Georgetown Law
Georgetown Law Library

Papal Election Research Guide

This guide lists and describes sources for researching the law of papal elections.

Selected Books on the History of Papal Elections

  • Pham, John-Peter, Heirs of the Fisherman: Behind the Scenes of Papal Death and Succession.Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2004.
    Williams 5th Floor, BX1805 .P45 2004
    This book offers six chapters that cover the modern development of the papal conclave. In addition, the appendices provide the papal documents that have led to the current procedures.
  • Baumgartner, Frederic J., Behind Locked Doors: A History of the Papal Elections. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.
    Williams 5th Floor, BX1805 .B324 2004
    This is a reference guide to every papal election up till the death of Pope John Paul II. Baumgartner fills the book with useful information, such as the fact that using white smoke to indicate selection of a pope is a relatively recent (1914) development.
  • Allen, John L., Conclave: The Politics, Personalities, and Process of the Next Papal Election. New York: Image/Doubleday, 2002
    Lauinger Library Stacks, BX1805 .A54 2002
  • Burkle-Young, Francis A., Passing the Keys: Modern Cardinals, Conclaves, and the Election of the Next Pope. Lanham, Md.: Madison Books, 1999.
    Lauinger Library Stacks, BX1805 .B87 1999
  • Avadi, Zsolt, The Popes: The History of How They are Chosen, Elected, and Crowned. New York, Farrar, Straus and Cudahy, 1955.
    Lauinger Library Stacks, BX1805 .A7