Friday, July 11, 2008

Migne’s Patrologia Graeca in prepub at Logos

Migne's Patrologia Graeca (PG)... I can almost smell those dusty old volumes (all 166 of them) buried deep in the library stacks... PG is really the only way to get at most of the Christian writings in Greek from the 1st to 15th century. I have posted previously about ways of gaining digital access to this collection, but Logos recently announced work on digitizing the first twenty volumes in Libronix format. Be sure to read this post by Phil Gons on why it is important and check Rick Brannan's table of contents for these first 20 volumes (print) which will be organized as 18 digital volumes. (There was a 16a, 16b, 16c turned into a single vol 16.)

Logos is to be commended for undertaking such a project, but at $400 for a prepub price, I'm wondering how many people are going to be buying in. I suspect I have looked up stuff in PG more than most people, but I won't be committing $400. (I have lots of other books I'd like to get first, and this first set of volumes doesn't even include Eusebius...) At some point too, there really is the issue of how much I should be spending on biblical resources in comparison to other needs. In any case, I will encourage my seminary's librarian to check about getting the set for our library.


  1. The big pro/con I see is that (1) it will make available texts digitally which have not yet been available (save TLG, a resource which likely will remain *the* scholarly source for bare text. Through TLG one can also access morphology and lexica materials) -- although it should be noted that there are various websites out there that do have PDFs of Migne, they obviously lack sophisticated searching that Logos would presumably have. However the con would be that of the "major" authors who are in this corpus, there have been other better critical editions of the texts that have come out since the 1860s. As you said, it is a notable release, and I'm sure they will make a lot of people happy, but I'm not sure it will change the world overnight. Most scholars already have access to these texts via TLG and most non-scholars aren't going to be able to get the rewards that $400 would demand. I wouldn't turn down a copy if someone were to give me one, but I wouldn't plan on buying it personally.

  2. As far as I know, Logos no longer sells their product to libraries.