Kuttner Institute library


Guide to using the Stephan Kuttner Institute of Medieval Canon Law library


The library of the Stephan Kuttner Institute of Medieval Canon Law is a premier collection of primary and secondary source material related to the study of medieval canon law. It supports the scholarly activities of the Institute as well as the research and learning of students and faculty at Yale and world-wide.

The library began as the private collection of Stephan Kuttner (1907-1996), a scholar and editor of medieval canon law who worked in that field for six decades. The Institute which now bears his name started in 1955 when Kuttner taught at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. In 1964 he came to Yale, bringing the Institute and library with him, and then to the University of California, Berkeley, in 1970. The Institute and its collection moved to Munich in 1991, and most recently to the Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School in 2013, where it will remain for at least twenty-five years.

The Institute fosters scholarship in medieval canon law, an important field of research both in its own right and because of the ground work it laid in areas such as constitutional law, marriage law, or theories of guilt. To assist in this research, the Institute publishes the Bulletin of Medieval Canon Law, organizes a quadrennial international Congress, and supports the work of creating critical editions of medieval canon law texts, including Gratian’s Decretum.

Using the collections

The Institute’s library materials are divided into three discrete collections – manuscript reproductions, books, and offprints (individually produced articles from journals). Please follow the links on the left or below for more information about each collection. Most of the materials can be accessed whenever the Yale Law Library is open, with the exceptions of Rare, Oversize, and Miscellanea materials, which are housed in locked stacks. Please contact the Rare Book Librarian to arrange to use those materials.

Scholars needing to use collection materials for an extended period of time may wish to contact the Rare Book Librarian prior to arrival, so that the Law Library may best accommodate the scholar’s needs. Researchers from outside of Yale can obtain a pass as described in the Law Library’s privileges policy. Finally, please note that all of the materials from the Institute’s collection are library use only.