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|Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana|
|English||Vatican Apostolic Library|
|Pope Sixtus IV Appoints Bartolomeo Platina Prefect of the Vatican Library, fresco by Melozzo da Forlì, 1477, now in the Vatican Museums.|
The Vatican Apostolic Library (Latin: Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana), more commonly called the Vatican Library, is the library of the Holy See, currently located in Vatican City. It is one of the oldest libraries in the world and contains one of the most significant collections of historical texts. Formally established in 1475, though in fact much older, it has 75,000 codices from throughout history, as well as 1.1 million printed books, which include some 8,500 incunabula. The Vatican Secret Archives were separated from the library at the beginning of the 17th century; they contain another 150,000 items.
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.
- 1 Historical periods
- 2 Location
- 3 Organization
- 4 Collections
- 5 Related libraries
- 6 List of librarians
- 7 Gallery
- 8 See also
- 9 Notes
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Scholars have traditionally divided the history of the library into five periods, Pre-Lateran, Lateran, Avignon, Pre-Vatican and Vatican.
The Pre-Lateran period consist of the initial days of the library, dating from the earliest days of the church. Only a handful of volumes survive from this period, though some are very significant. This era continued until the library moved to the Lateran Palace, beginning the Lateran period, which lasted until the end of the 13th century and the reign of Pope Boniface VIII.
The Avignon period was during the Avignon Papacy, when seven successive popes resided in Avignon, in France. This period saw a great growth in book collection and record keeping by the popes in Avignon, between the death of Boniface and the 1370s when the Papacy returned to Rome. The Pre-Vatican period ranged from about 1370 to 1446, the library was scattered, with parts in Rome, Avignon and elsewhere.
Starting around 1448, the library moved to the Vatican and a continuous history begins to the present time. Pope Nicholas V sought to establish a public library, in part to reestablish Rome as a destination for scholarship.  Nicholas combined some 350 Greek, Latin and Hebrew codices inherited from his predecessors with his own collection and extensive acquisitions, among them manuscripts from the imperial Library of Constantinople. Pope Nicholas also expanded his collection by employing Italian and Byzantine scholars to translate the Greek Classics into Latin for his library. 
Nichola's death in 1455 prevented the completion of his vision of a public library, but it was finished in 1475 by his successor Pope Sixtus IV, and named it the Palatine Library.  Giovanni Tortelli was named the director of the library, and put in charge of establishing the first catalogue of the library's contents. 
Durring his reign, Pope Julius II commissioned the expansion of the building.  Around 1587, Pope Sixtus V commissioned the architect Domenico Fontana to construct a new building for the library, which is still used today. It was after this the library became known as the Vatican Library. 
The Library has 42 kilometres (26 mi) of shelving.
In 2010, the Library completed a 3 year, 9 million Euro renovation, which involved the complete shut down of the library to install climate controlled rooms.
Architecture and art
In the Sala di Consultazione or main reference room of the Vatican Library looms a statue of St Thomas Aquinas (c. 1910), sculpted by Cesare Aureli. A second version of this statue c. 1930 stands under the entrance portico of the Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum.[a]
Ancient Roman sculpture, maybe of Saint Hippolytus of Rome, found in 1551 at Via Tiburtina, Rome, and now at the Vatican Library
The office of Librarian of Vatican Library has been held at the same time as that of Archivist of Vatican Secret Archives since 1957. The two offices are held by an Archbishop who is generally named a Cardinal; this is due to the fact that it is a very well regarded and important Curial department.
The Cardinal Librarian and Archivist of the Holy Roman Church is assisted by two prelates, who are the Prefect of the Vatican Apostolic Library (the everyday manager of the Library), and the Prefect of the Vatican Secret Archives (who handles the daily affairs of the Archives). They are each assisted by a Vice-Prefect.
The current Prefect of the Vatican Apostolic Library is Monsignor Cesare Pasini (who is also the Director of the Vatican School of Library Science). The Vice Prefect of the Vatican Apostolic Library is Doctor Ambrogio M. Piazzoni. The Prefect of the Vatican Secret Archives is a Barnabite Bishop by the name of Sergio Pagano. The Vice Prefect of the Vatican Secret Archives is Father Marcel Chappin, S.J. The Archives also is responsible for the Vatican School of Paleography.
The oldest documents in the library date back to the first century.
The library was enriched by several bequests and acquisitions over the centuries.
In 1623, the hereditary Palatine Library of Heidelberg containing about 3,500 manuscripts was given to the Vatican by Maximilian I, Duke of Bavaria (who had just acquired it as booty in the Thirty Years' War) in thanks for the adroit political maneuvers of Pope Gregory XV that had sustained him in his contests with Protestant candidates for the electoral seat. A token 39 of the Heidelberg manuscripts were sent to Paris in 1797 and were returned to Heidelberg at the Peace of Paris in 1815, and a gift from Pope Pius VII of 852 others was made in 1816 to the University of Heidelberg, including the Codex Manesse. Aside from that, the Palatine Library remains in the Vatican Library to this day.
Queen Christina of Sweden's important library (mostly amassed by her generals as booty from Habsburg Prague and German cities during the Thirty Years War) was bought by Pope Alexander VIII on her death in 1689. It represented, for all practical purposes, the entire royal library of Sweden at the time. If it had remained where it was in Stockholm, it would all have been lost in the destruction of the royal palace by fire in 1697.
Among the most famous holdings of the library is the Codex Vaticanus Graecus 1209, the oldest known nearly complete manuscript of the Bible. The Secret History of Procopius was discovered in the library and published in 1623.
A School of Library Science is associated with the Vatican Library.
The Library has a large collection of texts related to Hinduism, with the oldest editions dating to 1819.
Notable manuscripts in the Library include:
- Barberini Gospels
- Codex Vat. Arabo 368, the sole manuscript of the Hadith Bayad wa Riyad
- Codex Vaticanus 3738, the Codex Ríos
- Codex Vaticanus Latinus 3868, a 9th-century facsimile of Terence's comedies
- De arte venandi cum avibus
- Gelasian Sacramentary
- Joshua Roll
- Menologion of Basil II
- Vatican Croatian Prayer Book
- Vergilius Romanus
- Vergilius Vaticanus
- Codex Vaticanus Latinus 3256, four leaves of the Vergilius Augusteus
- Codex Vaticano Rossi 215, fragments of the Rossi Codex
- Codex Vaticanus Graecus 1209
- Libri Carolini
- Vaticanus Graecus 1001, the original manuscript of the Secret History
- One fragment of Heliand and three fragments of the Old Saxon Genesis comprise the Palatinus Latinus 1447.
In 2012, plans were announced to digitize, in collaboration with the Bodleian Library, a million pages of material from the Vatican Library". A grant was provided by the London-based Polonsky Foundation.
On 20 March 2014, the Holy See announced that NTT Data Corporation and the Library concluded an agreement to digitize approximately 3,000 of the Library's manuscripts within four years. NTT is donating the equipment and technitions, in an estimated to be worth 18 million Euros. It noted that there is the possibility of subsequently digitizing another 79,000 of the Library's holdings. These will be high-definition images available on the Library's Internet site. Storage for the holdings will be on a three petabyte server provided by EMC.
The scanning of documents is impacted by the material used to product the texts. Books using gold and silver in the illuminations require special scanning equipment. Digital copies are being stored in the CIFS file format.
Vatican Secret Library
The Vatican Secret Archives, located in Vatican City, is the central archives for all of the acts promulgated by the Holy See, as well as 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 absolutely closed to outsiders until 1881, when Pope Leo XIII opened them to researchers, more than a thousand of whom now examine its documents each year.
Vatican Film Library
The Vatican Film Library in St. Louis, Missouri is the only collection, outside the Vatican itself, of microfilms of more than 37,000 works from the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, the Vatican Library in Europe. It is located in the Pius XII Library on the campus of Saint Louis University. The Library was created by Lowrie J. Daly (1914–2000), with funding from the Knights of Columbus. The goal was to make Vatican and other documents more available to researchers in North America.
Microfilming of Vatican manuscripts began in 1951, and according to the Library's website, was the largest microfilming project that had been undertaken up to that date. The Library opened in 1953, and moved to the St. Louis University campus, in the Pius XII Memorial Library, in 1959. The first librarian was Charles J. Ermatinger, who served until 2000. As of 2007, the Library has microfilmed versions of over 37,000 manuscripts, with material in Greek, Latin, Arabic, Hebrew and Ethiopic, as well as several more common Western European languages. There are reproductions of many works from the Biblioteca Palatina and Biblioteca Cicognara at the Vatican, as well as Papal letter registers from the Archivio Segreto Vaticano (Vatican Secret Archives) from the 9th to 16th centuries, in the series Registra Vaticana and Registra Supplicationium.
List of librarians
|Name||Lifetime||Title||Time as Librarian|
|Marcello Cervini||1501–1555||Bibliothecarius I||24 May 1550–9 April 1555|
|Roberto de' Nobili||1541–1559||Bibliothecarius II||1555–18 January 1559|
|Alfonso Carafa||1540–1565||Bibliothecarius III||1559–29 August 1565|
|Marcantonio da Mula||1506–1572||Bibliothecarius IV||1565–17 March 1572|
|Guglielmo Sirleto||1514–1585||Bibliothecarius V||18 March 1572–16 October 1585|
|Antonio Carafa||1538–1591||Bibliothecarius VI||16 October 1585–13 January 1591|
|Marco Antonio Colonna||1523 ca.–1597||Bibliothecarius VII||1591–13 March 1597|
|Cesare Baronio||1538–1607||Bibliothecarius VIII||May 1597–30 June 1607|
|Ludovico de Torres (it)||1552–1609||Bibliothecarius IX||4 July 1607–8 July 1609|
|Scipione Borghese Caffarelli||1576–1633||Bibliothecarius X||11 June 1609–17 February 1618|
|Scipione Cobelluzzi||1564–1626||Bibliothecarius XI||17 February 1618–29 June 1626|
|Francesco Barberini||1597–1679||Bibliothecarius XII||1 July 1626–13 December 1633|
|Antonio Barberini||1569–1646||Bibliothecarius XIII||13 December 1633–11 September 1646|
|Orazio Giustiniani||1580–1649||Bibliothecarius XIV||25 September 1646–25 July 1649|
|Luigi Capponi||1583–1659||Bibliothecarius XV||4 August 1649–6 April 1659|
|Flavio Chigi||1631–1693||Bibliothecarius XVI||21 June 1659–19 September 1681|
|Lorenzo Brancati||1612–1693||Bibliothecarius XVII||19 September 1681–30 November 1693|
|Girolamo Casanate||1620–1700||Bibliothecarius XVIII||2 December 1693–3 March 1700|
|Enrico Noris||1631–1704||Bibliothecarius XIX||26 March 1700–23 February 1704|
|Benedetto Pamphili||1653–1730||Bibliothecarius XX||26 February 1704–22 March 1730|
|Angelo Maria Querini||1680–1755||Bibliothecarius XXI||4 September 1730–6 January 1755|
|Domenico Passionei||1682–1761||Bibliothecarius XXII||10 July 1741–12 January 1755(P)
12 January 1755–5 July 1761
|Alessandro Albani||1692–1779||Bibliothecarius XXIII||12 August 1761–11 December 1779|
|Francesco Saverio de Zelada||1717–1801||Bibliothecarius XXIV||15 December 1779–29 December 1801|
|Luigi Valenti Gonzaga||1725–1808||Bibliothecarius XXV||12 January 1802–29 December 1808|
|Giulio Maria della Somaglia||1744–1830||Bibliothecarius XXVI||26 January 1827–2 April 1830|
|Giuseppe Albani||1750–1834||Bibliothecarius XXVII||23 April 1830–3 December 1834|
|Luigi Lambruschini||1776–1854||Bibliothecarius XXVIII||11 December 1834–27 June 1853|
|Angelo Mai||1782–1854||Bibliothecarius XXIX||27 June 1853–9 September 1854|
|Antonio Tosti||1776–1866||Bibliothecarius XXX||13 January 1860–20 March 1866|
|Jean-Baptiste Pitra||1812–1889||Bibliothecarius XXXI||19 January 1869–9 February 1889|
|Placido Maria Schiaffino (it)||1829–1889||Bibliothecarius XXXII||20 February 1889–23 September 1889|
|Alfonso Capecelatro||1824–1912||Bibliothecarius XXXIII||29 August 1890–14 November 1912|
|Mariano Rampolla del Tindaro||1843–1913||Bibliothecarius XXXIV||26 November 1912–16 December 1913|
|Francesco di Paola Cassetta||1841–1919||Bibliothecarius XXXV||3 January 1914–23 March 1919|
|Aidan [Francis Neil] Gasquet||1845–1929||Bibliothecarius XXXVI||9 May 1919–5 April 1929|
|Franz Ehrle||1845–1934||Bibliothecarius XXXVII||17 April 1929–31 March 1934|
|Giovanni Mercati||1866–1957||Bibliothecarius XXXVIII||18 June 1936–23 August 1957|
|Eugène Tisserant||1884–1972||Bibliothecarius XXXIX||14 September 1957–27 March 1971|
|Antonio Samoré||1905–1983||Bibliothecarius XL||25 January 1974–3 February 1983|
|Alfons Maria Stickler||1910–2007||Bibliothecarius XLI||7 September 1983–27 May 1985(P)
27 May 1985–1 July 1988
|Antonio María Javierre Ortas||1921–2007||Bibliothecarius XLII||1 July 1988–24 January 1992|
|Luigi Poggi||1917-2010||Bibliothecarius XLIII||9 April 1992–29 November 1994(P)
29 November 1994–25 November 1997
|Jorge María Mejía||1923-||Bibliothecarius XLIV||7 March 1998–24 November 2003|
|Jean-Louis Tauran||1943-||Bibliothecarius XLV||24 November 2003–25 June 2007|
|Raffaele Farina||1933-||Bibliothecarius XLVI||25 June 2007–9 June 2012|
|Jean-Louis Bruguès||1943-||Bibliothecarius XLVII||26 June 2012–|
(P) Indicates time spent as Pro-Librarian[clarification needed]
Manuscript page with the five-voice "Kyrie" of the Missa Virgo Parens Christi by Jacques Barbireau
A Mappa mundi, also known as "Tavola di Velletri", consisting oftwo copper tablets (1430)
Month of May from in the Chronography of 354 by the 4th century kalligrapher Filocalus
Anton Raphael Mengs, The Triumph of History over Time (Allegory of the Museum Clementinum), ceiling fresco in the Camera dei Papiri, Vatican Library
The ivory panels from the front cover of Codex Aureus of Lorsch
- This sculpture is described in the following words: "S. Tommaso seduto, nella sinistra tiene il libro della Summa theologica, mentre stende la destra in atto di proteggere la scienza cristiana. Quindi non siede sulla cattedra di dottore, ma sul trono di sovrano protettore; stende il braccio a rassicurare, non a dimostrare. Ha in testa il dottorale berretto, e conservando il suo tipo tradizionale, rivela nel volto e nell'atteggiamento l'uomo profondamente dotto. L'autore non ha avuto da ispirarsi in altr'opera che esistesse sul soggetto, quindi ha dovuto, può dirsi, creare questo tipo, ed è riuscito originale e felice nella sua creazione."
- Vatican Film Library informational pamphlet[full citation needed]
- Strayer, Joseph, ed. (1989). Dictionary of the Middle Ages. Scribner. ISBN 0684190737.
- Meert, Deborah. "A History of the Vatican Library". capping.slis.ualberta.ca. University of Alberta. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
- "Vatican Apostolic Library". Vaticanstate.va. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- Del Nibletto, Paolo. "The Vatican Library CIO’s sacred mission: To digitize everything". itworldcanada.com. IT World Canada. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- Winfield, Nicole (15 November 2010). "Vatican library reopens after 3-year restoration". NBCnews.com (nbcnews.com). Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- Taylor, Lesley Ciarula (2 May 2013). "Digitizing history: 82,000-manuscript collection Vatican Library goes online". thestar.com (Toronto Star Newspapers Ltd.). Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- Hendrix, John. History and culture in Italy. University Presss of America. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
- Nel giubileo episcopale di Leone XIII. omaggio della Biblioteca vaticana XIX febbraio anno MDCCCXCIII. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
- "Government | Sito ufficiale dell'Archivio Segreto Vaticano – Città del Vaticano". Archiviosegretovaticano.va. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
- "BAV - Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana". Vaticanlibrary.va. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
- Willey, David (17 July 2007). "Vatican Library closure irks scholars". BBC News. Retrieved 17 July 2007.
- "Vatican Library Homepage". Retrieved 13 September 2010.
- "Statute of the Vatican Film Library". vatican.va. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- "Vatican Library carries extensive collection of ancient Hindu scriptures". eurasia review. 29 June 2014. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- D’Ottone, Arianna (2010). "Il manoscritto Vaticano arabo 368: Hadith Bayad wa Riyad. Il codice, il testo, le immagini". Rivista di Storia della Miniatura (in Italian) (Centro Di) 14: 55. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
- "FAMSI - Akademische Druck - u. Verlagsanstalt - Graz - Codex Vaticanus 3738". Akademische Druck - u. Verlagsanstalt - Graz CODICES. FAMSI. Retrieved 29 July 2014.
- C. R. Dodwell (2000). Anglo-Saxon Gestures and the Roman Stage. Cambridge University Press. p. 3. ISBN 978-0-521-66188-1.
- John W. Wohlfarth (1 September 2001). Elysium. AuthorHouse. p. 128. ISBN 978-0-7596-5406-8.
- "Vergilius Augusteus : vollst. Faks.-Ausg. im Originalformat : Codex Vaticanus Latinus 3256 d. Biblioteca apostolica vaticana u. Codex Latinus fol. 416 d. Staatsbibliothek Preussischer Kulturbesitz". Catalog - UW-Madison Libraries. University of Wisconsin Madison Libraries. Retrieved 29 July 2014.
- Christopher Kleinhenz (8 January 2004). Medieval Italy: An Encyclopedia. Routledge. p. 136. ISBN 978-1-135-94880-1.
- Charney, Noah (16 November 2011). "Vatican Mysteries: What’s So Secret about Procopius’ “Secret History?”". Blouinartinfo. Louise Blouin Media. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- John M. Jeep (2001). Medieval Germany: An Encyclopedia. Psychology Press. p. 57. ISBN 978-0-8240-7644-3.
- Wooden, Cindy (12 April 2012). "Vatican Library, Oxford's Bodleian launch major digitization project". Catholic News Service. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
- McKenna, Josephine (20 March 2014). "Vatican library plans to digitise 82,000 of its most valuable manuscripts". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 23 March 2014. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
- Denti, Antonio (20 March 2014). "Vatican library will digitize its archives and put them online". Vatican library will digitize its archives and put them online. Reuters. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- Greiner, Lynn (23 July 2014). "Storage giant EMC looks to ease concerns about Flash technology". Storage giant EMC looks to ease concerns about Flash technology. Financial Post.com. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- von Pastor, Ludwig Freiherr (1906). The History of the Popes: From the Close of the Middle Ages. Drawn from the Secret Archives of the Vatican and Other Original Sources, Volume 3. Trübner & Company Ltd. p. 31. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- "Table of Admittances to the Vatican Secret Archives in the Last Years". Archived from the original on 6 May 2011.
- "Knights of Columbus Vatican Film Library - Home Page". www.slu.edu. Retrieved 13 November 2007.
- "LOWRIE J. DALY, S.J., MEMORIAL LECTURE ON MANUSCRIPT STUDIES". Libraries at Saint Louis University. Saint Louis University. Retrieved 29 July 2014.
- C. Krohn, Ernst (June 1957). Notes Second Series, Vol. 14, No. 3. Music Library Association. p. 317. Retrieved 29 July 2014.
- "Kentucky New Era - Aug 14, 1954". Kentucky New Era. 14 August 1954. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
- "Vatican Library History". Vaticanlibrary.va. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
- "Vatican Apostolic LibraryInstitute Connected with the Holy See". GCatholic.org. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
- "Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church - Consistory of February 26, 1561 (II)". 5 August 2006. Retrieved 2013-07-10.
- "Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church - Consistory of September June 5, 1596 (II)". 15 April 2007. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
- "Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church - Consistory of July 18, 1605 (I)". Retrieved 7 October 2013.
- "Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church - Consistory of April 9, 1657 (I)". Retrieved 7 October 2013.
- "Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church - Consistory of March 16, 1863 (XIII)". Retrieved 7 October 2013.
- "Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church - Consistory of July 27, 1885 (VIII)". Retrieved 7 October 2013.
- "Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church - Luigi Poggi". Retrieved 7 October 2013.
- Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church - The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, ©1998-2014, Miranda, Salvador. Available from Florida International University Libraries
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Biblioteca apostolica Vaticana.|
- Vatican Library English home page
- Vatican Library old home page, with online catalog search
- History of the Vatican Library, from the Library's site
- Treasures of the Vatican Library Exposed via The European Library
- Rome Reborn: The Vatican Library & Renaissance Culture, an online exhibition from the Library of Congress.
- Toward On-line, worldwide access to Vatican Library materials (1996). A collaborative effort (pioneered by Fr. Leonard Boyle OP Prefect of the Vatican Library) between the Vatican Library and IBM, the primary goal of which is to "provide access via the Internet to some of the Library's most valuable manuscripts, printed books, and other sources to a scholarly community around the world."
- Vatican to digitize Apostolic Library of 1.6 million volumes for general perusal, PCWorld.com, October 29, 2002. A joint effort between the Vatican and Hewlett-Packard.
- Knights of Columbus Vatican Film Library. Saint Louis University library that focuses on the collection of the Vatican Library.
- The Secret History of Art by Noah Charney on the Vatican Library and Procopius. An article by art historian Noah Charney about the Vatican Library and its famous manuscript, Historia Arcana by Procopius.
- The Vatican: spirit and art of Christian Rome, a book from The Metropolitan Museum of Art Libraries (fully available online as PDF), which contains material on the library (p. 280-290)