Papal Documents: A Finding Aid

This document is designed to assist researchers, particularly those at Columbia University, to find documents relevant to the history of the Papacy - ancient, medieval and modern. Call numbers,where given, relate to the collections of Columbia University Libraries. Reference is made to the following locations:

AM = Ancient & Medieval Studies Reading Room, 604 Butler Library
AVE = Avery Library & Fine Arts, Avery Hall
BUT = Butler Stacks
LAW = Law Library, Jerome Green Hall
MRR = Microform Reading Room, 501 Butler
RB = Rare Book & Manuscript Library, sixth floor East Butler
REF = Butler Reference Department, 325 Butler Library
UTS = Union Theological Seminary, Burke Library

A Background Bibliography

Battelli, Giulio, ed. Bibliografia dell'Archivio Vaticano. 4 vols. Vatican City, 1962-1966.

Boyle, Leonard. A Survey of the Vatican Archives and of its Medieval Holdings. Toronto, 1972.

Fink, Karl August. Das Vatikanische Archiv. Rome, 1951.

Frenz, Thomas. Papsturkunden des Mittelalters und der Neuzeit. Stuttgart, 1986.

Useful Reference Tools

Baumgarten, Paul Maria. Schedario Baumgarten: descrizione diplomatica di bolle e brevi originali da Innocenzo III a Pio IX. Ed. Giulio Battelli. 4 vols. Citta del Vaticano, 1965-86.

This is a reproduction of Paul Baumgarten's manuscript notes describing c. 10,000 papal documents, which he left to the Vatican Archives in 1923.

[AM]: BX855 .B3

Boehmer, Johann Friedrich. Die Regesten des Kaiserreichs : sachsisches Haus, 919-1024. Vol. 5 = Papstregesten, 911-1024. Innsbruck, 1901; rp. Graz, 1971.

This presents calendars for the popes & their legates to Germany in this period.

[AM]: DD3 .B725 v.2
[REF]: R262.82 B634

Cheney, Christopher R. The letters of Pope Innocent III (1198-1216) concerning England and Wales: a calendar with an appendix of texts. Oxford, 1967.

A calendar of c. 1200 papal letters with an appendix publishing c. 250 found nowhere else.


Deutsches Historisches Institut in Rom. Repertorium Germanicum (= Verzeichnis der in den papstlichen Registern und Kameralakten vorkommenden Personen, Kirchen und Orte des Deutschen Reiches, seiner Dioezesen und Territorien vom Beginn des Schismas bis zur Reformation). Berlin, 1916-.

Tracks German persons, places and institutions mentioned in the papal registers between 1378 and the Reformation. Eight volumes have appeared thus far, treating the pontificates of Clement VII, Urban VI, Boniface IX, Innocent VII, Gregory XII, Alexander V, John XXIII, Nicholas V, Calixtus III and Pius II.

[AM]: Z2237 .R47

Initienverzeichnis zu August Potthast, Regesta pontificum Romanorum (1198-1304) (= MGH Hilfsmittel 2). Munich, 1978.

[AM]: BX850 .C32 1957 Suppl.

Jaffe, Philipp. Regesta pontificum romanorum ab condita ecclesia ad annum post Christum natum MCXCVIII. 2nd ed. corrected & supplemented by , Samuel Loewenfeld, Ferdinand Kaltenbrunner & Paul Ewald. 2 vols. Graz, 1956.

Register of papal letters to 1198. Reflecting the editors who contributed to various time periods, the work is conventionally given an abbreviated citation as JK to the year 590, JE for 590-882 and JL for 883-1198.

[AM]: BX850 .C38 1956g

Potthast, August. Regesta pontificum romanorum inde ab a. post Christum natum MCXCVIII ad a. MCCCIV. 2 vols. Berlin, 1874-75; rp. Graz, 1957.

[AM]: BX850 .C32 1957

Seeck, Otto. Regesten der kaiser und paepste fuer die jahre 311 bis 476 n. Chr. Frankfurt am Main, 1919. rp. 1984.


Miscellaneous Collections of Papal Documents, Medieval & Modern

Note: A number of bullaria assembled during the early-modern period can still be of use, though some are now quite rare. A full account of Columbia's holdings of this sort can be found in the card catalog under the uniform heading, "Catholic Church. Pope" and in CLIO. An excellent review of this literature is to be found in the article, "Bullaire", in the Dictionnaire de theologie catholique, vol. 2, which presents a particularly useful list of specialized bullaria relating to individual ecclesiastical orders, etc.

Among the general bullaria, the following are perhaps the most important:

Carafa, Antonio. Epistolae decretales summorum pontificum. 3 vols. Rome, 1591.

This first of the great bullaria was to have contained not only papal documents but all associated materials: imperial letters, conciliar documents et al. Carara's death left a collection containing only papal documents from Clement I (90-99) to Gregory VII (1073-1085). It is extremely rare.

Cherubini, Laerzia et al. Magnum bullarium Romanum, a Beato Leone Magno usque ad S. D. N. Benedictum XIII. 10 vols. Luxembourg, 1727-30.

This great collection, undertaken initially by Cherubini in 1586 and continued in expanded editions by his son, Angelo Maria Cherubini and other, contains bulls from the pontificate of Leo the Great (440) through Benedict XIII (1724-30). A 19-volume edition in 1741-43 took the collection up to the pontificate of Benedict XIV. All editions are quite rare.

Coustant, Pierre. Epistolae romanorum pontificum, et quae ad eos scriptae sunt, a sancto Clemente I usque ad Innocentium III... Paris, 1721.

Only the first volume of this great set appeared, treating documents from the period 67-440. It contains extensive notes assessing the authenticity of the documents presented and evidence for those that were lost.

Gaude, Francisco & Luigi Tomaassetti. Bullarum diplomatum et privilegiorum sanctorum romanorum pontificum taurinensis. 25 vols. Augustae Taurinorum, 1857-1872.

This "new" edition of Girolamo Mainard's and Charles Cocquelines' Magnum bullarium romanum (Rome, 1739-62) is by no means comprehensive, containing only a miscellany of papal documents. But it is the largest of the early modern collections and was grounded in the originals located in the Vatican's Secret Archives. Volumes 1-24 present documents from the pontificates of Leo I (440-461) through Clement XII (1730-40), and the 25th volume is an appendix containing additional documents from Leo I-Pelagius II (579-590).The preponderance of documents, contained in vols. 6-24, are from the 16th-18th centuries.

[AM]: BX855 .C38 1857g

Petra, Vincenzo. Commentaria ad constitutiones apostolicas, sue, Bullas singulas summorum pontificum in bullario romano contentas secundum collectionem Cherubini, incipientes a divo Leone Magno. 2 vols. Venice, 1741.

Not a bullaria proper, but a very learned commentary on documents in Cherubini's collection by Benedict XIII's prefect of the Sacred College of Propaganda.

Papal Documents From Antiquity & the Middle Ages

Before 1198

Note: The popes do not appear to have routinely maintained registers of their documents before Innocent III (1198-1216). Registers or fragments thereof exist only for:

Gregory I

Ewald, Paul & Ludwig Hartmann, edd. Registrum epistularum. 2 vols. (= Monumenta Germaniae Historica. Epistolae 1-2). Berlin, 1887-1899; rp. Munich, 1978.

Covers the years 590-604.

[AM]: DD3.M8 E6 1978 t.1-2


Caspar, Erich, ed. Registrum Johannis VIII papae (= MGH Epistolae 7, pp. 1-272). Berlin, 1928; rp. Munich, 1978.

Covers the years 872-882.

[AM]: DD3.M8 E6 1978 t. 7

Stephen V

Caspar, Erich, ed. Fragmenta registri Stephani V papae (= MGH Epistolae 7, pp. 334-353). Berlin, 1928; rp. Munich, 1978.

Fragments from the years 885-888.

[AM]: DD3.M8 E6 1978 t. 7

Gregory VII

Caspar, Erich, ed. Das Register Gregors VII. (= MGH Epistolae 2). 2 vols. Berlin, 1920-1923.

[AM]: DD3.M8 E8 t.2

Antipope Anacletus II

Ewald, Paul, ed. Registrum Anacleti II antipapae (= Neues Archiv 3). Hanover, 1878; rp. 1981.

[AM]: DD3.M825 A2 vol. 3

Alexander III

see S. Loewenfeld, Epistolae pontificum Romanorum ineditae below.

Fragments from the years 1159-1181.

[AM]: BX863 .A4 1959g

For this period before 1198 a variety of efforts have been made to gather what copies exist outside the papal registers. The largest collection of pre-1198 is still to be found in:

Migne, J.P. Patrologia Latina. Paris, 1857-1866.

The edition, however, is inferior, its sources ambiguous and treated without critical care.

[AM]: BR60 .M54 1857g

Some superior, misellaneous modern editions are:

Pflugk-Harttung, Julius von. Acta pontificum Romanorum inedita. 3 vols. Tuebingen & Stuttgart, 1880-1886; rp. Graz, 1958.

[AM]: BX850 .A35 1881a

Loewenfeld, Samuel. Epistolae pontificum Romanorum ineditae. Leipzig, 1854; rp. Graz, 1959.

[AM]: BX863 .A4 1959g

Pontificum romanorum diplomata papyracea quae supersunt in tabulariis Hispaniae Italiae Germaniae phototypice expressa, iussu Pii P. P. XI, consilio et opera procuratorum Bybliothecae Apostolicae Vaticanae. Rome, 1929.

The documents were transcribed and critically integrated by Carlo Silva-Tarouca and Carl Erdmann.

Zimmermann, Harald. Papsturkunden, 896-1046 (= Denkschriften der Oesterreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Phil.-hist. Kl. 174, 177, 198). Vienna, 1984- .

Papsturkunden Projects

The central effort of 20th-century scholars to provide critical texts of pre-1198 papal documents has taken its impetus from a project proposed by Paul Fridolin Kehr in 1896 - to comb the libraries and archives of Europe (and eventually the world) - for manuscripts of papal documents. Since 1931 much of this effort has been underwritten by a trust, the Pius-Stiftung fuer Papsturkunden. The Papsturkunden volumes, organized geographically, provide descriptions of the archives and libraries in which papal manuscripts can be found, lists of those manuscripts and the texts themselves for documents that are not registered in Jaffe-Loewenfeld or registered there as unedited. The fruits of this work have thus far yielded Regesta for Germany, Italy and Scotland - Germania Pontificia, Italia Pontificia and Scotia Pontificia.

Regarding the Papsturkunden Project, see:

Kehr, Paul Fridolin. "Sammlung und Herausgabe der aelteren Papsturkunden bis Innocenz III. (1198)," in: Sonderausgabe aus den Sitzungsberichte der Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Phil.-hist. Kl. 10 (1934).

This article presents a discussion of the project to this date and a bibliography of works accomplished thus far.

Kehr, Paul Fridolin. "Ueber den Plan einer kritischen Ausgabe der Papsturkunden bis Innocenz III.," in Mitteilungen der koeniglichen Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Goettingen (1896).

A description of the project at the time of its birth.

Papsturkunden for England

Holtzmann, Walther. Papsturkunden in England = Abhandlungen der Gescellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Goettingen, Phil.-hist. Kl., NF 25 (1930-31), 3.F. 14-15 (1935-36), 3.F. 33 (1952).

Vol. 1. Libraries & archives in London; Vol.2. Church archives and libraries; Vol. 3. Oxford, Cambridge, smaller libraries and archives, supplement for London.

Holtzmann, Walther. "Quellen und Forschungen zur Geschichte Friedrich Barbarossas (Englischen Analekten 1)," in: Neues Archiv 48 (1930) 384-413.

Holtzmann, Walter. "Zur Geschichte des Investiturstreits (Englische Analekten 2)," in: Neues Archiv 50 (1933) 246-319.

Papsturkunden for France

Erdmann, Carl. "Une bulle sur papyrus du pape Formose en faveur de Saint-Denis," in: Bibliotheque del'Ecole des Chartes 91 (1930) 301-306.

Hessel, Alfred. "Cluny and Macon: Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der paepstlichen Exemtonsprivilegien," in: Zeitschrift fuer Kirchengeschichte 22 (1901) 516-524.

Hessel, Alfred. "Le plus anciennes bulles en faveur del'abbaye de Saint-Denis," in: Moyen Age 14 (1901)373-400.

Laehr, Gerhard. "Aus den Briefsammlungen von St. Victor," in: Festschrift Albert Brackmann dargebracht vonfreunden, kollegen und schülern ed. Leo Santifaller (Weimar, 1931), pp. 402-421.

Meinert, Hermann. "Libelli de discordia inter monachos S. Remigii et Nicasii Remenses agitata tempore Paschalis II. papae," in: Festschrift Albert Brackmann dargebracht von freunden, kollegen und schülern ed. Leo Santifaller (Weimar, 1931), pp. 259-292.

Meinert, Hermann, Johannes Ramackers & Dietrich Lohrmann."Papsturkunden in Frankreich," Neue Folge, in: Abhandlungen der Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Goettingen, Phil.-hist. Kl., 3. Folge 3-4 (1932-33); 21 (1937); 23 (1940); 27 (1942) 35 (1956); 41 (1958); 95 (1976).

v. 1. Champagne, Lotharingia; v. 2. Normandy; v. 3. Artois; v. 4. Picardie; v. 5. Touraine, Anjou, Maine, Bretagne; v. 6. Orleanais; v. 7. Northern Ile-de-France & Vermandois.

Ramackers, Johannes. "Niederrheinische Urkunden und Briefedes 12. und 13. Jahrhunderts aus franzosischen und belgischen Archiven und Bibliotheken," in: Annalen des historischen Vereins fuer den Niederrhein 121 (1932) 61-78.

Schmid, P. "Die Entstehung des Marseiller Kirchenstaats," in: Archiv fuer Urkundenforschung 10 (1928) 176-207 & 11 (1930) 138-152.

Wiederhold, Wilhem. "Papsturkunden in Frankreich," in: Nachrichten der Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Goettingen, Phil.-hist. Kl. (1906) Nr. 1 & 2; (1907); (1910); (1911); (1913).

Reprinted with an index in: Wiederhold,Wilhelm. Papsturkunden in Frankreich : Reiseberichte zur Gallia pontificia (= Acta Romanorum Pontificum 7 & 8). 2 vols. Vatican City, 1985.  Reprints Wiederhold's Papsturkunden articles (vol 1. 1906-1910; vol. 2. 1191-1913 & index by Louis Duval-Arnould).

Papsturkunden for Germany & Switzerland

Brackmann, Albert. "Die aelteren St. Galler Papsturkunden," in: Nachrichten der Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Goettingen, Phil.-hist. Kl. (1904) 496-508.

Brackmann, Albert. "Die beiden aelteren Papstprivilegien fuer die Abtei Ilsenburg," in: Zeitschrift des historischen Vereins fuer Niedersachsen (1902) 507-517 & (1903) 81-99.

Brackmann, Albert. "Die Entstehung der Andechser Wallfahrt," in: Abhandlungen der Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Phil.-hist. Kl. (1929) Nr. 5, 1-40.

Brackmann, Albert. "Die Verfaelschungen in den Papsturkunden der Abtei Muri und ihre Bedeutung fuer die Kritik der Acta Murensia," in: Nachrichten der Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Goettingen, Phil.-hist. Kl. (1904) 477-490.

Brackmann, Albert. "Niederrheinische Urkunden des 12. Jahrhunderts (St. Cassius-stift in Bonn - Abtei Brauweiler - AbteiDeutz - Kloster Duenwald - Abtei Camp)," in: Annalen des historischen Vereins fuer den Niederrhein 81 (1906) 112-130 & 82 (1907) 119-131.

Brackmann, Albert. "Papsturkunden des Nordens, Nord- und Mittel-Deutschlands (Stockholm, Upsala, Kopenhagen, Hannover,Hildesheim, Wolfenbuettel, Goslar, Wernigerode, Cassel, Marburg, Gotha, Erfurt, Pforta, Jena, Rudolstadt, Meiningen)," in: Nachrichten der Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Goettingen, Phil.-hist. Kl. (1904) 1-45.

Brackmann, Albert. "Papsturkunden des oestlichen Deutschlands (Berlin, Stettin, Magdeburg, Zerbst, Dresden, Meissen, Leipzig, Zeitz)," in: Nachrichten der Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Goettingen, Phil.-hist. Kl. (1902)193-223.

Brackmann, Albert. "Papsturkunden der Schweiz (Basel, Schaffhausen, Frauenfeld, St. Gallen, Zuerich, Einsiedeln, Chur, Luzern, Engelberg, Bern, Freiburg, Lausanne, Neuenburg, Solethurn, Aarau)," in: Nachrichten der Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Goettingen, Phil.-hist. Kl. (1904)417-517.

Brackmann, Albert. "Schaffhauser Faelschungen," in: Nachrichten der Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Goettingen, Phil.-hist. Kl. (1904) 490-496.

Brackmann, Albert. "Zur Chronologie der Urkunden Paschals II. fuer Pfaevers," in: Nachrichten der Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Goettingen, Phil.-hist. Kl. (1904) 508-515.

Brackmann, Albert. "Zur Kanonisation des Erzbischofs Annovon Koeln," in: Neues Archiv 32 (1907) 153-165.

Germania pontificia; sive, Repertorium privilegiorum et litterarum a romanis pontificibus ante annum MCLXXXXVIII Germaniae ecclesiis monasteriis civitatibus singulisque personis concessorum. edd. Albert Brackmann, Hermann Jacobs, Wolfgang Seegrun, Theodor Schieffer, Heinrich Buttner, Egon Boschof. Berlin, 1911-.

vol. 1. Provincia salisburgensis et episcopatus tridentinus.-- vol. 2. Provincia maguntinensis. pars 1-2 (2v.)--vol. 3. Provincia maguntinensis. pars 3.--vol. 4. Provincia maguntinensis. pars 4.--vol. 6. Provincia hammaburgo-bremensis.--vol. 7. Provincia coloniensis. pars. 1.vol.10. Provincia Treverensis. Ps. 1. Archidioecesis Treverensis

[AM]: BX1535 .C38 1911g

Kehr, Paul Fridolin. "Basler Faelschungen: Exkurs 1. zu A.Brackmann, Papsturkunden der Schweiz," in: Nachrichten der Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Goettingen, Phil.-hist. Kl. (1904) 453-463.

Kehr, Paul Fridolin. "Calixt II. fuer Engelberg JL7148," in: Nachrichten der Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Goettingen, Phil.-hist. Kl. (1904) 468-470.

Kehr, Paul Fridolin. "Das Erzbistum Magdeburg und die erste Organisation der christlichen Kirche in Polen," in: Abhandlungen der Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Phil.-hist. Kl. (1920) 1-68.

Kehr, Paul Fridolin. "Gregors VII. Breve fuer Kloster Allerheiligen zu Schaffhausen JL. 5167," in: Nachrichtender Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Goettingen, Phil.-hist.Kl. (1904) 463-468.

Kehr, Paul Fridolin. "Das Privileg Leos IX. fuer Adalbert von Bremen," in: Festschrift dem Hansischen Geschichtsverein und dem Verein fuer Niederdeutsche Sprachforschung dargebracht zu ihrer Jahresversammlung in Goettingen. Goettingen, 1900, pp. 73-82.

Kehr, Paul Fridolin. "Die aelteren Urkunden fuer Helmarshausen und das Helmarshaeuser Kopialbuch," in: Neues Archiv 49 (1932) 86-114.

Kehr, Paul Fridolin. "Die anfaenge von Hirsau," in: Papsttum und Kaisertum; Forschungen zur politischen Geschichte und Geisteskultur des Mittelalters. Paul Kehr zum 65. Geburtstag dargebracht. ed. Albert Brackmann. Munich, 1926; rp. Aalen,1973. Pp. 215-232.

[BUT]: BX1175 .P3 1973g

Kehr, Paul Fridolin. "Die Papsturkunden fuer Peterlingen," in: Nachrichten der Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Goettingen, Phil.-hist. Kl. (1904) 470-477.

Kehr, Paul Fridolin. "Zum Mainzer Konzil von 1049,"in: Neues Archiv 49 (1932) 439-452.

Studien und Vorarbeiten zur Germania Pontificia. Berlin, Vienna, Cologne, 1912- .

This important series, initiated by Albert Brackmann, continues to publish the fruits of the German Papsturkunden project. The following seven volumes have appeared (no vol. 2 was ever done):

Vol. 1: Die Kurie und die Salzburgen Kirchenprovinz, ed. Albert Brackmann. Berlin, 1912.

Vol. 3: Die Bistuemer Wuerzburg und Bamberg in ihren politischen und wirtschaftlichen Bedeutung fuer die Geschichte des deutschen Ostens, edd. Marcel Beck & Heinrich Buettner. Berlin, 1937.

Vol. 4: Das Erzstift Trier und seine Stellung zu Koenigtum und Papsttum im ausgehenden 10. Jahrhundert, ed. Ego Boschof. Vienna & Cologne, 1972.

Vol. 5: Das Erzbistum Hamburg in seinem aelteren Papsturkunden, ed. Wolfgang Seegruen. Cologne & Vienna, 1976.

Vol. 6: Rechtsgeschichtlich-diplomatische Studien zu fruehmittelalterlichen Papsturkunden, ed. Egon Boschof. Cologne & Vienna, 1976.

Vol. 7: Eugen III. und die Anfaenge europaischer Stadtsiegel: nebst Anmerkungen zum Bande IV der Germania Pontificia, ed. Hermann Jakobs. Cologne & Vienna, 1980.

Vol. 8: Die querimonia Egilmari episcopi und die responsio Stephani Papae : Studien zu den Osnabrucker Quellen der Karolingerzeit, ed. Angelika Spicker-Wendt. Cologne, 1980.

Papsturkunden for Iberia

Erdmann, Carl. "Das Papsttum und Portugal im ersten Jahrhundert der portugiesischen Geschichte," in Abhandlungen der Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Phil.-hist. Kl. (1928) nr. 5, 1-63.

Erdmann, Carl. Papsturkunden in Portugal = Abhandlungen der Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Goettingen, NF 20:3 (1927).

Kehr, Paul Fridolin. "Die aelteren Papsturkunden Spaniens erlaeutert und reproduziert," in: Abhandlungen der Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Phil.-hist. Kl.(1926) Nr. 2.

Kehr, Paul Fridolin. "Erster Bericht ueber die geschichtlichen Forschungen in Spanien (1925-1927)," in: Sitzungsberichte der Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Phil.-hist. Kl. (1927) 304-318.

Kehr, Paul Fridolin. "Das Papsttum und der katalanische Prinzipat bis zur Vereinigung mit Aragon," in: Abhandlungen der Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Phil.-hist. Kl. (1926) Nr. 1.

Kehr, Paul Fridolin. "Papsturkunden in Spanien: Vorarbeiten zur Hispania Pontificia," in: Abhandlungen der Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Phil.-hist. Kl. (1926 & 1928)

vol. 1. Catalonia; vol. 2. Navarre and Aragon.

Kehr, Paul Fridolin. "Wie und wann wurde das Reich Aragon ein Lehen der roemischen Kirche? Eine diplomatische Untersuchungen," in: Sitzungsberichte der Preussische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Phil.-hist. Kl. 18-20 (1928) 196-223.