Vatican City Archives and Libraries

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Catalogues - Archives: “The automated catalogue of archival holdings kept in the Archival Section of the Vatican Library is still at the drafting stage and includes partial data taken from inventories. Wherever possible, complete entries include also a choice of digital images. The encoding of the descriptive elements conforms to the EAD specifications and uses XML syntax.The system (data archive, authority index and search engine) has been entirely developed using open-source Java/XML technology.”

Vatican Secret Archive: “The Vatican Secret Archive is adjacent to the Apostolic Library and houses important historical collections of the Congregations and Offices of the Roman Curia, as well as noble Roman families and, since 1660, the correspondence of the Secretariat of State. A Vatican school of Palaeography, Diplomacy and Archive Administration is associated with the Archive.”

FAMILIES AND INDIVIDUALS Archives of aristocratic families having historical and traditional connections with the papal state that have been sent, donated or sold to the Archivio Segreto Vaticano as from the last decades of the 19th century, to ease periods of financial hardship or to guarantee the safety of their documents in periods of political and social instability. For example: Arch. Boncompagni-Ludovisi, Arch. Borghese, Arch. Della Valle-Del Bufalo, Arch. Patrizi-Montoro, Arch. Ruspoli-Marescotti, Arch. Rospigliosi. Archives produced by one or more members of the same family in relation to posts held in the Papal Curia (Fondo Albani, Fondo Carpegna, Fondo Pio, etc.). Documents related to individuals that came to the Vatican for various reasons (Fondo Benigni, Carte Piastrelli).

RELIGIOUS INSTITUTES AND ORDERS AND ARCHCONFRATERNITIES Archives of abbeys: Abbazia dei SS. Gregorio e Siro, Bologna, Abbazia delle Tre Fontane, Roma. Archives of convents: Convento di Santa Maria delle Grazie, Rome. Archives on monasteries: Monastero femminile agostiniano di Santa Marta, Rome. Archives of religious orders: Fondo Gesuiti, Fondo Domenicani, etc.. Archives of Roman archconfraternities: Arciconfraternita del Gonfalone, Arciconfraternita del SS. Crocifisso in S. Marcello, etc..

The Vatican Apostilic Library - “The Vatican Apostolic Library is located inside the Vatican Palace and is entered via the Belvedere Courtyard. Pope Nicholas V (1447-1455) is credited with having founded the library but the first Cardinal librarian was appointed by Pope Paul III a century later, in 1548. Enriched by important donations, bequests and acquisitions under the pontificates of Leo XIII and Pius XI, the Library contains an enormous amount of books, manuscripts, incunabula and prints. It also runs the Vatican School of Library Science.”