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Boston College Jesuit Bibliography: The New Sommervogel

Library Books at the Institute

The Boston College Jesuit Bibliography: The New Sommervogel is your first stop for research in the expanding field of Jesuit studies. A comprehensive and searchable online database, the New Sommervogel encompasses books, chapters, articles, reviews, dissertations, and other materials relating to the Jesuit order. These records are being compiled through a systematic search of over 1300 journals as well as WorldCat records and existing bibliographies. In addition to standard bibliographical data, each entry includes up to four detailed subject headings, along with abstracts and direct links to the materials or their WorldCat records whenever such resources are available. The database is produced by the Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies in conjunction with Brill, which hosts and maintains the site. A global and growing network of correspondents assists with the collection of journal articles. Funding from Boston College ensures that the database, which is set to launch this summer with an initial offering of over 3500 records spanning the years 2011-2013, will be an open-access resource.

The Boston College Jesuit Bibliography is the most recent incarnation of a long and distinctive tradition of Jesuit bibliography. St. Ignatius himself insisted that the order’s business be conducted through written correspondence, a large archive of which was carefully maintained by his secretary, Juan Alfonso de Polanco. The first bibliography appeared in 1608, less than a century after the Society was established, and received several subsequent updates. Following the suppression and restoration of the Jesuit order in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the bibliographical thread was resurrected through the heroic efforts of several Jesuit scholars, chief among them the Alsatian priest Carlos Sommervogel. His project was expanded in the 20th century by the late László Polgár and subsequently continued by Paul Begheyn. The Boston College Jesuit Bibliography builds upon and will ultimately incorporate the work of all of its predecessors, using the new tools of the digital humanities to bring a venerable bibliographical tradition into the 21st century.


If you would like to learn more about the Boston College Jesuit Bibliography: The New Sommervogel project or would like to contribute to it, please contact Kasper Volk at