Collection Development Policy
Medieval Studies


The Medieval Institute collection is intended to support teaching at both graduate and undergraduate levels and graduate and faculty research in areas of academic pursuit associated with the Middle Ages in the West. Traditionally, in addition to essential reference materials, Intellectual and Religious History, as well as manuscript studies, have been particular areas of emphasis in the collection. The recent hiring of Medievalists in numerous departments, coupled with the lack of adequate library budgets for the corresponding departments, has forced the Medieval Institute to considerably expand the range of its collecting in order to provide basic coverage of primary materials in areas which were previously given little attention.


Julia A. Schneider
715 Hesburgh Library
(574) 631-5724
FAX:  (574) 631-6772


Language:  Primarily Latin, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and English, with Greek and other western languages as necessary.

Time period covered:  From the Fall of Rome till the Reformation, that is, approximately A.D. 500 - approximately A.D. 1500, with extensions on either end where it is appropriate (e.g. Latin language & literature covers both the Late-Antique and the Humanist periods).

Geographical areas:  Western Europe with emphasis on France, Germany, Italy, and to some extent the surrounding areas, especially the Mediterranean regions.

Treatment of subject:  Focus on editions and scholarly studies. Translations of medieval texts into major western languages.

Types of material:  Primary sources, scholarly studies and reference materials, book and manuscript catalogs, journals, microforms (microfilm and microfiche), carefully selected electronic formats and occasional facsimiles of medieval manuscripts.


In view of the interdisciplinary character of the collection and of its users, cooperation is routine with the Subject Specialists in Theology, Philosophy, History, Art, Music, and in the Classical and Vernacular Languages, as well as consultation with the faculty in several departments.


Subject Collecting Level
Reference works on the Middle Ages 4
Philosophy & Theology
        Medieval western 4
        Islamic and Eastern 2
Canon Law, Papacy, Monasticism 4
History Mainly intellectual & religious history of the Latin West.
     Selectively: political and social history
Universities 4
Iconography and Manuscript Illumination 4
Art 2
Latin 3
Vernacular Languages:
        French 3
        Spanish 2
        German 2
        Italian 2
Science & medicine 2
Paleography & Manuscript Catalogs 4
Early Printed Books 3



The Medieval Institute supports the Ambrosiana Collection by providing general background materials relating specifically to that collection, and to the area surrounding Milan.

The Blackwell North America and Harrassowitz Approval Plans provide a limited amount of substantial material for the Medieval Institute collection, though they do round off the medieval holdings in the General Collection, that is, mainly for undergraduate use and are our only source of materials on economic history.

The Medieval Institute has become the depository for microformats and electronic formats associated with the medieval period. This involves not only purchasing these materials, but since there is no internal mechanism for obtaining the required equipment, this becomes an additional problem for the collection development process.