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(Compiled by Lynn Wetzel)

About Harold J. Grimm
Grimm Collection Finding Aid - notes                                                                                
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Go to an alphabetical list of authors (separate web page)
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Other Reformation era research materials at Ohio State Libraries
Other Libraries/Online Catalogs
Reformation research on the Internet
Other resources


The Harold J. Grimm Reformation Collection of the Ohio State University Libraries' (OSUL) Rare Book and Manuscripts Library is an extensive resource for the Reformation scholar. The Reformation Collection is comprised principally of 16th and 17th century printings by the major figures of the period, such as Martin Luther, Erasmus, and Phillip Melancthon. Other rare volumes from the Rare Book and Manuscripts Library dealing with the Reformation or related subjects published from the 16th through the 20th century are also included.

The Harold J. Grimm Reformation Collection features approximately 550 rare books by over 200 authors. A small selection of materials is from the Damm and Heiman Family Heritage Book Collection, the Emanuel D. Rudolf Collection, and the Stanley Kahrl Renaissance and Restoration Drama Collection.

Use of the collection is restricted to the Rare Books and Manuscripts reading room. Please see the Rare Books and Manuscripts Library home page for information about utilizing our materials.


picture of Harold J. Grimm

(Photo courtesy of the Ohio State University Photo Archives)

Harold J. Grimm enjoyed a highly successful career as an educator, historian and writer. His many posts as an educator included professor of history at Capital University, the Ohio State University and Indiana University and department chairman at Ohio State and Indiana. Professor Grimm received the Distinguished Teacher award at Ohio State in 1978. He was a Fulbright teaching fellow at the University of Freiburg. Harold Grimm was a member of numerous societies and associations. He was president of the Ohio Historical Society and the American Society for Reformation Research. He contributed many articles to professional journals and was the American editor for the Archiv fuer Reformationsgeschichte.

Grimm was born in Saginaw, Michigan, in 1901, and died in Columbus, Ohio, in 1983. The approximately 200 volumes of Reformation era books and pamphlets that he collected over his lifetime were donated to the Ohio State University Libraries and constitute the core of the Harold J. Grimm Reformation Collection which now includes over 550 volumes and continues to grow.


This finding aid is intended to assist the researcher to readily identify the holdings of the Grimm Reformation Collection, which is housed in the Rare Books and Manuscripts Library. For other Reformation research materials available at the Ohio State University Libraries, please consult OSCAR, the OSUL online public access catalog. The finding aid displays the author's name, the titles in the Grimm Collection associated with that author, the year published, up to three subject headings, the Library of Congress and the OCLC call numbers. The finding aid also provides links to the OSUL OSCAR catalog citation page for additional information on a particular work such as local notes, pagination, etc.

AUTHOR listings are shown in the standard catalog entry format. When searching OSCAR for additional works by an author, the researcher would be advised to use only the author's LAST NAME, and FIRST NAME, or even limit the first name to an initial to pick up variations of entries for the author. For example, John Foxe is listed in the catalog under three variations: Foxe, John; Foxe, John, 1516-1587; and Foxe, John, Martyrologist.

The TITLES are generally shortened in the finding aid for display purposes. The finding aid will link to the OSCAR citation page for additional information on that work (see Search Features, below). The standard title has been used in the finding aid in preference to the uniform title.

When the YEAR of publication is unknown or is in question, the record is annotated "?" or, for example, "1565?." When the publication date is suggested by a range of years, "1560-1562," for example, only the earlier year will be annotated on the finding aid.

Library of Congress SUBJECT headings are used in the finding aid. A maximum of three subject headings are listed for each title. Many of the works in the Grimm Reformation Collection do not have subject headings in the OSCAR catalog. The compiler of the finding aid has added subject headings to these works to create a more comprehensive research tool. Therefore, the researcher may not find a particular work in OSCAR under the subject heading used in the finding aid. OSCAR may, however, include additional subject headings that are not used in the finding aid.

For the purposes of this finding aid, the subject headings "Bible," "Bible. N.T.," and "Bible. O.T.," refer to shortened uniform titles of various editions of the Bible, or the New or Old Testament.

Library of Congress CALL NUMBERS are included, but in most instances the volume number or numbers of a work are not listed. OCLC CALL NUMBERS are also provided.


  • The Ohio State University Libraries

    The Rare Books and Manuscripts Library's Harold J. Grimm Reformation Collection offers the scholar an opportunity to study original works of the era and other rare books related to the Reformation. The Ohio State University Libraries offer many additional materials for the Reformation scholar. The Libraries have extensive collections in Reformation history, theology, philosophy, music and art. Included in the library's holdings is an extensive microfilm collection of even more Reformation era books, books, pamphlets, letters, and other documents. Please search OSCAR for these additional resources. Also highly recommended is the full text database Early English Books Online (see Databases, below).

  • History, Political Science and Philosophy Library (Ohio State University)

Select Periodicals

(please consult OSCAR for holdings and locations)
  • Archiv fur Reformationsgeschichte = Archive for reformation history

  • Archiv fr Reformationsgeschichte Literaturebericht (annual literature review)

  • Luther-Jahrbuch (1919-1985)

  • Monthly newsletter / Foundation for Reformation Research (1967-1974)

  • Newsletter - Center for Reformation Research

  • Reformation (Oxford, England)

  • RHR. Rforme, humanisme, renaissance

  • The Sixteenth century journal

  • Zwingliana : Mitteilungen zur Geschichte Zwinglis der Reformation


The Ohio State University Libraries also provide access to all the major research databases including the following, which may be of use to Reformation scholars:

  • Acta Sanctorum

    "The Acta Sanctorum are a principal source of research into the societies and cultures of early Christian and medieval Europe. Our knowledge of this period relies heavily on hagiographical literature, and specifically on this monumental collection of texts, published over a period of three hundred years by the Socit des Bollandistes."

  • Arts and Humanities Citation Index

    "Arts & Humanities Citation Index indexes 1,100 of the world's leading arts and humanities journals, as well as covering individually selected, relevant items from over 6,800 major science and social science journals."

  • (ATLA) Religion Index

    "The ATLA Religion Index is a collection of indexes commonly used in researching topics in religion. " From 1949-present; coverage includes periodicals, multi-author works, ministry, and book review databases."

  • The Bible in English

    "The full text of 21 editions of the Bible written in English, covering a millenium of the language's history from the Tenth through the Twentieth Centuries." Features Reformation era Bibles translated by William Tyndale (Pentateuch, Jonah & NT) - 1530-1534, Miles Coverdale - 1535, and the Great Bible - 1540."

  • Early English Books Online

    Thousands of titles, all digital facsimiles of the original printed volumes, including works by Luther, Melanchthon, More, Erasmus, and others; "prayer books, pamphlets, and proclamations; almanacs, calendars, and many other primary sources."

  • Historical Abstracts

    "HISTORICAL ABSTRACTS is a bibliographic database covering the world's scholarly literature in history...includes article abstracts and bibliographical citations of books and dissertations on the history of the world, except the United States and Canada, from 1550 to the present."


  • OhioLink Central Catalog

  • Ohio universities and colleges union catalog. CIC Virtual Catalog

  • Links to Big Ten Libraries.

  • The Theological Consortium of Greater Columbus

  • Union catalog of the TCGC, which consists of the following institutions:
    • Methodist Theological School in Ohio, Delaware, Ohio
    • The Pontifical College Josephinum, Columbus, Ohio
    • Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, Ohio

  • Clifford E. Barbour Library, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
  • Online catalog includes holdings of the John M. Mason Memorial Collection of Reformation-era books housed in the Anderson Collection of rare and antiquarian books.

  • Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, University of Toronto

    "The Centre's library holdings fall into two main categories: rare books, most of which were printed before 1700 (currently about 4,000 titles), and modern books (currently about 25,000 volumes). The library contains primary and secondary materials relating to virtually every aspect of the Renaissance and Reformation."

    • Knox College, Caven Library
      University of Toronto

      "72,000 volumes. Emphasis is on Presbyterian theology and Reformed theology. Collection includes philosophy, ethics, Judaism and material on current issues of social concern...."

    • John M. Kelly Library
      University of St. Michael's College in the University of Toronto

    • "The Counter-Reformation Collection includes over 3500 volumes of primary source materials showing the Catholic response to the Protestant Reformation up to the time of the French Revolution."

    • Emmanuel College Library
      Victoria University in the University of Toronto

      "The core of Emmanuel's book collection is of a theological nature. Students in Religious Studies, Theology, Philosophy and even English Literature will appreciate this collection."

  • Pitts Theology Library
    Emory University, Atlanta

    The "Richard C. Kessler Reformation Collection, a group of about 2,300 titles that relate to the Protestant Reformation in Germany down to 1570; although its focus is on Lutheran materials, it also includes works by other Protestants and by Catholics, as they entered into conversation with Luther and his followers."

  • The Center for Research Libraries (CRL)

    "...an international not-for-profit consortium of colleges, universities and libraries that makes available scholarly research resources to users everywhere." (CRL holdings are also available through the OhioLink Central Catalog)

  • Religion and Philosophy Collections

    Included are collections of Reformation era pamphlets (Flugschrifte), materials from the Catholic Reformation in France, etc. Most of these resources are on microfilm or microfiche.

  • Walther Library of Concordia Theological Seminary
    Ft. Wayne, Indiana

    "Our seminary collection of more than 150,000 items includes works in all the disciplines of theology, as well as other fields." Home of Project Wittenberg, electronic texts of Lutheran writers (see Internet Resources below).


  • The Center for Reformed Theology and Apologetics (CRTA)

    "...is dedicated to providing biblically sound online resources...The Center is committed to the system of doctrine known as Calvinism..." Articles on current and historic theology, selected full text documents, and various links are provided.

  • Christian Classics Ethereal Library

    "Classic Christian books in electronic format..."

  • EuroDocs

    "Western European (mainly primary) historical documents that are transcribed, reproduced in facsimile, or translated."

  • Index Verborum, Martin Luther's German Writings 1516 to 1525

    "...a reference guide that accesses over 323 German writings of Martin Luther...[and] allow[es] ready access to Luther's linguistic or contextual usage, and hence enable analysis of his original meaning or intent." Word index and search engine.

  • Institut fuer schweizerische Reformationsgeschichte

    "Sein Hauptzweck ist die Erforschung der schweizerischen Reformationsgeschichte, wobei folgende drei Schwerpunkte gesetzt wurden (special emphasis on): Huldrych Zwingli, Heinrich Bullinger, Tufergeschichte (history of baptisms)." At the University of Zurich.

  • Internet Medieval Sourcebook, Selected Sources - Reformation

    The Fordham University Center for Medieval Studies - general sources and links.

  • Project Wittenberg

    "...home to works by and about Martin Luther and other Lutherans. Here you will find all manner of texts from short quotations to commentaries, hymns to statements of faith, theological treatises to biographies, and links to other places where words and images from the history of Lutheranism live." Many full text documents by Luther, Melanchthon, and others.

  • Reformation Ink

    From the Society of Classical Protestants, "This site exists in order to make important and hard to find primary source Reformation documents readily accessible."

  • The Sixteenth Century Journal

    "The SCJ is indexed and abstracted in over a dozen bibliographical reference sources, including American History and Life, American Humanities Index, Historical Abstracts, MLA International, Religion Index One,..." Full text articles available through Historical Abstracts from current issue to Spring 1999 edition, and through Periodical Abstracts for most articles from 1991 through 1997. This is the journal's Web site and has links and information on 16th centuries studies, including:

  • The Sixteenth Century Studies Conference

    "Activities of the Conference include an annual meeting, an annual newsletter, the awarding of seven prizes, and sponsoring the Sixteenth Century Journal and the Sixteenth Century Essays and Studies monograph series."

  • "The Harold J. Grimm Prize

    "... is awarded for the best article to appear in print which reflects and sustains the ideas of the late Harold Grimm concerning the Reformation."


Selective Bibliography

  • Barnes, Thomas G. and Gerald D Feldman, eds. Renaissance, Reformation, and Absolutism 1400-1660. Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1972.

  • Chaunu, Pierre, ed. The Reformation. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1986.

  • Durant, Will. The Reformation, A History of European Civilization from Wyclif to Calvin: 1300 - 1564. New York: MJF Books, 1957.

  • Grimm, Harold J. The Reformation Era 1500 - 1560, 2nd Edition. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., 1973.

  • Hillerbrand, Hans J. ed. The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Reformation. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.

  • Kingdon, Robert M., ed. Transition and Revolution, Problems and Issues of European Renaissance and Reformation History. Minneapolis: Burgess, 1972.

  • Ozment, Steven E. Reformation Europe: A Guide to Research. St. Louis: Center for Reform Research, 1982.

  • Ozment, Steven E. Protestants: The Birth of a Revolution. New York: Doubleday, 1992.

  • Smith, Edith and the Editors of Time-Life Books, The Reformation (Great Ages of Man series). Alexandria Va.: Time-Life Books, 1977.

Copyright (c)2000 by Lynn Wetzel.
Inquiries may be made to Eric Johnson

Content last revised: 2008

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