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Auxiliary sciences of history: an introduction (II)

On this page you will find an overview of the auxiliary sciences of History (part II).

The University Library of Groningen owns a printed collection of sources, held in the closed stacks or on the open shelves in the reading rooms. Another part of the collection of historical sources is available online.

To help you find your way in the collection we have put together the auxiliary sciences for history here, accompanied by a short explanation and a list of the most important titles in each field of study.

Medieval Archeology

Medieval archeology is the science that deals with the archeology of the Middle Ages (500-1500 N.C.).

In the library are works of medieval archeology, among others in the Archaeology collection on the second floor in the sections Early Middle Ages:

  • In the section Post-Roman Iron Age 99 80.00 - 99 88.00
  • In the section Late Middle Ages 99 90.00-98.00.


Numismatics is the auxiliary historical science of (the history of) money, both coins and paper money, as well as their value (monetary history).

In the library you will find works on numismatics, among others, at the General Hall, section UALG 840 coins and medals; numismatics.


Palaeography is the study of ancient and historical handwriting, that is to say, of the forms and processes of writing (not the textual content of documents). Included in the discipline is the practice of deciphering, reading, and dating historical manuscripts as well as the cultural context of writing, including the methods with which writing and books were produced, and the history of scriptoria. The discipline is important for understanding, authenticating, and dating ancient texts.

In the University Library titles about paleography are located at the General Reading Room, section UALG 895: Theory of paleography and epigraphy.


Sigillography or Sphragistics refers to the study of seals attached to documents as a source of historical information. It concentrates on the legal and social meaning of seals, as well as the evolution of their design. It has links to diplomatics, heraldry, social history and the history of art.

At the University Library titles about sigillography are located in the General Reading room, section UALG 898: Sillography​.



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Subjects: Faculty of Arts