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Primary Sources in Print
Often a variety of primary documents are collected together into a book (usually related to a time period, topic, or theme).
Below are just a few broad collections in the Library; each book contains many original documents.
(Note: many of these books will contain both primary and secondary content, so use your judgement or ask a librarian for help in distinguishing the two).
Paganism and Christianity, 100-425 C. E.
Call Number: BR128.R7 P34 1992, 4th floor
This book is a collection of nearly 175 documents—from saints, emperors, philosophers, satirists, inscriptions, graffiti, and other interesting types—that sheds light on the complex fabric of religious belief as it changed from a variety of non-Judeo-Christian movements to Christian in late antiquity.
Christianity and Paganism, 350-750: The Conversion of Western Europe
Call Number: Read Online - Or print is available: BR200 .C47 1986, 4th floor
Using sermons, exorcisms, letters, biographies of the saints, inscriptions, autobiographical and legal documents--some of which are translated nowhere else--Hillgarth shows how the Christian church went about the formidable task of converting western Europe. Covers such topics as the relationship between the Church and the Roman state, Christian attitudes toward the barbarians, missions to northern Europe, the cult of relics in popular Christianity, and the emergence of consciously Christian monarchies.
Voices of Early Christianity
Call Number: REF BR167 .V65 2013
This fascinating resource examines the day-to-day lives of early Christians--as depicted through documented accounts of the period--from the beginning of Christianity through 325 CE.
Life and Practice in the Early Church: A documentary reader
Call Number: Read Online
Life and Practice in the Early Church brings together a range of primary texts from the church's first five centuries to demonstrate how early Christians practiced their faith. Rather than focusing on theology, these original documents shed light on how early believers "did church," addressing such practical questions as, how did the church administer baptism? How were sermons delivered? How did the early church carry out its missions endeavors?
Worship in the Early Church: An anthology of historical sources
Call Number: BV6 .J64 2009, volumes 1-4, 4th floor - accompanying CD-ROM at Reserves Desk
Worship in the Early Church is a collection of excerpts from early Christian writings illustrating the Church's liturgical practice in both East and West, from its Jewish beginnings through the end of the sixth century. Four printed volumes plus an accompanying CD-ROM.
Medieval Popular Religion, 1000-1500: A reader
Call Number: BR252 .M42 1997, 4th floor
Unique collection of 82 sources that casts light on the beliefs and practices of ordinary Christians in the Middle Ages.
Medieval Saints: A reader
Call Number: BX4654 .M435 1999, 4th floor
This text includes a number of writings by or about women saints, as well as a large percentage of material which, prior to this book, was not available in English.
The Documents of the Christian Church, 4th edition
Call Number: BR141 .B4 2011, 4th floor
This selection of writings from the most important moments in the history of Christianity has become established as a classic reference work, providing insights into 2000 years of Christian theological and political debate. The older third edition is available online
Readings in church history
Call Number: BR141.B27 volumes 1-3, 4th floor
v. 1. From Pentecost to the Protestant revolt. -- v. 2. The Reformation and the absolute states. -- v. 3. The modern era; 1789 to the present.
What is a Primary Source?
Primary Source Collections Online
Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana - Vatican Library
This digital archive of thousands of manuscripts from the Vatican library may inform Catholic history research. (Vatican Library)
Christian Classics Ethereal Library
Digital library of classic Christian texts. (Calvin College)
Dead Sea Scrolls Online
From site description: "gives users access to searchable, fast-loading, high-resolution images of the scrolls, as well as short explanatory videos and background information on the texts and their history. The Dead Sea Scrolls, which include the oldest known biblical manuscripts in existence, offer critical insight into Jewish society in the Land of Israel during the Second Temple Period, the time of the birth of Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism. Five complete scrolls from the Israel Museum have been digitized for the project at this stage and are now accessible online." (The Israel Museum, Jerusalem)
Digital Scriptorium: Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts
A growing image database of medieval and renaissance manuscripts that unites scattered resources from many institutions into an international tool for teaching and scholarly research. (Univ. of California-Berkeley)
Early Christian Writings
A good collection of links to information about and online texts of Christian primary sources dating from 30 to 250 CE. By Peter Kirby, a student at Fullerton College in California.
From Jesus to Christ: Primary Sources
A small selection of original documents tied to the PBS special, "From Jesus to Christ: The First Christians." (PBS)
Internet History Sourcebook: Christian Origins
Links to a variety of digitized or transcribed primary sources in early Christianity. (Fordham University)
Into His Own: Perspective on the World of Jesus
From site description: "Passages included here have been excerpted from works written by Jewish authors, especially those composed after the Hebrew scriptures that can be found in any Christian 'Old Testament.' But there are also selections from non-Jewish sources that help bring the writings of Christian authors into a clearer cultural perspective." This collection of primary sources is a highly acclaimed site recognized by the American Theological Library Association.(Mahlon H. Smith)
The Crusades: Primary Sources
This sampling of primary sources in print focuses on the First through the Fourth Crusades.
Crusade and Christendom: Annotated documents in translation from Innocent III to the fall of Acre, 1187-1291
Call Number: D151 .C765 2013, 4th floor
Arab Historians of the Crusades
Call Number: D157 .S76 1984, 4th flooor
Contemporary Arab accounts of the fighting between Muslim and Christian. Extracts are drawn from seventeen different authors encompassing a multitude of sources showing the Crusades through Arab eyes.
The Crusade of Frederick Barbarossa: The history of the expedition of the Emperor Frederick and related texts
Call Number: Read Online
This is the first English translation of the main contemporary accounts of the Crusade and death of the German Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa (ruled 1152-90). The main text here, the 'History of the Expedition of the Emperor Frederick', was written soon after the events described, and is a crucial, and much under-used source for the Third Crusade. A number of subsidiary texts also translated illustrate and expand this main account, and place the crusade in context.
The First Crusade: The chronicle of Fulcher of Chartres and other source materials
Call Number: D161.1 .F57 1998 , 4th floor
The Deeds of the Franks and Other Jerusalem-Bound Pilgrims: The earliest chronicle of the first crusades
Call Number: D161.1 .G413 2011, 4th floor
The Gesta Tancredi of Ralph of Caen: A history of the Normans on the First Crusade by
Call Number: Read Online
First translation into English of Ralph of Caen's Gesta Tancredi. Exceptionally important narrative of the First Crusade and its immediate aftermath, covering the period 1096 - 1105, but often neglected. The most important Latin source for the Norman campaigns in Cilicia (1097 - 1108), and for the early Norman rule of Antioch. The work as a whole has a striking Norman point of view and contains details found in no other source.
Memoirs of the crusades by
Call Number: D164.V5, 4th floor
Fourth Crusades, 1202-1204.