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Clavis Clavium: the Open Access Gateway to Late Antique and Medieval Literature


Summary: Browse through nearly 8000 pages worth of data on Christian texts and authors; navigate the Latin homilies as easily as the Ethiopian apocryphal literature; update the database (after peer review) and let others benefit from your knowledge;… and all this in Open Access.


What is Clavis Clavium?

Clavis Clavium, or 'Key of Keys', is the go-to database to access Late Antique and Medieval Christian literature. It incorporates the almost 8000 pages of data found in six so-called claves:

Together, these six indispensable tools provide researchers (whether historians, theologians, philologists, or philosophers) working on the vast field of Apocryphal, Early Christian, Medieval and Byzantine literature with essential information regarding authorship, authenticity, chronological and geographical contexts, manuscript transmission, and editorial history.

Now, with the creation of the Clavis Clavium database, researchers can for the first time access this mass of printed data in an integrated way. The database allows all six claves to be searched together for maximum efficiency and versatility.


What does Clavis Clavium need?

Clavis Clavium needs you! If you have expert knowledge about an author, a genre, a text,... please apply to become a contributor. As soon as your application is approved by the academic board, you will be granted access to the collaborative platform. Of course, we will also be contacting scholars ourselves.

Clavis Clavium needs projects! If you feel your project could benefit from a collaboration with Clavis Clavium, or if you think you could use the database itself without the data, do not hesitate to contact us.


What do you get in return?

We offer our gratitude and, we are quite sure, that of the scholarly community, which will benefit from the information in Clavis Clavium. However, we also provide peer review of the contributions you make and written proof of your work on the database! This way your work on this authoritative research tool can be counted as a digital publication.


What does the future have in store?

  • Open Access: rest assured, Clavis Clavium is and will stay Open Access!

  • updating the information in Clavis Clavium: at present the information in Clavis Clavium is in essence the information that is found in the printed versions. Why "in essence"? Because merging data, frequently meant partly updating these data. A thorough update of the information, however, can only be done by specialists.

  • the addition of new claves: now that the Clavis Apocryphorum Veteris Testamenti and the Clavis Apocryphorum Novi Testamenti have been introduced (31/12/2019), we are looking for a way to introduce the 2500 pages of the Clavis Patristica Pseudepigraphorum Medii Aevi (Machielsen). Other candidates are the Repertorium by Frede - Gryson, La théologie byzantine, Traditio Patrum, ...

  • the addition of links to other databases: obvious candidates are Index Religiosus, Année philologique, Pinakes, Library of Latin Texts, ...

  • expanding the search possibilities: at present the Open Access search platform is still a beta version, but we are working hard to provide a more mature version.

As always: if you have ideas or suggestions for the further development of Clavis Clavium... we are only an email apart.


Clavis Clavium was developed with the support of

Brepols Publishers will maintain and further develop the database. However, we sincerely hope that our biggest supporters will be you, the scholars, that you will consult Clavis Clavium for your research and/or that you will apply to become a contributor and will update and enrich the treasure of data Clavis Clavium already contains.


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