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  #1  
Old Sep 13, '11, 8:48 am
Sacratus's Avatar
Sacratus Sacratus is offline
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Exclamation Entrance to Vatican archives and library

How can someone enter to Vatican archives and library? I heard only Roman Catholic academics may enter with permission. I'm a Roman Catholic and a Classical Philologist(Speciality on Latin Lang. & Lit.). I'm planning to be an academic. Most of the sources written in Latin and Ancient Greek are in the possession of Roman Catholic Church. There are no one to enlighten me about this matter.
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  #2  
Old Sep 13, '11, 9:43 am
Wesley7 Wesley7 is offline
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Default Re: Entrance to Vatican archives and library

You probably need permission to access the Vatican library archives. You might be looking for info on your birth records, family history whatnot. etc
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  #3  
Old Sep 13, '11, 9:53 am
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Joe 5859 Joe 5859 is offline
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Default Re: Entrance to Vatican archives and library

If your place of employment in academia has gone through the process before, maybe they can guide you through the process. If not, the place to start would probably be by contacting your bishop (and you could always start with your parish priest to help make that happen).
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The Catechesis of the Popes
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The more I follow the online discussions ... the more I follow the debates and disagreements in the Church about administrative unity, or the concerns expressed about the moral or personal or administrative or leadership failings of the bishops or the clergy, the more I become convinced that whatever might be the truth of these concerns, ALL of this is simply a distraction. No, itís more than that. Itís a justification, an excuse, for not helping each other and those outside the Church fall in love with Jesus Christ. How easy it is to talk about everything, but about Jesus hardly at all.

- Fr. Gregory Jensen
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  #4  
Old Sep 14, '11, 1:47 am
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Sacratus Sacratus is offline
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Default Re: Entrance to Vatican archives and library

Only Catholics can enter right? I think allowing non-Catholic wouldn't be wise. By the way in Angels&Demons an ex-Catholic agnostic Prof. Langdon can enter archives but the thing is I think it is a goof.
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  #5  
Old Sep 14, '11, 8:19 am
TimothyH TimothyH is offline
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Default Re: Entrance to Vatican archives and library

Arn't they digitizing the whole thing and putting it online?


-Tim-
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  #6  
Old Sep 14, '11, 8:22 am
PazzoGrande PazzoGrande is online now
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Default Re: Entrance to Vatican archives and library

Quote:
Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Arn't they digitizing the whole thing and putting it online?


-Tim-
I think they're only doing that with some documents. To do it with everything would take forever. As I understand it, a lot of the material isn't even catalogued.
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  #7  
Old Sep 14, '11, 8:35 am
1ke 1ke is offline
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Default Re: Entrance to Vatican archives and library

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sacratus View Post
How can someone enter to Vatican archives and library?
Go to:

http://www.vaticanlibrary.va/home.ph...g&res=1280x800

Click on Information For Readers > Admission Criteria

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sacratus View Post
I heard only Roman Catholic academics may enter with permission.
This is not correct. One need not be Catholic to access the library. One does need proper academic credentials.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sacratus View Post
I'm a Roman Catholic and a Classical Philologist(Speciality on Latin Lang. & Lit.). I'm planning to be an academic. Most of the sources written in Latin and Ancient Greek are in the possession of Roman Catholic Church. There are no one to enlighten me about this matter.
If you meet the criteria listed on their website, and can provide the appropriate documentation, you should be able to obtain access.

I suggest you review the Vatican Library website in detail.
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ke's universal disclaimer: In my posts, when I post about marriage, canon law, or sacraments I am talking about Latin Rite only, not the Orthodox and Eastern Rites. These are exceptions that confuse the issue and I am not talking about those.
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  #8  
Old Sep 14, '11, 8:37 am
1ke 1ke is offline
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Default Re: Entrance to Vatican archives and library

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sacratus View Post
Only Catholics can enter right?
No. That is not correct

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sacratus View Post
I think allowing non-Catholic wouldn't be wise.
Why-ever not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sacratus View Post
By the way in Angels&Demons an ex-Catholic agnostic Prof. Langdon can enter archives but the thing is I think it is a goof
Uh, that's fiction. It has nothing to do with reality.
__________________
Pax, ke

ke's universal disclaimer: In my posts, when I post about marriage, canon law, or sacraments I am talking about Latin Rite only, not the Orthodox and Eastern Rites. These are exceptions that confuse the issue and I am not talking about those.
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  #9  
Old Sep 14, '11, 11:59 am
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Rolltide Rolltide is offline
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Default Re: Entrance to Vatican archives and library

Quote:
Originally Posted by PazzoGrande View Post
I think they're only doing that with some documents. To do it with everything would take forever. As I understand it, a lot of the material isn't even catalogued.
Well, the *eventual* goal is to have everything online, but for the time being, they're focusing on the most important and the most delicate documents to prevent wear and tear from handling.
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  #10  
Old Sep 14, '11, 12:31 pm
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Default Re: Entrance to Vatican archives and library

I work as a professional historian, and the Vatican Library, the Vatican Secret Archives, and the other Vatican collections work basically the same as most other national archives. I've worked in both the US National Archives, the Spanish National Archives, and the Archive of the Royal Palace of Spain in Madrid, so I'm quite familiar with the process of getting in. Here's basically how it works.

1) Because of the delicate condition and sensitive nature of many of these documents, access to these archives is restricted to researches and other people with a *legitimate* need to see the originals. So, you must obtain permission to enter an archive. In the US, this is usually just a simple check of your background credentials by the government. In foreign countries, you usually need a photocopy of your highest degree, proof of your employment as a researcher, and a "Letter of Introduction", usually from your boss, confirming who you are and what you do. You will then be notified if you are given permission to use the archive.

2) If permission comes (and in most cases, it will), you will need to bring your documentation and enter the archive. You must place everything you carry with you into a locker outside the main research area. The ONLY things you may bring with you are a laptop, and possibly a digital camera. If you need to take notes, plain paper and pencils will be provided for you by the archive inside. You will also be given white gloves to protect your hands when handling the documents.

3) Generally, your access will be VERY tightly controlled, no matter what archive you are in. You will be taken to a reading room where the index of the archive is located. The first thing you need to do is search the index to find any materials that might be relevant. Then, you submit a written request for those materials... and go home for the day. Archives are not like regular libraries. Often times, the materials won't even be on site, but in a building or warehouse in some other part of town. A professional archivist will walk or drive over there, spend the afternoon pulling your materials, and the next day when you return to the reading room, a nice little cart with your materials will be waiting. You may request as many materials as you like. A good researcher will hunt for almost everything on the first day so that you won't spend any more time waiting for items to be pulled that you forgot. Since there won't be many people in the reading room, the cart with your materials will stay in place when the archive closes, and be waiting for you when you return in the morning, every day until you are complete.

4) If you need a photocopy or photocopies of a document, you must place an order and have a special archivist do it. (There's a form for that, too.) While photocopies are often good, many archives will allow a digital camera and a computer now, because a camera shot from above won't do any damage to a book, whereas flipping it over and copying it might, if it's delicate.

5) Like all archives, a lot of material will be unsorted. This can get frustrating. Sometimes, you'll learn that there's a collection of papers, and the index will simply say "unsorted boxes" instead of giving a call number. That means that if you request the documents, you'll get crates of unsorted papers, and it'll be your job to carefully dig through them and try to make sense of them. Archives REALLY appreciate it if you help them with their work and attempt to put the documents in order as you search through them. It makes EVERYONE'S use of the archive easier in the future.

6) Finally, many documents will be unavailable. Many diplomatic papers are only declassified a certain number of years after the death of the last person mentioned in the papers. Sometimes, papers on wars won't be declassified until one hundred years after the conflict ends. (For example, I got to utilize papers on the Spanish American War when the archive opened in 1998.) Others will embarrass certain nations, and so are kept secret for diplomatic purposes. And in many cases, documents will be hiding simply because the index is wrong, or missed certain boxes. (It's always exciting when you find one of those by accident, because everyone, even the archivist, loves opening them and finding out what's inside. For example, I discovered, purely by accident, the wallet that President McKinley was wearing on the day he was assassinated in a mismarked box at the Library of Congress. They were excited about that. It was very cool.)

If you have any other questions about the process, feel free to ask!
__________________
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See Tide Roll.
Roll. Tide. Roll.
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  #11  
Old Sep 14, '11, 2:01 pm
Joe 5859's Avatar
Joe 5859 Joe 5859 is offline
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Default Re: Entrance to Vatican archives and library

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolltide View Post
I work as a professional historian, and the Vatican Library, the Vatican Secret Archives, and the other Vatican collections work basically the same as most other national archives. I've worked in both the US National Archives, the Spanish National Archives, and the Archive of the Royal Palace of Spain in Madrid, so I'm quite familiar with the process of getting in. Here's basically how it works.

1) Because of the delicate condition and sensitive nature of many of these documents, access to these archives is restricted to researches and other people with a *legitimate* need to see the originals. So, you must obtain permission to enter an archive. In the US, this is usually just a simple check of your background credentials by the government. In foreign countries, you usually need a photocopy of your highest degree, proof of your employment as a researcher, and a "Letter of Introduction", usually from your boss, confirming who you are and what you do. You will then be notified if you are given permission to use the archive.

2) If permission comes (and in most cases, it will), you will need to bring your documentation and enter the archive. You must place everything you carry with you into a locker outside the main research area. The ONLY things you may bring with you are a laptop, and possibly a digital camera. If you need to take notes, plain paper and pencils will be provided for you by the archive inside. You will also be given white gloves to protect your hands when handling the documents.

3) Generally, your access will be VERY tightly controlled, no matter what archive you are in. You will be taken to a reading room where the index of the archive is located. The first thing you need to do is search the index to find any materials that might be relevant. Then, you submit a written request for those materials... and go home for the day. Archives are not like regular libraries. Often times, the materials won't even be on site, but in a building or warehouse in some other part of town. A professional archivist will walk or drive over there, spend the afternoon pulling your materials, and the next day when you return to the reading room, a nice little cart with your materials will be waiting. You may request as many materials as you like. A good researcher will hunt for almost everything on the first day so that you won't spend any more time waiting for items to be pulled that you forgot. Since there won't be many people in the reading room, the cart with your materials will stay in place when the archive closes, and be waiting for you when you return in the morning, every day until you are complete.

4) If you need a photocopy or photocopies of a document, you must place an order and have a special archivist do it. (There's a form for that, too.) While photocopies are often good, many archives will allow a digital camera and a computer now, because a camera shot from above won't do any damage to a book, whereas flipping it over and copying it might, if it's delicate.

5) Like all archives, a lot of material will be unsorted. This can get frustrating. Sometimes, you'll learn that there's a collection of papers, and the index will simply say "unsorted boxes" instead of giving a call number. That means that if you request the documents, you'll get crates of unsorted papers, and it'll be your job to carefully dig through them and try to make sense of them. Archives REALLY appreciate it if you help them with their work and attempt to put the documents in order as you search through them. It makes EVERYONE'S use of the archive easier in the future.

6) Finally, many documents will be unavailable. Many diplomatic papers are only declassified a certain number of years after the death of the last person mentioned in the papers. Sometimes, papers on wars won't be declassified until one hundred years after the conflict ends. (For example, I got to utilize papers on the Spanish American War when the archive opened in 1998.) Others will embarrass certain nations, and so are kept secret for diplomatic purposes. And in many cases, documents will be hiding simply because the index is wrong, or missed certain boxes. (It's always exciting when you find one of those by accident, because everyone, even the archivist, loves opening them and finding out what's inside. For example, I discovered, purely by accident, the wallet that President McKinley was wearing on the day he was assassinated in a mismarked box at the Library of Congress. They were excited about that. It was very cool.)

If you have any other questions about the process, feel free to ask!
Wow, that's really cool. Thanks for sharing!
__________________
Joe (Average Joe Catholic)


The Catechesis of the Popes
__________________
The more I follow the online discussions ... the more I follow the debates and disagreements in the Church about administrative unity, or the concerns expressed about the moral or personal or administrative or leadership failings of the bishops or the clergy, the more I become convinced that whatever might be the truth of these concerns, ALL of this is simply a distraction. No, itís more than that. Itís a justification, an excuse, for not helping each other and those outside the Church fall in love with Jesus Christ. How easy it is to talk about everything, but about Jesus hardly at all.

- Fr. Gregory Jensen
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old Sep 15, '11, 12:16 am
Sacratus's Avatar
Sacratus Sacratus is offline
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Posts: 24
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Default Re: Entrance to Vatican archives and library

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolltide View Post
I work as a professional historian, and the Vatican Library, the Vatican Secret Archives, and the other Vatican collections work basically the same as most other national archives. I've worked in both the US National Archives, the Spanish National Archives, and the Archive of the Royal Palace of Spain in Madrid, so I'm quite familiar with the process of getting in. Here's basically how it works.

1) Because of the delicate condition and sensitive nature of many of these documents, access to these archives is restricted to researches and other people with a *legitimate* need to see the originals. So, you must obtain permission to enter an archive. In the US, this is usually just a simple check of your background credentials by the government. In foreign countries, you usually need a photocopy of your highest degree, proof of your employment as a researcher, and a "Letter of Introduction", usually from your boss, confirming who you are and what you do. You will then be notified if you are given permission to use the archive.

2) If permission comes (and in most cases, it will), you will need to bring your documentation and enter the archive. You must place everything you carry with you into a locker outside the main research area. The ONLY things you may bring with you are a laptop, and possibly a digital camera. If you need to take notes, plain paper and pencils will be provided for you by the archive inside. You will also be given white gloves to protect your hands when handling the documents.

3) Generally, your access will be VERY tightly controlled, no matter what archive you are in. You will be taken to a reading room where the index of the archive is located. The first thing you need to do is search the index to find any materials that might be relevant. Then, you submit a written request for those materials... and go home for the day. Archives are not like regular libraries. Often times, the materials won't even be on site, but in a building or warehouse in some other part of town. A professional archivist will walk or drive over there, spend the afternoon pulling your materials, and the next day when you return to the reading room, a nice little cart with your materials will be waiting. You may request as many materials as you like. A good researcher will hunt for almost everything on the first day so that you won't spend any more time waiting for items to be pulled that you forgot. Since there won't be many people in the reading room, the cart with your materials will stay in place when the archive closes, and be waiting for you when you return in the morning, every day until you are complete.

4) If you need a photocopy or photocopies of a document, you must place an order and have a special archivist do it. (There's a form for that, too.) While photocopies are often good, many archives will allow a digital camera and a computer now, because a camera shot from above won't do any damage to a book, whereas flipping it over and copying it might, if it's delicate.

5) Like all archives, a lot of material will be unsorted. This can get frustrating. Sometimes, you'll learn that there's a collection of papers, and the index will simply say "unsorted boxes" instead of giving a call number. That means that if you request the documents, you'll get crates of unsorted papers, and it'll be your job to carefully dig through them and try to make sense of them. Archives REALLY appreciate it if you help them with their work and attempt to put the documents in order as you search through them. It makes EVERYONE'S use of the archive easier in the future.

6) Finally, many documents will be unavailable. Many diplomatic papers are only declassified a certain number of years after the death of the last person mentioned in the papers. Sometimes, papers on wars won't be declassified until one hundred years after the conflict ends. (For example, I got to utilize papers on the Spanish American War when the archive opened in 1998.) Others will embarrass certain nations, and so are kept secret for diplomatic purposes. And in many cases, documents will be hiding simply because the index is wrong, or missed certain boxes. (It's always exciting when you find one of those by accident, because everyone, even the archivist, loves opening them and finding out what's inside. For example, I discovered, purely by accident, the wallet that President McKinley was wearing on the day he was assassinated in a mismarked box at the Library of Congress. They were excited about that. It was very cool.)

If you have any other questions about the process, feel free to ask!
Very enlightening. Thank you very much.
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