Papsturkunden project of the Pius-Stiftung
For a long time the medieval papacy was the only universal institution in Europe, and as an intellectual and cultural [centre] it was a crucial force in the processes of European integration and innovation.
Documents produced by the papal chancery were representatives of papal authority. They had a lasting influence on script development and on chancery practices of numerous European regions, and because of their unique importance, both quantitatively and qualitatively, came to be a trend-setting means of communication in the middle ages.
Research into papal documents therefore is not only one of the most exciting, but also one of the most important fields of work in medieval studies and of European history in general.