cartulR - Répertoire des cartulaires.  - An index to all French cartularies edited and unedited, searchable by region, departement and diocese.

Chartes et diplômes relatifs à l’histoire de France. Paris: Académie des inscriptions et belles-lettres, 1946. - This is a project to publish the royal charters of France.
The various elements of this project have been separately cataloged in the Bobst collections under the monarch's whose charters they contain. A search in BobCat for "Académie des inscriptions et belles-lettres" will bring up a complete list.
Recueil des historiens de la France. Paris: Académie des inscriptions et belles-lettres, 1903- . - This project is broken into three separate series: 
Documents financiers, Paris, 1899- , continued by:
Documents financiers et administratifs, Paris, 1992- . 
Obituaires, Paris. 1899- , begun again in under the same title in 1984.
Pouilles, Paris, 1903- .
This series has been separately cataloged in the Bobst collections under the particular document being edited. A search in BobCat for "Recueil des historiens de la France" will yield the available holdings, which are sparse. A fuller collection is held at Columbia University.
Recueil des historiens des Gaules et de la France  . 24 vols. Paris: Académie des inscriptions et belles-lettres, 1738-86, 1806-1904.  - Begun by Martin Bouquet, reprinted by Leopold Delisle and continued by the Academie, the series is actually incomplete, though in some respects it is continued by the Recueil des historiens de la France cited   above.
This series is not available in the Bobst collections. A complete set is available at Columbia University in Butler Library's Ancient & Medieval Studies Reading Room.
France. Comité des travaux historiques et scientifiques. Collection de documents inédits sur l’histoire de France.Paris, 1835- . This enormous enterprise, treating medieval and modern documents, appears in quarto and octavo series arranged in the following sections:
1. Chroniques, memoires, journaux, recits et compositions historiques
2. Cartulaires et recueils de chartes
3. Correspondances et documents politiques et administratifs
4. Documents de la periode revolutionnaire
5. Documents philologiques, philosophiques, juridiques...
6. Publications archeologiques
The series has been separately cataloged in the Bobst collections. A search in BobCat for Collection de documents inédits sur l’histoire de France will bring up a complete list of holdings.
Gallia Christiana in provincias ecclesiasticas distributa. 16 vols. Paris, 1715-1874. - Begun by the Assemblee du Clerge, continued by the Academie des Inscriptions et Belles- Lettres. Paris, 1715-1874. A unique collection of sources on the French church, and each volume also contains a number of charters [instrumenta] as an appendix.
This set is available in the Fales Library at: SpecCol - BX1528 .G27 Oversize.
Lemarignier, Jean-François, editor. Gallia monastica : tableaux et cartes de dépendances monastiques. Paris: A. et J. Picard, 1974- . - Only Vol. 1 of this series has appeared, treating the Benedictine abbeys of the diocese of Reims, by Francoise Poirier-Coutansais.
This title is not available in the Bobst collections. It is available at Columbia University.
 
 

The German Sources

The Monumenta Germaniae Historica, also known at the Deutsches Institut für Erforschung des Mittelalters, has been the vehicle by which virtually the entire documentary heritage of medieval Germany has been published since the project was undertaken in 1819.There are numerous subseries: Scriptores, Leges, Diplomata, Antiquitates, Deutsches Mittelalter & Quellen zur Geistesgeschichte des Mittelalters, Scriptores in usu scholarum, Schriften, as well as the MGH journals: Deutsches Archiv, Archiv and Neues Archiv.
The MGH is available in electronic form. See the tab for "Full Text Primary Sources" above. The most useful version is actually the free resource provided by the MGH itself, which is both searchable and browsable.
 
Numerous institutional histories of the MGH have been published. An excellent account is available in David Knowles' Great Historical Enterprises, cited above.

The British Sources

Rerum Britannicarum Medii Ævi scriptores. London, 1858-96; reprint. 1964-65. - Often simply known as "The Rolls series," this is the British equivalent of the MGH, though it was done relatively quickly by comparison and with less editorial rigor. It's publication was undertaken and overseen by the head of the Public Rolls Office. For those working in English history, the collections developed by the Camden Society, the Royal Historical Society and the Pipe Roll Society, among others, should also be consulted.
The set is available in the Bobst collection at: DA25 .B5.

The Italian Sources

Fonti per la storia dell'Italia medievale. 118 vols. Rome: Istituto storico italiano per il Medio Evo, 1887- .There are two subseries: Antiquitates and Subsidia.
An online edition is available via the Internet Archive - though navigation is extremely difficult. The series has been separately cataloged in the Bobst collections. Holdings may be found by doing a title search for "Fonti per la storia dell'Italia medievale" in BobCat.
 
Muratori, Ludovico Antonio. Rerum italicarum scriptores ab anno æræ christianæ quingentesimo ad millesimum quingentesimum quorum potissima pars nunc primum in lucem prodit ex Ambrosianæ, Estensis, aliarumque insignium bibliothecarum codicibus. 25 vols. Milan: ex typographia Societatis Palatinae, 1723-51. - A new edition of Muratori, originally undertaken by G. Carducci & V. Fiorini, has been underway since 1900: Rerum italicarum scriptores; raccolta degli storici italiani dal cinquecento al millecinquecento ordinata da L.A. Muratori. Città di Castello, S. Lapi, 1900- .
Neither edition of Murator is available in the Bobst collections. Both are available at Columbia University in Butler Library's Ancient & Medieval Studies Reading Room.

The Ecclesiastical Sources

Patristic Sources

 

Corpus Christianorum. Turnholti [Belgium]: Brepols, 1953- . This series represents one of two modern efforts to produce critical editions of the patristic texts to replace those available in Migne. [See below.] The series has appeared in several subseries: the Series Latina and Series Graeca treat the church fathers through the end of Antiquity; the Continuatio Mediaevalis continues the texts through the Middle Ages; the Series Apocryphorum treats the apocryphal texts. There are also series of tools associated with the main set, the Instrumenta Lexicologica, Series A and Series B.
The Corpus Christianorum series have been separately cataloged in the Bobst collections. A search in BobCat for the series title will bring up all volumes, but a search under the author or title of an individual patristic text is a more effective way to find needed works. The Brepols online product, The Library of Latin Texts, draws man of its medieval texts from the Corpus Christianorum.
 
 
Corpus Scriptorum Eccesiasticorum Latinorum. Vienna: Hoelder-Pichler-Tempsky, 1866- . This series, often abbreviated at CSEL or called "the Vienna Corpus," has been produced by the Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften and is the other effort to update Migne.
The Corpus Scriptorum Eccesiasticorum Latinorum volumes have been separately cataloged in the Bobst collections. A search in BobCat under the series will bring up all available volumes, but a search by author and title of the desired text is the more effective way to find needed works. Like the Corpus Christianorum, many of the medieval texts in Brepols online product,  The Library of Latin Texts, are drawn from the CSEL.
 
 
Migne, J.P. Patrologiae cursus completus. Paris, 1844-64. There is a Series Latina (221 vols.) and a  Series Graeca (161 vols.).
The Series Latina is available in the Bobst collections at: BR60 .M4. The Series Graeca is available at: BR60 .M5
There is an online, full-text version of the Series Latina. There is an online version of the Series Graeca, though it is only an image file and is not full-text searchable.
 
Sources Chrétiennes. Paris, Éditions du Cerf. - This is a collection of patristic texts founded in Lyon in 1943 by a group of Jesuit scholars and pairs Latin, Greek & Syriac original texts with French translations. The series is separately cataloged in BobCat, but the available titles may be searched under the series title.
 
 

Church Councils

 

Baronio, Cesare. Annales Ecclesiastici. 12 vols. in 6. Coloniae-Agrippinae : Sumptibus Ioannis Gymnici & Antonij Hierati, 1609-1624. - Baronius was the first great attempt to assemble a collection of the documents of the church from the Catholic perspective, both conciliar and other documents. Later collections devoted specifically to the church councils drew much of their material from Baronius' work.

The Annales Ecclesiastici is available in Bobst Special Collections at: SpecCol BR160 .B2 1602 Oversize.
 
 
Binius, Severin. Concilia Generalia et Provincialia quaecunque reperiri potuerunt, item epistolae decretalis, et Romanor. Pontific. Vitae. 4 vols. in 5. Coloniae Agrippinae: I. Gymnicum et A. Hierat, 1606. - Binius is the second great conciliar collection.
This title is not available in the Bobst collections. A copy is available at Columbia University, in both the Ancient & Medieval Studies Reading Room and in the Burke Library.
 
 
Conciliorum omnium generalium et principalium collectio regia. 37 vols. Paris: E Typographia Regia, 1644. - Often simply called the Collectio Regia, this is the second of the great conciliar collections. 
This title is not available in the Bobst collections. A copy is available at Columbia University in the Ancient & Medieval Studies Reading Room.
 
 
Hardouin, Jean. Acta conciliorum et epistolae decretales, ac constitutiones summorum pontificum. 11 vols. in 12. Paris: Ex Typographia Regia, 1714-1715. - This is the fourth of the great conciliar collections, drawn extensively off Binius, the Collectio Regia and Labbe-Cossart (see below).
This title is not available in the Bobst collections. A copy is available at Columbia University in the Ancient & Medieval Studies Reading Room.
 
 
Labbe, Philippe & Gabriel Cossart. Sacrosancta concilia ad regiam editionem exacta quae nunc quarta parte prodit auctior. Paris: Impensis Societatis Typographicae Librorum Ecclesiasticorum jussu Regis constitutae, 1671-1672. - This is the third of the great conciliar collections.
This title is not available in the Bobst collections. A copy is available at Columbia University in the Ancient & Medieval Studies Reading Room.
 
 
Mansi, Giovan Domenico. Sacrorum conciliorum nova et amplissima collectio. 53 vols. in 60. Graz: Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1960-1961. - Originally published at Florence in 1759 and often simply called "Mansi," this is the final and greatest of the early-modern conciliar collections and the starting point for most conciliar research. - A copy is available in the Bobst collections at: BX825 .A55 1960 Oversize.
 

 

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