Types of Sources
Understanding the Sources
The Study of Documents
The Study of Seals
In order to facilitate scholarly work on primary sources and to make it possible to work on them outside the archives where they are held, various types of resources have been developed: source editions, abstracts of sources, and source repertoires. Some of these will be presented in this chapter. We shall use as a practical point of reference the manuscript of the Life of St. Ulrich, which we have already touched on.
"When on January 31st a synod took place in the Lateran Palace, in the presence of Pope John with the bishops and priests, in the presence of the deacons and all the clergy, the most venerable Liutold, bishop of Augsburg, stood up and said "Lord, most sacred Father, if it please you and all the other bishops and priests assembled here, let this little book that I am holding in my hands will be read out to you relating the life and miracles of the venerable Ulrich, until recently bishop of the Holy Church in Augsburg (...)".
This address comes from a copy of a papal bull dated 3rd February 993, in which the canonization of bishop Ulrich of Augsburg is supposed to have been confirmed in a charter by Pope John XV (MGH SS IV, p. 378, note 12/trans. A. Gow). This is the first known official canonization of a saint by a pope. Even if the authenticity of the bull has not been decisively established, the canonization must have been documented in some written form in the second half of the 11th century at the latest, and have been present in the consciousness of contemporaries, because the canonization was referred to by a scribe in the only surviving copy of the Augsburg Year-Books (MGH SS 3, S. 278)
Edition and other scholarly work on primary sources