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Global Catholicism in the Age of Discovery, 1450-1700: Reference Sources

This is a guide to researching Catholicism around the world in the age of discovery, 1450-1700

Reference Sources

These are subject dictionaries, encyclopedias, biographical sources, guides to research, and book-length bibliographies.  Use them to learn about a new topic, to discover how to broaden or narrow a topic, and to find further reading references.  Some are available online; others may be found in Reference on the first floor in the lobby area by the Desk, or in the Main stacks.

New Catholic Encyclopedia Reference   BX 841 .C25 2002 v. 1-15

Roman Catholic viewpoint.  Many biographical entries, as well as entries on topics, events, places, organizations.  Much revision in this edition; see older editions in Main stacks.  The 1913 edition is also online.

Cambridge Encyclopedia of the Jesuits Main BX 3702 .A1 C36 2017

Contains signed entries, from several paragraphs to several pages in length on topics, personalities, events, places, ideas, etc.

Boston College Jesuit Bibliography: the New Sommervogel Online

Covers books, book chapters, journal articles and book reviews pertaining to the exponentially growing field of Jesuit Studies.

Oxford Encyclopedia of the Reformation.  Reference BR 302.8 .O93 1996 v. 1-4

A major work examining all aspects of the European Reformation of the sixteenth century. "It uses the broadest possible definition of the Reformation in order to depict not only religious life but also the related societal phenomena that in one way or another had bearing on religion." Signed articles, written by an international group of scholars, cover persons, places, events, groups, movements, creeds, and texts. Article bibliographies include primary and secondary sources. The synoptic outline of articles in v. 4 enables readers to locate all relevant articles on a broader theme, while the index is best used to locate treatments of people and topics buried under other headings.

For many more encyclopedias and dictionaries in the religion field see the research guide called Religions of the World.

Europe 1450 to 1789 Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World Reference D 209 .E97 2004 v. 1-6

Over 1,150 articles about early modern Europe. Articles reflect current historiographical concerns with much material on cultural history, as well as entries reflecting anthropological influences ("Ritual, civic and royal"; "Race, theories of"), social class distinctions ("Equality and inequality"), and global concerns ("Sugar"). Overview articles treat not only countries and major concepts but also pull together instances of broader social phenomena ("Refugees, exiles, and emigres"). The 450 people profiled are those of greatest importance for the period; the articles generally present the figures in a balanced fashion, with coverage given to their actions, ideas, and historical contexts. The editor defines Europe broadly, including articles and general coverage on Russia, Eastern Europe, and the Ottoman Empire, as well as European colonies throughout the world.  Select bibliographies, with both primary and secondary sources, accompany the articles. Cross-references identify related articles in the encyclopedia. Reproductions of artwork, maps, and graphs are scattered throughout.

Encyclopedia of the Atlantic World, 1400-1900 Main D 410 .E53 2018 v. 1-2

Spanning the half millennium from the time European explorers reached the Canary Islands to the Spanish-American War, these volumes address commerce and migration as well as the spread of new ideas, beliefs, cultures, religions, politics, monetary systems, plants, animals, and diseases. Significant individuals, influential nations, and empires are examined. With such a gamut to cover, the subjects of the alphabetically ordered entries here are necessarily representative rather than comprehensive. Averaging two to three pages in length and contributed by scholars from all over the world, the entries are accessible and concise and conclude with lists of references and further reading.

Encyclopedia of Exploration to 1800 Main G 80 .H68 2003

“A comprehensive reference guide to the history and literature of exploration, travel and colonization from the earliest times to the year 1800.” “The best reference work on the history of exploration. Contains 2,327 entries and nearly 20,000 bibliographic citations. ‘It is a tour de force of descriptive, biographic, and bibliographic documentation. Entries are arranged alphabetically, primarily by explorer name, and articles and bibliographies on thematic issues are scattered throughout the work.’” All entries by the author, Raymond John Howgego.

New Dictionary of the History of Ideas Reference CB 9 .N49 2005 v. 1-6

Previous edition is online also.  New edition expands on it, adding many articles on non-Western European topics.  Articles of substantial length, contributed by an international roster of scholars, on a wide range of topics in intellectual history, emphasizing interdisciplinary connections and cross-cultural relations. Neither edition has biographical articles.

Encyclopedia of the Renaissance Reference CB 361 .E53 1999 v. 1-6

Produced in association with the Renaissance Society of America. Presents nearly 1,200 entries by over 600 scholars. Articles range from less than 1 page to 25 ("Humanism") and 46 ("Renaissance") pages. Contents cover the full range of culture and history. Time span begins with Italy in 1350, adds the rest of Europe by 1450, and ends in the early 17th century. Addresses trends in recent Renaissance historiography (including humanism throughout Europe, increased emphasis on social history, and the study of women) and has thoroughly incorporated them into the text. Bibliographies often feature a section of primary sources and secondary materials. Many illustrations, including colored plates, maps of regions, countries, and cities, a chronology, and genealogical tables.

Reformation Era Main BR 305.3 .L55 2008

See Chapter 6 on the Catholic Reformation.  Selection of primary source documents.  Annotated bibliography.

Chronology of World History, Volume II, 1492-1775 The Expanding World Reference D 11 .M39 1999 v. 2

Contains over 70,000 entries. Arranged in chronological sequence by year, month, day. Within each time period, "the entries have been carefully grouped into four main categories and 25 subcategories.” Four main categories are: politics, government, and economics; arts and ideas; science, technology, and medicine; and society. Various at-a-glance "micro-chronologies" on important people, events, or topics.

Portuguese and Brazilian Books in the John Carter Brown Library, 1537-1839; with a Selection of Braziliana Printed in Countries Other than Portugal and Brazil.  Main Z 1671 .P85 2009

Great Events from History Series

Renaissance and Early Modern Era 1454-1600 Main D 228 .G73 2005 v. 1-2

17th Century 1601-1700 Main D 246 .G68 2006 v. 1-2

These have nice multi-page articles providing summary of event, significance, and further reading references.

Cambridge History of Christianity Volume 6 Reform and Expansion 1500-1660  Main BR 305.3 .R44 2007

Cambridge History of Christianity Volume 7 Enlightenment, Reawakening and Revolution 1660-1815  Main BR 470 .E54 2006

Multi-volume history.  V. 6 chapters 9-12 on Catholic Renewal; chapters 26-30 on Christianity and other faiths.  V. 7 has chapters covering the Christianity in the North Atlantic World, British and French in North America, Iberian America, East, South, and South-east Asia, Africa, and Christianity’s encounters with other world religions.  Bibliographies of both primary and secondary sources for each chapter in back of each volume.

Oxford Handbook of the Jesuits  Main BX 3702.3 .O94 2019

Edited chapters by scholars around the world cover their foundation and administration, spirituality and economy, education and politics, global mission (in Iberia, in England, in the Orthodox world, and Islam in early modern Europe, in colonial Iberia, in Asia (India, China, Japan), and in Africa), their aesthetics and artistic production, scientific projects, anti-Jesuitism, enlightenment, and their suppression, and their restoration. 



Great Lives from History Series

Renaissance and Early Modern Era, 1454-1600 Main CT 115 .G74 2005 v. 1-2

17th Century 1601-1700 Main CT 117 .G74 2006 v. 1-2

Facts of person’s life, life’s work, significance of person, further reading references

Biography & Genealogy Master Index

BGMI indexes current, readily available reference sources, as well as the most important retrospective works that cover individuals, both living and deceased, from every field of activity and from all areas of the world.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (ODNB) Main DA 28 .O95 v. 1-60

Scholarly, signed, biographical entries, with further reading references for famous deceased British men and women.


Guides to Research

History Highway, a 21st Century Guide to Internet Resources Reference D 16.117

A guide to history web sites.

Reformation and Early Modern Europe, a Guide to Research Main BR 305. 3 .R42 2008

Doesn’t deal with the wider world, but does have a chapter on early modern Catholicism, pp. 57-79

American Historical Association’s Guide to Historical Literature Reference and Main D 20 .A55 v. 1-2

Contains nearly 27,000 annotated, numbered citations (primarily to English language works) divided into 48 sections. Arrangement is by broad subject and country groups. Citations refer chiefly to works published between 1961 and 1992. Very short annotations. Points to classic works.

Guide to Reference Main Z 1035 .G8 ed. 11

Lists and describes reference works of all types in all subject fields.  Beware, though, it was published in 1996, so nothing published since then will be included.  Useful for identification of older works.

Guide to Jesuit Archives Main CD 974 .M33 2001

Created from a questionnaire sent to all Jesuit provincials and regional superiors asking for location, historical background, conditions of use, acquisitions policies, and description of the nature and extent of archival material held in the official archives of the 90 provinces and independent regions of the Society of Jesus on every continent and in the central archives of the Society in Rome.  Information is in English, French, German, and Spanish, and includes translations into English of entries submitted in the other languages.  Published in 2001.

Roman Sources for the History of American Catholicism, 1763-1939  Main BX 1406.3 .B56 2018

Uncovers many of the collections found in small, under-the-radar archives in Rome.  Includes detailed descriptions of archival holdings providing broad outlines of the collections and what types of materials they have.  Also gives info on the nature of these collections with snippets of info.  Most descriptions contain bibliographies.  Author has details about hours of operation, contact info, accessibility.  Not all collections covered are open to outside scholars.  No claim to exhaustive coverage.

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