Back to Medieval Source Book

Medieval Sourcebook:
Use of Secondary Sources


The Internet Medieval Sourcebook consists primarily of a series of onsite primary sources - both excerpted and full-text.

In addition a Secondary Sources page links to essays at various places on the internet which relate to the primary source material here.

In some cases a link has also been made on the main source texts pages to a secondary source which discusses the specific primary source or its author. Such links are only made if the offsite location is secure and meant as a permanent Internet resource.

The Catholic Encyclopedia

At the moment the biggest source of such secondary material is the WEB Catholic Encyclopedia of 1917. Now in US public domain, this 1917 encyclopeadia is being made available in its entirety on the World Wide Web. Although, occasionally, it can be a partisan in its representation of historical events, for the most part the impartial standards of scholarship were met, and its contributors were scholars in their fields. For basic data and bibliography it is by far the most useful WWW resource. The main problem, of course, is that it was finished in 1917 - its comments, and bibliographies, can never thus be taken as the final word.

As they become available other secondary sources may be added to the Sourcebook.


This text is copyright. The specific electronic form, and any notes and questions are copyright. Permission is granted to copy the text, and to print out copies for personal and educational use. No permission is granted for commercial use.

If any copyright has been infringed, this was unintentional. The possibility of a site such as this, as with other collections of electronic texts, depends on the large availability of public domain material from texts translated before 1920. [In the US, all texts issued before 1920 are now in the public domain. Texts published before 1964 may be in the public domain if copyright was not renewed after 28 years. This site seeks to abide by US copyright law: the copyright status of texts here outside the US may be different.] Efforts have been made to ascertain the copyright status of all texts here, although, occasionally, this has not been possible where older or non-US publishers seem to have ceased existence. Some of the recently translated texts here are copyright to the translators indicated in each document. These translators have in every case given permission for non-commercial reproduction. This site is intended for educational use. Notification of copyright infringement will result in the immediate removal of a text until its status is resolved.

Paul Halsall January 1996 - May 1997
halsall@fordham.edu