Contacting the Vatican Archive Department


#1

Hi,

I’m a student who is really excited about finding the official page for the Secret Archives of the Vatican. I’ve run into a snag though… All the catalouges are in Italian. Is there any way to contact the Vatican and get a copy of the catalog in English? Or is this available on the web somewhere? I would really appreciate any information you could give me.

Thank you!


#2

but they’re the secret archives… :wink:

Don’t look here


#3

your friend did not find a link to the “secret” vatican archives, but he may have discovered the link to the Vatican Archives catalogs, and the documents that have so far been made available on line, which is on many Catholic websites, including vatican.va. the vast portion of the Vatican archives are open to serious researchers, and the catalogs are available on line, although only a portion of the holdings may actually be viewed on-line.

The “secret” archives are those that deal with matters that must remain private or “occult” (hidden) such as matters of the internal forum (conscience), marriage tribunal records, canon law proceedings against priests, Vatican administration, personnel matters, etc.,and the personal papers of popes which remain closed for at least 50 years after death. This is standard archival practice.

Also collections are not made available to researchers until they are inventoried, cataloged and preservation needs have been met. Catalogs and manuscript descriptions for items in English are available in English, but the vast majority of holdings will be in Latin, and after that, in Italian.


#4

puzzleannie,

The formal title (in English) is the “Vatican Secret Archives” - even the Vatican web site uses that title for them.

It should be noted that the title doesn’t come from them being “secret” per se - but rather because its from the same root as “Secretary”. Personally I think a title like “Vatican Secretary Archives” makes more sense - but I understand that would be even more confusing to folks :slight_smile:


#5

“Secret Archives” just makes books like the Da Vinci Code more popular.:rolleyes:


#6

[quote=davidc2]puzzleannie,

The formal title (in English) is the “Vatican Secret Archives” - even the Vatican web site uses that title for them.

It should be noted that the title doesn’t come from them being “secret” per se - but rather because its from the same root as “Secretary”. Personally I think a title like “Vatican Secretary Archives” makes more sense - but I understand that would be even more confusing to folks :slight_smile:
[/quote]

It comes from the Latin expression sub secreto which means in the parlance of their time, “private collection” or private files. There have been at least three good books written on them and also detailed descriptions in several other books.


closed #7

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