Migne had become convinced of the power of the press and the sheer value of raw information widely distributed. In 1836 he opened his great publishing house, Imprimerie Catholique, at Petit Montrouge, in the outlying 14th arrondissement of
The three great series that have made his reputation were Patrologiae cursus completus, Latin series (Patrologia Latina) in 221 vols. (1844-5); Greek series (Patrologia Graeca), first published in Latin (85 vols., 1856-7); with Greek text and Latin translation (165 vols., 1857-8). Though scholars have always criticised them, these hastily edited, inexpensively printed and widely distributed texts have only slowly been replaced during a century and a half with more critically edited modern editions. Though the cheap paper of the originals has made them fragile today, the scope of the Patrologia still makes it unique and valuable, wherever modern editions do not yet exist. It is a far more complete collection of Patristic and later literature than anything that has appeared subsequently or is likely to. To create so much so quickly, Migne reprinted the best or latest earlier editions available to him. In the PG the Latin translations were often made in the renaissance before any Greek text had been printed, and so do not necessarily match the Greek text very accurately. The indexes themselves are useful for locating references in the patristic writings. The collection is now available on CD-ROM at some research libraries and an electronic version is online as a subscriber service.