Scholarly Literature

The manuscripts of the medieval monastic library at St. Gall function for us today as primary sources (see chapter on" Sources"). Scholarly examination of such sources has produced a large number of publications (secondary literature) that document our understanding of the Middle Ages. Dealing with (and being able to read!) both primary sources and secondary literature is necessary for the successful study of medieval history, and is the foundation of any further scholarly work. In this chapter, we will deal with scholarly literature, survey the many ways in which it is published and disseminated, and lay out its various functions and content.