Ecclesiastical and Religious History in the Institute of Historical Research Library

About the Religious collection

The library has extensive holdings of church history throughout the majority of its collections. However it does 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 (some 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, as well as 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 the religious orders, including a sizeable sub-collection on the Jesuits, the library has various published sources from the modern ecumenical councils, such as the Council of Trent and Vatican II, as well as individual works and published interviews from the papacies of John Paul II and Benedict XVI.



Summary of the Religious collection (Classmark ER / Folios marked ERR)




Bibliographical and Archival Resources, Historiography

For example:


General Works

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The Papacy and Canon Law

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Monasticism and the Religious Orders

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Other Aspects of Religious Life

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For example:

Electronic Resources

A list of electronic resources available within the Institute’s library can be found here.


Other Useful IHR Collections

There is a significant body of sources in all our national collections devoted to the religious history of that 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:


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