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The database Ut per litteras apostolicas (LITPA) represents an electronic version of the celebrated Registres et lettres des Papes du XIIIe siècle (32 vols.: Rome, 1883- ) and the Registres et lettres des Papes du XIVe siècle (48 vols.: Rome, 1899- ). Furthermore, it has been enriched with unpublished material (litterae communes of Gregory XI from 1371 to 1375 and the registers of petitions of Urbain V).

Ut per litteras apostolicas provides striking information on the most varied aspects of medieval society: church institutions, the clergy, the papal states, politics, the legal system, taxation, government and finance, secular society, the religious life, intellectual and artistic life, the economy, wars, law and order, the environment and natural disasters, and daily life.

Aims and scope

Ut per litteras apostolicas provides online the complete collection of papal letters from the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. But it is the possibility of searching such a resource with powerful software which makes this database so useful. As a result, a documentary source which has been underexploited, or even unexploited, can now be studied. The international community of medievalists will, for the first time, now be able to draw properly on this rich body of material.

This database of papal registers, Ut per litteras apostolicas, provides both more extensive and more intensive searching than has hitherto been possible from the conventional printed publications.

In particular, the user can undertake a search either on the entire database of all the pontificates or on one particular papacy or even a particular year of a papacy, and can refine the search according to various criteria – date, type of letter, place of issue, and so forth – within designated fields which draw their information from independent documentary sources.

It should be possible, for instance, to identify a bull according to its date of publication (both in the Latin original and its modern equivalent) or its reference number in the printed edition, to undertake a word- or name-search taking into account a large number of possible spelling variants (since the software automatically checks alternative spellings based on common variants found in medieval Latin), or to undertake a search by subject-matter (such as on religious life, or another of the subjects mentioned above).

LITPA: view of a record

LITPA: view of a record

Key Features

  • The current documents present, beyond the analyses, the actual editions of numerous letters.
  • Any errors that have been identified in the analyses of the original publication have been corrected. The data presented is an improvement on what is found in the printed editions.
  • The present version of the database contains more than 250,000 documents, all categories included.


The current (4th edition of the) database consists of approximately 250.000 documents and covers the following pontificates:




Honorius III (1216-1227)

Regesta Honorii papae III (1216-1227), éd. P. Pressutti, Roma, 1888-1895, 2 vols.


Gregory IX (1227-1241)

Les registres de Grégoire IX (1227-1241), éd. L. Auvray, Paris, 1890-1955, 4 vols. (BEFAR)


Innocent IV (1243-1254)

Les registres d’Innocent IV (1243-1254), éd. E. Berger, Paris, 1884-1921, 4 vols. (BEFAR)


Alexander IV (1254-1261)

Les Registres d’Alexandre IV (1254-1261), éd. Ch. Bourel de la Roncière, J. de Loye, P. de Cénival et A. Coulon, Paris, 1895-1959, 3 vols. (BEFAR)


Urban IV (1261-1264)

Les Registres d’Urbain IV (1261-1264), éd. J. Guiraud, Paris 1892-1958, 4 vols. (BEFAR)

+ 3017

Clement IV (1265-1268)

Les Registres de Clément IV (1265-1268), éd. E. Jordan, Paris, 1893-1945, 1 vol. (BEFAR)


Gregory X (1272-1276)
John XXI (1276-1277)

Les Registres de Grégoire X (1272-1276) et de Jean XXI (1276-1277), Paris, 1892-1960, 1 vol. (BEFAR)

+ 165

Nicholas III (1277-1280)

Les Registres de Nicolas III (1277-1280), éd. J. Guiraud et L. Cadier, Paris, 1898-1938, 1 vol. (BEFAR)


Martin IV (1281-1285)

Les Registres de Martin IV (1281-1283), éd. F. Olivier-Martin, Paris, 1901-1935, 1 vol. (BEFAR)


Honorius IV (1285-1287)

Les Registres d’Honorius IV (1285-1287), éd. M. Prou, Paris, 1886-1888, 1 vol. (BEFAR)


Nicholas IV (1288-1292)

Les Registres de Nicolas IV (1288-1292), éd. E. Langlois, Paris, 1887-1893, 2 vols. (BEFAR)


Boniface VIII (1295-1303)

Les Registres de Boniface VIII (1294-1303), éd. G. Digard, M. Faucon, A. Thomas et R. Fawtier, Paris, 1884-1939, 4 vols. (BEFAR)


Benedict XI (1303-1304)

Le Registre de Benoit XI (1303-1304), éd. Ch. Grandjean, Paris, 1883-1905, 1 vol. (BEFAR)


Clement V (1305-1314)

Regestum Clementis papae V…, O.S.B., Roma, 1885-1892, 10 vols.


John XXII (1316-1334)

Jean XXII (1316-1334), Lettres communes, éd. G. Mollat, Paris, 1904-1947,16 vols. (BEFAR)


Jean XXII (1316-1334), Lettres secrètes et curiales relatives á la France, éd. A. Coulon et S. Clémencet, Paris, 1900-1972, 4 vols. (BEFAR)


Benedict XII (1334-1342)

Benoit XII (1334-1342), Lettres communes, éd. J.-M. Vidal, Paris 1902-1911, 3 vols. (BEFAR)


Benoit XII (1334-1342), Lettres closes, patentes et curiales se rapportant a la France, éd. G. Daumet, Paris, 1899-1920, 1 vol. (BEFAR)


Benoit XII (1334-1342), Lettres closes et patentes intéressant les pays autres que la France, éd. J.-M. Vidal, Paris, 1913-1950, 2 vols. (BEFAR)


Clement VI (1342-1352)

Clément VI (1342-1352), Lettres closes, patentes et curiales se rapportant á la France, éd. E. Déprez, G. Mollat et J. Glénisson, Paris, 1925-1961, 3 vols. (BEFAR)


Clément VI (1342-1352), Lettres closes, patentes et curiales intéressant les pays autres que la France, éd. E. Déprez et G. Mollat, Paris, 1960-1961, 1 vol. (BEFAR)


Innocent VI (1352-1362)

Innocent VI (1352-1362), Lettres secrètes et curiales, éd. M.-H. Laurent et N. Gotteri, Paris, 1959-en cours de publication, 5 vols. (BEFAR)


Urban V (1362-1370)

Urbain V (1362-1370), Lettres communes, éd. M.-H. Laurent et alii, Paris, 1954-1989, 12 vols. (BEFAR)


Urbain V (1362-1370), Lettres secrètes et curiales se rapportant á la France, Paris, 1902-1955, 1 vol. (BEFAR)


Urbain V (1362-1370), Suppliques de 1362 á 1365 (années I á IV), éd. A.-M. Hayez, 1978-1989 (electronic version)


Gregory XI (1370-1378)

Grégoire XI (1370-1378), Lettres secrètes et curiales relatives á la France, éd. L. Mirot, H. Jassemin et alii, Paris, 1935-1957, 1 vol. (BEFAR)


Grégoire XI (1370-1378), Lettres secrètes et curiales intéressant les pays autres que la France, éd. G. Mollat, Paris, 1962-1965, 1 vol. (BEFAR)


Grégoire XI (1370-1378), Lettres communes, années I á V, éd. A.-M. Hayez, 1990-1998 (electronic version)



LITPA is realised in collaboration with the Centre Interuniversitaire d’Histoire et d’Archéologie Médiévales de Lyon (UMR 5648), the École française de Rome, the Institut de Recherche et d’Histoire des Textes (CNRS, Paris) and is led by the Centre de Recherche sur la Papauté d’Avignon.


French version (PDF)

English version (PDF)

Subscriptions and contact information

Please contact Brepols Publishers for:

  • a 30-day free trial period for institutional users
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Fax: +32-14-428919

Related blog Posts

For more information or news, please go to the blog Posts.

Related Databases

See also the Library of Latin Texts.



© 2011, Functional Design : Centre Interuniversitaire d’Histoire et d’Archéologie Médiévales de Lyon, École française de Rome and Institut de recherche et d’histoire des textes (CNRS)
© 2011, Database : École française de Rome
© 2011, Database and Publication Rights : Brepols Publishers S.A.


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