The Patrologia Latina was originally printed in 217 volumes (bound as 218 in quarto) from 1844 to 1855. There were two series: the series prima, volumes 1-73, (Tertullian to Gregory the Great), 1844-1849; and the series secunda, volumes 74-217, (Gregory the Great to Innocent the 3rd), 1849-1855. The four volumes of indices were added from 1862-1865.
Migne himself reprinted volumes up to 1865, at which time he sold the literary rights for the Patrologia Latina to the firm of Garnier in Paris. In February of 1868, a fire destroyed Migne's presses and his printing plates. Garnier had already begun reprinting parts of the Patrologia Latina three years earlier and proceeded to reprint the entire set by 1880. Unfortunately, these reprintings - and all subsequent editions by Garnier - are inferior in a number of respects to Migne's own first editions. Consequently the Patrologia Latina Database has been based exclusively on the copies of the first edition of the texts and the indices.
Although Migne originally intended the Patrologia Latina to span the whole history of Latin Christianity up to the eve of the Reformation, he judged in the end that it would be wiser to conclude the series with the year 1216. After that year, as he well knew, the explosion of philosophical and theological writing made it impossible for any series, however ample, to include even representative portions of the principal texts. Hence the main chronological sequence of authors in the Patrologia Latina runs from about AD 200 to AD 1216.
In several places, however, Migne did incorporate later medieval texts as integral parts of the series. He did so especially where a text written after 1216 was traditionally attached to an earlier work, often as a commentary on it or an introduction to it. It is impossible to consider these later medieval texts as `secondary' even though they fall outside the main chronology of the Patrologia Latina. Migne conceived the series, not as stratified into primary and secondary texts, but as illustrating the progress of a unified if immensely complicated theological tradition.Texto copiado de la Política de uso, de la casa editorial Chadwyck-Healey sobre la Patrologia Latina Database.