The Vatican Secret Archives (Latin: Archivum Secretum Vaticanum; Italian: Archivio Segreto Vaticano) is the central repository in the Vatican City for all of the acts promulgated by the Holy See. The pope, as Sovereign of Vatican City, owns the archives until his death or resignation, with ownership passing to his successor. The archives also contain the state papers, correspondence, papal account books, and many other documents which the church has accumulated over the centuries. In the 17th century, under the orders of Pope Paul V, the Secret Archives were separated from the Vatican Library, where scholars had some very limited access to them, and remained closed to outsiders until the late 19th century, when Pope Leo XIII opened them to researchers, more than a thousand of whom now examine some of its documents each year.
|Vatican Secret Archives|
|Latin: Archivum Secretum Vaticanum|
Italian: Archivio Segreto Vaticano
Seal of the Vatican Secret Archives
|Headquarters||Cortile del Belvedere, Vatican City|
Location on a map of Vatican City
The use of the word "secret" in the title "Vatican Secret Archives" does not denote the modern meaning of confidentiality. A fuller and perhaps better translation of the Latin may be the "private Vatican Apostolic archives". Its meaning is closer to that of the word "private", indicating that the archives are the Pope's personal property, not belonging to those of any particular department of the Roman Curia or the Holy See. The word "secret" continues to be used in this older, original sense in phrases such as "secret servants", "secret cupbearer", "secret carver", or "secretary", much like an esteemed position of honour and regard comparable to a VIP.
Parts of the Secret Archives do, however, remain truly secret (or "classified" in a modern context). Most of the materials which are actively prohibited for outside viewing relate to contemporary personalities and activities, including everything dated after 1939, as well as the private records of church figures after 1922.
In the first century of Christianity, the Church was already assembling a sizable collection of records. Known alternately as the Holy Scrinium or the Chartarium, it normally travelled with the current Pope. The vast majority of these documents are now lost, but we know of them through references in contemporary and later works.
In later centuries, as the Church amassed power, popes would visit heads of state to negotiate treaties or make political appearances around Europe. Popes would also have multiple places of residency. When they travelled for diplomatic or other purposes, they would take their archives with them, since they needed it for administrative work. This resulted in some loss of items.
By the 11th century, the archives of the church were devolved to at least three separate sites: the Lateran, St. Peter's Basilica, and the Palatine palace. Between the 11th and the 13th centuries, a large part of these archives disappeared.
When the Popes moved to Avignon, the process of transporting their archives took twenty years, all told. The various places where the archives were kept along the way were sacked by the Ghibellines three separate times, in 1314, 1319, and 1320.
Antipopes also had their own archives. The Western Schism resulted in two sets of papal archives being developed at once; this rose to three during the era of Pisan antipope John XXIII. The disparate archives of the rival papal claimants were not fully reunited in the Vatican's archives until 1784.
During the 1404 sack of the Vatican, papal registers and historical documents were thrown into the streets, and Pope Innocent VII fled the city. His successor, Pope Gregory XII, supposedly sold off a large number of archival materials in 1406, including some of the papal registers.
In 1791, France seized the portion of the Papal States within their borders. Napoleonic forces invaded the city of Rome in 1798, beginning an era of French-dominated rule in Rome that would last until 1814. During this time, the Vatican Archives were captured and removed to France. The archives were finally returned to the Vatican in 1817. However, their rough transport to Paris had put them out of order; the effects of this are still felt today in the Archives' system of cataloguing.
In 1855, Archivist Augustin Theiner began to transcribe and publish materials from the Archives. In 1870, he released the transcripts of the trial of Galileo, causing huge controversy among the Catholic Church.
See main article: Capture of Rome
On September 20, 1870, the Italians captured Rome and ended the Papal State. There was some question as to whether the Archives now belonged to the Italian state; the Church responded by not allowing anyone into their library or archives, as a way of asserting what independence they could.
Throughout the 1870s, a slow trickle of researchers began to be allowed in the Archives.
Pope Leo XIII was instrumental in the eventual opening of the Archives. In 1879, he appointed Cardinal Josef Hergenröther as archivist, an act which lent more legitimacy to the position - for a time, the position had not been occupied by a cardinal. On Hergenröther's first day as archivist, he wrote a memo recommending that historians be allowed to access the valuable materials in the Archives. The Church was worried that Protestant researchers might try to access the archives to spread slander or dig up salacious details about the Church's past, leading to a policy of very restricted access. Hergenröther wanted to change that. His policy of a more open approach to outside scholars led to Pope Leo's ordering a reading room for researchers to be constructed; this opened on January 1, 1881.
In his Letter to the Three Cardinals in 1883 Leo XIII officially opened the Archives to researchers.
In an address to the Görres Society in 1884, Leo XIII made his opinion that histories could be to the advantage of the Church, not to their detriment, very clear:
"Go to the sources. That is why I have opened the archives to you. We are not afraid of people publishing documents out of them."
In 1979, historian Carlo Ginzburg sent a letter to the then newly elected Pope John Paul II, asking that the archives of the Holy office (the Roman Inquisition) be opened. Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, credited Ginzburg, and his 1979 letter, as having been instrumental in the Vatican's decision to open these archives.
To mark the 400th anniversary of the Vatican Archives, 100 original documents dating from the 8th to the 20th century were put on display from February to September 2012 in the "Lux in arcana – The Vatican Secret Archives reveals itself" exhibition held at the Capitoline Museums in Rome. They included the 1521 bull of excommunication of Martin Luther and a letter from Mary, Queen of Scots, written while awaiting her execution.
The Vatican Secret Archives have been estimated to contain 85 kilometres (53 mi) of shelving, with 35,000 volumes in the selective catalogue alone. According to the web site of the Archives, the oldest surviving document in their possession dates back to the end of the 8th century.
Complete archives of letters written by the popes, known as the papal registers, are available dating from the papacy of Innocent III (pope 1198-1216) onward. A few registers of earlier popes also survive, including John VIII (pope 872-882) and Gregory VII (pope 1073-1085).
Documentation is scant before the 13th century. Since that time, notable documents include items such as Henry VIII of England's request for a marriage annulment, a handwritten transcript of the trial against Galileo for heresy, and letters from Michelangelo complaining he had not been paid for work on the Sistine Chapel.
The Archives also support their own photographic and conservation studios.
Qualified scholars from institutions of higher education pursuing scientific researches, with an adequate knowledge of archival research, may apply for an entry card. Scholars need an introductory letter by either a recognized institute of research or by a suitably qualified person in the field of historical research. Applicants need to specify their personal data (name, address, etc.), as well as the purpose of their research. Only sixty researchers per day are allowed inside.
There are strict limitations to what archive users are able to view and access. For example, no materials dated after 1939 are available for public viewing – and an entire section of the archives relating to the personal affairs of cardinals from 1922 onwards cannot be accessed. Pope Francis is considering when to open the full archives of Pope Pius XII.
Normally, documents are made available to the public after a period of 75 years. However, in special circumstances, a pope will sometimes elect to release certain records ahead of schedule. For instance, in 2002, documents were released from the historical archives of the Secretariat of State (Second Section) pertaining to the Holy See's relations with Germany during the pontificate of Pope Pius XI (1922–39). The reason for this exceptional action was "to put an end to unjust and thoughtless speculation" about the Church's relationship with the Nazi Party.
In 2018, Pope Francis ordered the Vatican Archives to open documents which would assist in a "thorough study" concerning the sex life of former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who was accused of sexually molesting seminarians and having affairs with young priests.
Pope Francis has also said that the archives relating to Pope Pius XII will be opened in March 2020. This is due to the alleged toleration Pius had with Nazi Germany, in particular its role in the Holocaust. Francis said that Pius's legacy had been treated with "some prejudice and exaggeration". However, apart from the debate surrounding the Holocaust, the archives of the papacy of Pope Pius XII should point to much broader shift in global Christianity from Europe to the global South. Since 2006, members of the archives department have been organising the estimated 16 million pages of documents, to get them ready for viewing by researchers.
Early in the 21st century, the Vatican Secret Archives began an in-house digitization project, to attempt to both make their documents more available to researchers and to provide an extra layer of preservation for aging documents.
The Archives now have 180 terabytes of digital storage capacity, and, as of 2018, they have digitized over seven million images. Given how vast the Archives are, however, this means that only a small fraction of the total content of the Archives are available online; an even smaller percentage have been transcribed into searchable computer text.
In 2017, a project based in Roma Tre University called In Codice Ratio began using artificial intelligence and optical character recognition to attempt to transcribe more documents from the Archives. While character-recognition software is adept at reading typed text, the cramped and many-serifed style of medieval handwriting makes distinguishing individual characters difficult for the software. Many individual letters of the alphabet are often confused by human readers of medieval handwriting, let alone a computer program. The team behind In Codice Ratio tried to solve this problem by developing a machine-learning software that could parse this handwriting. Their program eventually achieved 96% accuracy in parsing this type of text.
There are other Holy See archives in Rome, since each department of the Roman Curia has its own archives. The word "secret" in its modern sense can be applied to some of the material kept by the Apostolic Penitentiary, when it concerns matters of the internal forum; but registers of the rescripts that it issued up to 1564 have been deposited in the Vatican Secret Archives and are open for consultation by qualified scholars. Half of these have already been put in digital form for easier consultation. The confidentiality of the material means that, in spite of the centuries that have passed since 1564, special rules apply to its publication.
In October 2018, the Synod of Bishops established the Vatican Information Committee, a body which is responsible for deciding what Vatican-related information is released to the public and how it’s presented. It is led by Paolo Ruffini, the Italian layman who heads the Vatican’s Secretariat for Communications.
In the Dan Brown novel Angels and Demons, main character Robert Langdon visits the Vatican Secret Archives to uncover secrets about the Illuminati. The success of the 2009 film adaptation led the Vatican to open the Archives to a select group of journalists in 2010, in order to dispute the depiction of the Archives given in Brown's novel.
The following meanings of the abbreviation ASV are known to Wikipedia:
Air-to-Surface Vessel radar (also "anti-surface vessel"), aircraft-mounted radars used to find ships and submarines
American Society for Virology
American Standard Version, a translation of the Bible released in 1901
Anodic stripping voltammetry, a voltammetric method for quantitative determination of specific ionic species
Armeesportvereinigung Vorwärts, a former East Germany military sports club
M1117 Armored Security Vehicle, an armored fighting vehicle produced by Textron
Asociación de Scouts de Venezuela, the Scouts Association of Venezuela
Astronomical Society of Victoria, Australia
ASV Records, a UK record label
Autonomous Surface Vehicle
Vatican Secret Archives (Archivum Secretum Vaticanum)Actes et documents du Saint Siège relatifs à la Seconde Guerre Mondiale
Actes et Documents du Saint Siège relatifs à la Seconde Guerre Mondiale (French for Acts and Documents of the Holy See related to the Second World War), often abbreviated Actes or ADSS, is an eleven-volume collection of documents from the Vatican historical archives, related to the papacy of Pope Pius XII during World War II.
The collection was compiled by four Jesuit priest-historians—Pierre Blet (France), Angelo Martini (Italy), Burkhart Schneider (Germany), and Robert A. Graham (United States)—authorized by Pope Paul VI in 1964, and published between 1965 and 1981.
The remainder of the documents from Pius XII's papacy may not be released for years; Bishop Sergio Pagano, the prefect of the Vatican Secret Archives announced in June 2009 that five or six years additional of preparation would be necessary to organize the papers, after which the decision to make further documents available to researchers will be the pope's. The completed catalog would include approximately 16 million documents from Pius XII's papacy (1939-1958), divided into approximately 700 boxes related to the Cardinal Secretary of State and the various nunciatures.Agostino Ciasca
Agostino Ciasca (secular name Pasquale) (born at Polignano a Mare, in the province of Bari, 7 May 1835; died at Rome, 6 February 1902) was an Italian Augustinian and Cardinal. He was a distinguished orientalist, and archivist of the Vatican Secret Archives.Augustin Theiner
Augustin Theiner, Cong.Orat., (11 April 1804, Breslau – 8 August 1874, Civitavecchia) was a German theologian and historian.
He was the son of a shoemaker. As a boy he was a pupil at the gymnasium of St. Mathias at Breslau, Silesia, then in the Kingdom of Prussia, and studied theology in the same city. Together with his brother Anthony he wrote, Einfuhrung der erzwungenen Ehelosigkeit bei den Geistlichen (1828). At the advice of this brother he abandoned theology and turned his attention to law, which he studied at Breslau and Halle, and in 1829 he obtained a degree in law at the latter university. He then received a scholarship from the Prussian Government, which enabled him to make researches in Belgium, England, and France as to the sources of Canon law. He finally went to Rome, where he settled permanently.
Here, under the influence of Count Reisach, then rector of the Propaganda and later cardinal, the change in his opinions was completed. In 1835 he wrote the Geschichte der geistlichen Bildungsanstalten, and in 1836 the Disquisitiones criticae, on the sources of canon law. Soon after this he became a priest and entered the Oratory of St. Philip Neri.
In the succeeding years he wrote the following works:
Die neuesten Zustände der kath. Kirche in Polen und Russland (1841)
Die Rückkehr der regierenden Hauser Braunschweig und Sachsen zur kath. Kirche(1843)
Zustände der kath. Kirche in Schlesien 1740-58 (1846)
Kardinal Frankenberg(1850).He was commissioned by Pope Pius IX, who had given him a position in the Vatican Library in 1850, to write the Geschichte des Pontifikats Klemens XIV (1853; Italian translation, 1855). In this work he showed himself an opponent of the Jesuits, with whom he had been on good terms until 1844, so that the work was forbidden in the States of the Church.
In 1855 Pius IX appointed Theiner as Prefect of the Vatican secret archives. He now published his collections of authorities drawn from these:
Die Fortsetzung der Annalen des Baronius (3 vols., 1856)
Vetera monumenta Hungariae (2 vols., 1859–60)
Poloniae et Lithuaniae (4 vols., 1860–64)
Slavorum meridionalium (2 vols., 1863)
Hibernorum et Scotorum (1864)
Codex dominii temporalis apostolicae sedis (3 vols., 1861–62)
Monumenta spectantia ad unionem ecclesiarum Graecae et Romanae (1872).Both before and during the First Vatican Council he was in close connection with the opponents of papal infallibility. Because he communicated to them the order of business of the Council of Trent, that had been kept secret, he was deposed from his dignities and offices.
Whether he died at peace with the Church is questionable. His correspondence with the Old Catholic scholar, Johann Friedrich, during the years 1870-73 shows that he held the same views as the latter; on the other hand Count Hermann Stainlein asserts that he knew Theiner during this period as a loyal Catholic priest. In any event, he was buried at the Teutonic Cemetery, adjacent to St. Peter's Basilica, which is reserved for German-speaking residents of the city in service to the institutions of the Catholic Church.There is no doubt as to his large scholarship and his services to history. After his death appeared the work, Acta genuina Concilii Tridentini (1874), very imperfectly edited.Barbara Frale
Barbara Frale (born 24 February 1970) is an Italian paleographer at the Vatican Secret Archives. Frale has written books about the Templars and she has a special interest in the history of the Shroud of Turin. In September 2001, she found an authentic copy of the Chinon Parchment.Chinon Parchment
The Chinon Parchment is a historical document discovered in September, 2001, by Barbara Frale, an Italian paleographer at the Vatican Secret Archives. On the basis of the Parchment, she has claimed that, in 1308, Pope Clement V absolved the last Grand Master, Jacques de Molay, and the rest of the leadership of the Knights Templar from charges brought against them by the Medieval Inquisition.The Parchment is dated August 17–20, 1308, at Chinon, France, and was written by Bérenger Fredoli, Etienne de Suisy and Landolfo Brancacci, Cardinals who were of Saints Nereus and Achileus, St. Cyriac in Thermis and Sant'Angelo in Pescheria respectively. The Vatican keeps an authentic copy with reference number Archivum Arcis Armarium D 218, the original having the number D 217 (see below for the other Chinon Parchment published by Étienne Baluze in 1693).
The existence of this document has long been assumed. In the bull Faciens misericordiam, promulgated in August 1308, Clement V explained that Templar leaders were supposed to be brought to Poitiers in order to be questioned by the Pope himself, but "since some of them were so unwell at that time that they could not ride and could not by any means be brought into our (i.e. the Pope's) presence" three cardinals were sent out to perform the necessary inquiries at Chinon. The commissioned envoys were instructed to create an official record of their investigations and, according to the bull, upon returning they presented the Pope with "the confessions and testimonies of the aforementioned Master and Commanders written down as spoken as a legal record by notarial attestation". In addition, a letter exists, supposedly written by the three cardinals to King Philip IV, in which they inform him of the absolution granted to the high-ranking officers of the Knights Templar (published by Étienne Baluze). The text of the Chinon Parchment is also supported by records in register Avignonese 48 of the Vatican Secret Archives, published in Processus Contra Templarios.Giovanni Mercati
Giovanni Mercati (17 December 1866 – 23 August 1957) was an Italian cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Archivist of the Vatican Secret Archives and Librarian of the Vatican Library from 1936 until his death, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1936.Giuseppe Garampi
Giuseppe Garampi (29 October 1725 – 4 May 1792) was an Italian scholar and collector of documents and books. He was born in Rimini. Pope Pius VI named him a Cardinal on the consistory on 14 February 1785. He served as Prefect of the Archives from 1751 until 1772, during which time he compiled the Schedario Garampi, a massive card index for the Vatican Secret Archives. Although never completed, it is still in use.Luigi Poggi
Luigi Poggi (25 November 1917 – 4 May 2010) was an Italian cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. Cardinal Poggi was a close confidant of Pope John Paul II, and acted as his secret emissary to Warsaw, Moscow and Washington. He was appointed by the Pope as head of the Vatican Secret Archives and the Vatican Library.Monastery of Saint Athanasius
The Monastery of Saint Athanasius (Bulgarian: манастир „Свети Атанасий“) is a Bulgarian Orthodox monastery located close to the village of Zlatna livada in Chirpan municipality, Stara Zagora Province. The patron saint's day of the church is the 2nd of May, when several thousand people gather.
According to Bulgarian archaeological and historical research from 2004, it is the oldest active monastery in Europe. An expedition led by doctor and academician Rosen Milev was carried out on 18 January 2004, affirming that the monastery was founded by Athanasius of Alexandria in 344 while returning from the Council of Serdica in present-day Sofia. On the way back he stopped and slept in a Roman fortress, the remains of which are located close to today's monastery, deciding to found a monastery due to the strong influence of the Arians (see Ulfilas), whom he considered heretical, on the Goths living in the region of Beroe (modern Stara Zagora). After his death in 373, the monastery was named after him. This is regarded to be proven by the passional of Saint Athanasius and the annals of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, as well as further research in the Vatican Secret Archives.The existence of the monastery during the Middle Ages is evidenced by archaeological material. It was also visited by Bulgarian revolutionary Vasil Levski during his trips throughout the country in the late 19th century. The present buildings of the Monastery of Saint Athanasius were constructed in the 1980s after an idea by Lyudmila Zhivkova. The Patriarch of Alexandria, Peter VII, visited the monastery in 2003.Public statements of Pope Pius XII on the Holocaust
The public statements of Pope Pius XII on the Holocaust, or lack thereof, are one of the most controversial elements of the historical debate about Pope Pius XII and the Holocaust. Pius XII's statements have been scrutinized as much, if not more, than his actions during the same period. Pius XII's statements, both public and private, are quite well documented in the Vatican Secret Archives; eleven volumes of documents from his papacy were published between 1965 and 1981 in Actes et documents du Saint Siège relatifs à la Seconde Guerre Mondiale.
Many of Pope Pius XII's critics have alleged "silence" by the pontiff during The Holocaust. Some of Pius XII's defenders have contested whether he was silent, while others have instead argued that to speak out would have been useless or counterproductive. According to Prof. Michael Phayer, "the question of the pope's silence has become the focus of intense historical debate and analysis".Raffaele Farina
Raffaele Farina SDB (born 24 September 1933) is an Italian Cardinal of the Catholic Church. He was Archivist of the Vatican Secret Archives, Librarian of the Vatican Library, and president (Consiglio di Presidenza) of Scuola Vaticana di Paleografia, Diplomatica e Archivistica. Farina was elevated to the cardinalate in 2007.Scaramouche (disambiguation)
Scaramouche is a stock comic character.
Scaramouche may also refer to:
Scaramouche, stage name of Tiberio Fiorilli (1608–1694)
Scaramouche (Sibelius) (1913), a tragic pantomime by Poul Knudsen (1889–1970), with incidental music by Sibelius
Scaramouche (novel), a novel by Rafael Sabatini
Scaramouche (1923 film), adapted from Sabatini's novel
Scaramouche (1952 film), starring Stewart Granger and also adapted from the novel
Scaramouche the Merciless, a character in Samurai Jack that is based on Sammy Davis Jr.
Scaramouche, a character in the musical We Will Rock You based on the music of British rock band Queen
Scaramouche (Milhaud), a suite for two pianos (later arranged for other combinations) by Darius Milhaud
Scaramouche is also the name of a section of the Vatican Secret Archives, according to the Archives published index.Scipione Cobelluzzi
Scipione Cobelluzzi (1564 – 29 June 1626) was an Italian cardinal, archivist and librarian. He was chief archivist of the Vatican Secret Archives (which now holds over 85 linear kilometres of shelving), from 17 February 1618 until his death on 29 June 1626.Sergio Pagano
Sergio Pagano B (born 6 November 1948 in Genoa) is a Roman Catholic bishop and the Prefect of the Vatican Secret Archives.
Pagano became a member of the Congregation of the Barnabites in 1966. He completed his studies in philosophy and theology in Rome, where he was ordained priest on 28 May 1977.Treaty of Benevento
The Treaty of Benevento, or Concordat of Benevento, was an important treaty between the papacy of Adrian IV and the Norman Kingdom of Sicily. After years of turbulent relations, the popes finally settled down to a peace with the Hauteville kings.
In 1156, events transpired to leave the pope alone in opposition to the Normans. The army of Michael Palaeologus had been annihilated, the army of Frederick Barbarossa had returned to Germany, and the internal rebels against royal authority in Apulia, men like Robert II of Capua or Richard II of Aquila, had either reconciled or been imprisoned. In short, the pope had no support to continue hostilities. He was also barred from Rome by the populace. He was staying at Benevento, which had been papal territory for over a century. The Sicilian army approached Benevento and the pope was forced to make terms.
The papal chancellor, Roland of Siena, later Pope Alexander III, and the Roman nobleman Oddone Frangipane were sent forth to negotiate. William of Tyre suggests that the city was besieged, but eyewitnesses contradict him. King William I of Sicily sent his own ammiratus ammiratorum, Maio of Bari, and his two primatial ecclesiastics, Hugh of Palermo and Romuald of Salerno. Starting with the upper hand, the Sicilian envoys finalised a deal on 18 June. This deal was the Treaty of Benevento.
One of the chief authors of the treaty as it stands was a young notary named Matthew of Ajello, later of much fame in Sicily. The kingship of William was recognised over all Sicily, Apulia, Calabria, and Campania, as well as Capua, the coastal cities of Amalfi, Naples, and Gaeta, and the newly conquered territories in Central Italy: Marche and the Abruzzi, which Roger and Alfonso, William's elder brothers, had claimed before. The tribute to the pope of 600 schifati agreed upon by Roger II in 1139 at Mignano was affirmed and another 400 schifati was added for Marsi.The pope's right to send legates into the peninsular realm was accepted, but the legateship of the king in Sicily was affirmed and the pope had to resign much claimed authority over the island. In the church of S. Marciano, William was invested by the pope with first Sicily, then Apulia, and finally Capua. He received the Kiss of Peace and bestowed on the pope gifts of gold and silver.
The original manuscript of the treaty is in the Vatican Secret Archives.Vatican Film Library
The Vatican Film Library is a film archive established in 1959 by Pope John XXIII. The collection comprises over 7,000 films including historic films, Church events, commercial films and documentaries.It is to be distinguished from the Knights of Columbus Vatican Film Library at Saint Louis University.Vatican Library
The Vatican Apostolic Library (Latin: Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana, Italian: Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana), more commonly known as the Vatican Library or informally as the Vat, is the library of the Holy See, located in Vatican City. Formally established in 1475, although it is much older, it is one of the oldest libraries in the world and contains one of the most significant collections of historical texts. It has 75,000 codices from throughout history, as well as 1.1 million printed books, which include some 8,500 incunabula.
The Vatican Library is a research library for history, law, philosophy, science and theology. The Vatican Library is open to anyone who can document their qualifications and research needs. Photocopies for private study of pages from books published between 1801 and 1990 can be requested in person or by mail.
Pope Nicholas V (1447-1455) envisioned a new Rome with extensive public works to lure pilgrims and scholars alike to the city to begin its transformation. Nicolas decided that he wanted to create a 'public library' for Rome that was meant to be seen as an institution for humanist scholarship. His death prevented him from carrying out his plan of a public library, but his idea lived on with his successor Pope Sixtus IV (1471-1484) who established what is now known as the Vatican Library.
In March 2014, the Vatican Library began an initial four-year project of digitising its collection of manuscripts, to be made available online.
The Vatican Secret Archives were separated from the library at the beginning of the 17th century; they contain another 150,000 items.
European national archives
|States with limited|