Scholarly research is a key enterprise at the Medieval Institute and its library collection provides an unequaled resource essential to the study of the Middle Ages. Already in the 1930s, Notre Dame’s library was acquiring books to support the study of the Middle Ages, a process bolstered by the establishment of the Medieval Institute in 1946 and a period of postwar growth. The collections have been shaped for nearly nine decades by a succession of librarians eager to accommodate shifts in the research needs of its community over time.
Today, the Medieval Institute Library houses nearly 30,000 books across six reference collections in its five dedicated reading rooms and over 60,000 additional, circulating volumes located in the Medieval Institute General Collection. These resources provide the backbone for the extensive scholarly research that takes place here every day. Scholars from around the world visit Notre Dame to use these materials. The Reading Rooms and Reference Collections are open to all patrons from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, excepting University holidays.
Further information about accessing the collections can be found on the Hesburgh Library’s Medieval Institute Library site. For assistance with research and collection development, please contact the library collection specialists, Dr. Julia Schneider (Medieval Studies Librarian) and Dr. David T. Gura (Curator of Ancient and Medieval Manuscripts and Byzantine Studies Librarian).
These resources may be of special interest:
Incunabula (a guide to the Library’s collections of books printed in Europe before 1501)
Medieval Studies (a guide to some basic medieval studies reference materials)
Byzantine Studies (a guide to some basic Byzantine studies reference materials)
Milton V. Anastos Library of Byzantine Civilization (a 40,000-volume private collection of one of America’s leading Byzantinists, acquired by Notre Dame in 1997)
Byzantine Studies at Notre Dame (describes Notre Dame's interdisciplinary academic programs and resources for students and faculty interested in studying Byzantium)
Ambrosiana Microfilm Collection (the Frank M. Folsom Microfilm and Photographic Collection consists of positive and negative microfilms of over 10,000 Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts belonging to the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan, together with about 50,000 photographs of miniatures, illuminated initials, and Old Master drawings supplemented by some 15,000 color slides)
Inventory-Catalogues of the Ambrosiana Drawings (a database created by Prof. Emeritus Robert Randolf Coleman, that catalogues the more than 8,000 drawings by European artists of the 14th through 19th centuries in the Ambrosiana Library)
Astrik L. Gabriel Universities Collection (books, microfilms, and other materials on the history of medieval universities assembled by Astrik Gabriel, director of the Medieval Institute from 1952 to 1975)
Dante Collection (the Zahm Dante Collection is one of the best in North America)