decorative image
Yale University Library decorative image
Research Tools Libraries and Collections About the Library Library Services
Orbis and Library Catalogs Databases and Article Searching Online Journals and Newspapers Research Guides by Subject Ask! a Librarian
Full Text CD-ROM databases
Decorative Image
A     B     C     D     E     F     G     H     I     J     K     L     M     N     O     P     Q     R     S     T     U     V     W     X

Alphabetical Listing of Holdings     Holdings by Subject     Helpsheets     Electronic Text Search

The Patrologia Latina Full-Text Database includes the full 221 volumes of Jacques-Paul Migne’s Patrologia Latina. This scholarly work, printed originally in the 1850’s, contains the works of Christian Latin authors from AD 200 to AD 1216. Later commentaries on these works by other Latin authors has also been added, but the emphasis of the database is on the original medieval and late Roman writings.

Searching Patrologia Latina
Standard Search (F2) allows you to search for Latin or Greek keywords within a document, words in a document title, a document author, or by volume. With Search Options, located in the same box, you can choose to search in either the medieval (before 1500 AD) or modern eras.

To conduct a search, type your search terms into the appropriate search boxes or browse in each of the categories by selecting that category with the mouse and then hitting the Browse button. Within the Browse section, you can skip ahead by typing the first few letters of your term or by scrolling down rapidly through the alphabet.

Hint #1: Choose the Select Disc button on the top tool bar (a CD icon) to choose Disc 1-5 if you know the rough chronology of your search. The discs are organized chronologically. You can also Select Volume in the search box to narrow down your search. You can search multiple volumes by either choosing a range (9-15) or several individual volumes (11, 52, 117) separated by commas. The complete list of authors organized by volumes is on pages B1-B5 in the full Patrologia Latina manual. This will help make your search much faster.

Hint #2: While the computer is searching for your request, it will give you the options of Skip Disc, Abandon, and Stop Generation. Skip Disc stops the search on a given disc and moves on to the next one. This can speed your search. Abandon quits the search completely. Stop Generation will stop the search, but show you the Summary of Matches based on the volumes it already processed.

Summary of Matches
After searching, you will be taken to a Summary of Matches window. (If you have minimized this window at any point, you can return to it by selecting View Summary under Windows.)

The Summary of Matches gives you the Volume number, Author, Title, and Column of Matches. By clicking on them, you can open each text and choose to either view the full text of that document or View Context surrounding your keyword.

Hint #3: Within the full-text documents, several icons occasionally appear. The page icon signals a footnote in the text at that point; by clicking on it, the footnote will appear. The camera icon indicates a graphic, which can also be viewed. Likewise, the lined rectangle denotes a table and the arrow is a hypertext link to a cross-reference in another document.

Viewing Full Text Without Searches

Go To (F3)
After pressing F3 or the Go To icon on the tool bar, pull down a volume and column number from the list presented for each disc. By then selecting the Go To button, you will be taken to the full text of that column and can scroll back and forth.

Table of Contents (F4)
This button on the tool bar allows you to view the contents of each volume. By clicking on it, you will see the list of volumes for that CD disc. Clicking the + sign to the left of each volume will show its contents. You can view the full text of each document by double clicking on it. You can navigate the Table of Contents with the scroll bar.

Printing and Saving ResultsTo print or save a document, highlight a section of text and press F9 to print it or F10 to save it. F9/F10 will also save or print an active graphics or table window. However, more large-scale printing is not permitted due to copyright infringements.

For More Information:
Consult the Guide to the Patrologia Latina Database or the user manual.

© 2000 Yale University Library
E-mail questions to
Phone Reference (203) 432-1775/1780


© 2007 Yale University Library
This file last modified 07/16/01
Send comments to the SML Reference Desk

image map of navigational links
Search this siteYale UniversityYaleInfoContact UsOrbis Library CatalogLibrary hours