Religious History Collections

Find out more about the Religious History Collections in the IHR Wohl Library. We collect historical sources and guides to finding and using sources. This page shows examples from the collections.


We have extensive holdings of church history throughout the majority of our collections, but we also have a collection specifically devoted to ecclesiastical history, concentrating on the history of the Papacy. Particular strengths of the collection relating to the medieval Church include: an extensive run of J. P. Migne’s Patrologia Latina (several volumes of the Patrologia Graeca can be found in the library’s Byzantine collection); an extensive collection of published papal letters from the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries; published sources of medieval canon law; and numerous works on the religious orders.

More recent centuries of ecclesiastical history are not neglected either. As well as primary sources of the early modern and modern histories of religious orders including a sizeable sub-collection on the Jesuits, we have various published sources from the modern ecumenical councils, such as the Council of Trent and Vatican II, in addition to individual works and published interviews from the papacies of John Paul II and Francis.

Highlights from the Collections


For example:

Other Collections

IHR Collections

There is a significant body of sources in all our national collections devoted to the religious history of each area. Therefore a great deal of material on the Reformation can be found in our British, German, French and Swiss collections, for example, while sources on Christian missionaries can be found in the library’s large Colonial collection. European Jewish history has its own collection in the institute and works on the Greek Orthodox Church are in the Byzantine collection.

Other Relevant Libraries and Institutions

Most university libraries will have sizeable holding on church history. Those of particular relevance in London however include:

Further Help

Contact us if you would like help on finding or using our collections, or if you have any comments or suggestions about the content of this guide. We are happy to help.

You can also book a tour or training session.