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Roman Catholic Church History: Basic Sources

General Histories
Thomas Bokenkotter. A Concise History of the Catholic Church (revised and expanded edition). 1990. (BX945.2 .B64 1990)

William J. Collinge. Historical Dictionary of Catholicism. 1997. (Reference BX945.2 .C65 1997)

Michael Glazier and Thomas J. Shelley, editors. The Encyclopedia of American Catholic History. 1997. (Reference BX1406.2 .E53 1997)

J. Derek Holmes and Bernard W. Bickers. A Short History of the Catholic Church. "New Millennium Edition," 2002. (BX945.2.H63 2002)

Hubert Jedin and John Dolan, editors. History of the Church. 1980 —. (Reference and Stacks BR145.2 .J413 1980) Ten volumes; volumes I, III, and IV are titled Handbook of Church History.

New Catholic Encyclopedia (2nd edition). 2003. (Reference BX841 .N44 2003) Many articles on historical topics. Use the Index (Volume 15) to find where particular topics are treated.
NOTE: The content of the online Catholic Encyclopedia dates from 1913. While it contains valuable historical information, readers should consult more current sources for updated scholarship.

Online chronology: Dates and Events in Catholic History, 1st Century to 10th Century and 11th Century to 20th Century from the Catholic Almanac Online.

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Saints' Lives
David Hugh Farmer. The Oxford Dictionary of Saints. 1997. (Reference BR1710 .F34 1997) Also available through Oxford Reference Online on all campus networked computers -- select "Religion and Philosophy."

On the Internet: Catholic Online Saints and Angels

Butler's Lives of the Saints. New Full Edition, 1995. 12 volumes, one for each month of the year. (Reference BX4654 .B8 1995)

Bert Ghezzi. Voices of the Saints: A Year of Readings. 2000. (Reference BX4655.2 .G49 2000) Each brief biography includes "a substantial quotation by or about the saint, giving you a feel for what he or she was really like" (Introduction).

Ferdinand Holböck. Married Saints and Blesseds Through the Centuries. 2002. (Reference BX4655.3 .H6413 2002)

Kathleen Jones. Women Saints: Lives of Faith and Courage. 1999. (Reference BX4656 .J66 1999)

Richard P. McBrien. Lives of the Saints: from Mary and St. Francis of Assisi to John XXIII and Mother Teresa. 2001. (Reference BX4655.3 .M33 2001) In addition to the lives of holy women and men (both canonized and uncanonized), this volume includes articles on the politics of canonization and the differences between various schools of Christian spirituality.

Joseph N. Tylenda, S.J. Jesuit Saints and Martyrs. Second edition, 1998. (Reference and Stacks BX3755 .T94 1998)

Kenneth L. Woodward. Making Saints: How the Catholic Church Determines Who Becomes a Saint, Who Doesn't, and Why.

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Related Searches

1990. (Stacks BX2330 .W66 1990)

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Papal Histories
Frank J. Coppa, editor. Encyclopedia of the Vatican and Papacy. 1999. (Reference BX955.2 .E53 1999)

J. N. D. Kelly. The Oxford Dictionary of Popes. 1986. (Reference BX955.2.K45 1986) Also available through Oxford Reference Online on all campus networked computers -- select "Religion and Philosophy."

Philippe Levillain, general editor. The Papacy: an encyclopedia. John W. O'Malley, S.J., consultant for the English language edition. 2002. (Reference BX955.2 .D53 2002)

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Church Documents in Print
J. Neuner and J. Dupuis. The Christian Faith in the Doctrinal Documents of the Catholic Church. Sixth revised and enlarged edition, 1996. (Reference BX1747.5 .C48 1996; previous editions also in Reference. Older versions, under the title The Teaching of the Catholic Church as Contained in Her Documents, are in Reference and Stacks at BX850 .N413 1967.)

Documents of the Christian Church, selected and edited by Henry Bettenson. Third edition (1999) edited by Chris Maunder. (BR141 .B4 -- Latest edition in Reference and Stacks; previous editions also in Stacks)

Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils. Includes the documents in the original languages and English translations.Volume 1: Nicaea I to Lateran V -- Volume 2: Trent to Vatican II (Reference BX825 .A1990)

Claudia Carlen. The Papal Encyclicals, 1740-1981 and Papal Pronouncements: A Guide: 1740-1978 (Reference BX850.Z9 C37 1990 and BX860 .A3 1981 )

Anne Fremantle, editor. The Papal Encyclicals in Their Historical Context. Includes "What Is an Encyclical?" (Stacks BX860 .A36 1956a)

Maureen Fiedler and Linda Rabben, editors. Rome Has Spoken: A Guide to Forgotten Papal Statements and How They Have Changed Through the Centuries. (Reference BX1747.5 .R66 1998)

Origins -- weekly documentary publication of the Catholic News Service. Current year is kept at the Circulation Desk and in Recent Periodical stacks; older issues are in Bound Periodicals. To search for a specific document, use the index issues printed on colored paper, or search in Origins Online.

Pastoral Letters of the United States Catholic Bishops. Six volumes covering the years 1792 to 1997.(Reference BX872.A2 N63 1983) More recent documents can be found on the U.S. Bishops' web site.

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Church Documents Online
Vatican Web Site
United States Catholic Bishops' Conference

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Articles in Journals
Recent issues of these journals are shelved in Current Periodicals on the Lower Level; older copies are in Bound Periodicals.

The Catholic Historical Review. Articles and reviews on specific topics can be found by using ATLAS or the Catholic Periodical and Literature Index Online (printed volumes since 1930). Also, each bound volume of the journal closes with an index of all articles for that year.

Church History. Articles and reviews on specific topics can be found by using ATLAS.

U.S. Catholic Historian. Articles and reviews on specific topics can be found by using the Catholic Periodical and Literature Index Online, or in print.

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Current Events
National Catholic Reporter

Paper format: Shelved in the Library Atrium. The Library holds the paper copy of every issue until microfilm arrives.
Microfilm: Includes all issues since NCR started in 1964; available for viewing in the Reference Room. Ask Library staff for assistance.
Online: Articles from 1992 till the present are also available in full text in InfoTrac. Go to InfoTrac and select "Expanded Academic ASAP." NCR also provides selected articles on its own web site at www.natcath.org.
Searching for articles: For articles from 1981 to the present, use the Catholic Periodical and Literature Index Online. Articles since 1967 are indexed in the printed version of the Catholic Periodical and Literature Index, in the Reference Room. From these indexes, you will need to go to the microfilm for the actual text of articles.
L'Osservatore Romano (English edition)

Print edition: Library keeps the most recent year only; shelved in the Library Atrium.
Electronic edition: Full text from 1968 through 2003, accessible from Library computers only.
Microfilm: includes every issue of the English language edition from 1968 through 1998. Available for viewing in the Reference Room. Ask Library staff for assistance.
To look up articles on particular topics from L'Osservatore Romano, use the Catholic Periodical and Literature Index Online, or in the Reference Room . Then go to the microfilm or electronic edition of L'Osservatore Romano for the actual text of articles.
Catholic Trends -- biweekly overview of church news, from the Catholic News Service. Shelved with Newsletters on the Lower Level.

Catholic News Service -- web site for news of the Catholic Church in the United States and the world, sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

For commentary on current events in the Catholic Church, see the journals America, Commonweal, and The Tablet. The Library subscribes to all these periodicals in paper editions; to find out if online access is available, use the E-Journal Finder.

Religion Newswriters Association -- Links to "Today's Headlines" in religion news.

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Statistics and Directories

Annuario Pontificio. (BX845 .A75; current volume in Reference, previous nine years in Stacks) Annual directory of the Church's hierarchy, the Roman Curia and its related agencies, religious orders, and theological academies, with historical notes on each. In Italian.

Statistical Yearbook of the Church. (Reference BX845 .A2) Data on the Catholic Church's membership and apostolic work throughout the world, both current and retrospective. Figures include baptisms and marriages, numbers of priests and religious, and marriage tribunal cases.

The Official Catholic Directory. (Reference BX845 .O3) Lists personnel, parishes, and institutions in every diocese of the United States and its territories. Provides statistics for each diocese, as well as lists of priests both living and recently deceased, and a directory of religious orders. Information on dioceses and parishes is also available at the web site of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Boston Catholic Directory. (Reference BX1417 .B6 A1) Lists all personnel, parishes, offices, and institutions of the Archdiocese of Boston. Some of the same information is available at the web site of the Archdiocese.

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Using WebCat to Find More:
Suggested Subject Headings
Use these headings to 'Browse' by Subject in WebCat (but omit the hyphens (--) when typing in the headings). Additional terms, which can help to refine a search, are shown in brackets; "xx" = any number.

For Church documents, try:

Catholic Church--Pastoral letters and charges
Bulls, Papal
Encyclicals, Papal
Letters, Papal
Papal documents

For histories of the Church, try:

Catholic Church--History--[xxth Century]
Catholic Church--[country]
Catholic Church--[state]
Church history--[country]

For saints and other persons, try:

Mary, Blessed Virgin, Saint
Francis of Assisi, Saint
Ignatius Loyola, Saint
Cabrini, Frances Xavier, Saint
Day, Dorothy
John Paul II, Pope

For collections of biographies, try:

Catholics-- [place]
Catholic women
Christian saints
Christian women saints
Christian biography
Afro-American Catholics [or] African American Catholics
Hispanic American Catholics
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