The precision with which one can date the creation of this book is purely down to the fact that it gives us its ‘publication’ date—the only such case on this list (it is, according to the British Library, where it now resides, the earliest example of a dated, printed book in the world). 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. [7], During the Counter-Reformation, access to the library's collections was limited following the introduction of the Index of banned books. Illuminated manuscripts: In 2012, plans were announced to digitize, in collaboration with the Bodleian Library, a million pages of material from the Vatican Library. VATICAN CITY (CNN) -- It is home to 1.6 million books, centuries-old manuscripts and the oldest known complete Bible. 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. The library is the direct heir of the first library of the Roman pontiffs. [7] Individual library staff were called "Custodians". Most of the codex is held at the Bibliothèque National de France in Paris, while smaller parts are in the National Library of Russia in Saint-Petersburg, the Vatican Library, and in the Khalili Collection in London. [19], While the Vatican Library has always included Bibles, canon law texts and theological works, it specialized in secular books from the beginning. The Pseudo-Apuleius Herbarius was the most influential herbal in Europe until the High Middle Ages. The Secret History of Procopius was discovered in the library and published in 1623. [25] This is not to be confused with the Vatican Film Library, which was established in 1953 at Saint Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri. This codex is a quarto volume written in uncial letters of the fourth century, on … No list of secret libraries would be complete without an … Though it’s certainly comforting to think literature began to appear as soon as language did, or was at least scribbled down as soon as writing became a thing, the fact is we can’t be too sure. [37] It is expected that the initial phase will take 4 years. The whole text includes a little less than half of the Quran, and was produced by five scribes in Hijazi script. The History Channel will be presenting a show of the cumulative research efforts over the years done on the book. A Chinese version of a key text in the Mahayana Buddhist tradition, this Diamond Sutra—found among other manuscripts in a cave in Dunhuang—was printed from wooden blocks onto a scroll over 5m (16.4 ft.) long. [6], Every year about 6,000 new books are acquired.[6]. You could borrow books from the library up until the 1760s, but you could also lose your borrowing rights if you broke the house rules. [19], 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. The two other surviving illustrated manuscripts of classical literature … The Vatican Apostolic Library (Latin: Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana, Italian: Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana), more commonly known as the Vatican Library or informally as the Vat,[1] is the library of the Holy See, located in Vatican City. The archives were establish… The Vatican Library is home to some of the oldest and most precious works of art and treasure known to man. Due to the fairly medieval style of its illustrations, it was long thought to have been made much later than it actually was, an error carbon dating remedied only recently, by dating it back to Christianity’s first forays in the region. The archives are in fact made up of the private letters and historic records of past popes over the past four centuries. Millions of people visit the Vatican every year but most don’t realise the Vatican is home to a library of over 2 million texts. Regula Sancti Benedicti (The Rule of St Benedict), 8th century. 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. [4] The number of manuscripts is variously counted as 3,500 in 1475[4] or 2,527 in 1481, when librarian Bartolomeo Platina produced a signed listing. 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. Pope Nicholas V (1447–1455) envisioned a new Rome with extensive public works to lure pilgrims and scholars to the city to begin its transformation. As the collection grew to more than a few thousand, shelf lists were used. 3225, also known as the Vatican Virgil) is an illuminated manuscript containing fragments of Virgil's Aeneid and Georgics made in Rome in about 400 C.E.. [6][7] 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. [26], During the library's restoration between 2007 and 2010, all of the 70,000 volumes in the library were tagged with electronic chips to prevent theft.[19]. [6][7], In 1756, Abbot Piaggio conserver of ancient manuscripts in the Vatican Library used a machine he also invented,[10] to unroll the first Herculaneum papyri, which took him months. In 1455, the collection had grown to 1200 books, of which 400 were in Greek. [7], Historically, during the Renaissance era, most books were not shelved but stored in wooden benches, which had tables attached to them. ROME Sept.13, 2010— -- The magnificent Vatican Library, one of the oldest and richest in the world, was unveiled today after a three year and $11.5 million restoration.. One of the oldest libraries in the world, the Vatican Apostolic Library holds many of the rarest and most valuable documents in existence including the 42 line Latin Bible of Gutenberg, the first book printed with movable type and dating between 1451 and 1455. [9] At the time it was the largest collection of books in the Western world. [14] When Pope Sixtus V (1585-1590) commissioned the expansion and the new building of the Vatican Library, he had a three-story wing built right across Bramante's Cortile del Belvedere, thus bisecting it and changing Bramante's work significantly. [8] [7][46][47], The library currently has 80 staff who work in five departments: manuscripts and archival collections, printed books/drawings, acquisitions/cataloguing, coin collections/museums and restoration/photography. These will be high-definition images available on the Library's Internet site. The truth behind the secret archives stems from a mistranslation of Latin. What we do know is that the oldest known texts—5,000-year-old Iranian tablets—are mostly accounts of property (shows you where our concerns lie), and that the first extended works were made in Egypt a few hundred years later. [7] The library catalogue was further updated by Rev. [1], The Vatican Library can be accessed by 200 scholars at a time,[23] and it sees 4,000 to 5,000 scholars a year, mostly academics doing post-graduate research. His death prevented him from carrying out his plan, but his successor Pope Sixtus IV (1471–1484) established what is now known as the Vatican Library. The actual name of the Vatican archives is Archivum Secretum Apostolicum Vaticanum . Currently, Vatican Library holds about 75000 codices, 85000 incunabula and about 1.1 million books. [44], 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. [16], The Library closed for renovations on 17 July 2007[17] and reopened 20 September 2010. Books using gold and silver in the illuminations require special scanning equipment. Notable manuscripts in the Library include: It provides free access to the Vatican Library's digitized collections of manuscripts and incunabula. The Vatican Apostolic Library has digitised one of the world’s oldest manuscripts, an illustrated fragment of Virgil’s Aeneid that dates back 1,600 years. A dubious inclusion, perhaps, on count of its doubted authenticity and non-bookish qualities (as well as the relevant scholarship’s continual Mormon references), this item is nonetheless something of a spectacular specimen. Prior to its formal creation, many libraries were scattered across Italy. Visiting the official website of the Holy See one can browse: the Magisterium of the Supreme Pontiffs (from Pope Leo XIII to Pope Francis); the fundamental texts of Catholicism in various languages (the Sacred Bible, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the documents of the Second Vatican Council and the Code of Canon Law); the documents of Dicasteries, Bodies and Institutions of the Roman Curia In 1661, the Greek scholar Leo Allatius was made librarian. Still stored in the Abba Garima Monastery in Ethiopia, where they were most likely written, the gospels are two Ge’ez-language illuminated books, the second of which could date as far back as the 4th century. [15] The first floor houses the restoration laboratory, and the photographic archives are on the second floor. In 1475 his successor Pope Sixtus IV founded the Palatine Library. 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. A School of library science is associated with the Vatican Library. [7] Around 1587, Pope Sixtus V commissioned the architect Domenico Fontana to construct a new building for the library, which is still used today. [22] In the 1760s, a bill issued by Clement XIII heavily restricted access to the library's holdings. In Vatican City, the walled enclave within the city or Rome, there is an archive containing more than 75,000 codices from throughout history and an estimated 1.1 million ancient printed books.It was officially designated the Vatican Apostolic Library (aka Vatican Library or the Vat) in 1475 although the collection is much, much older – one of the oldest in the world. [15], In the first semi-basement there is a papyrus room and a storage area for manuscripts. [7] Privileges to use the library could be withdrawn for breaking the house rules, for instance by climbing over the tables. [16], Gospel of Matthew in Persian, the first Persian manuscript to enter the Vatican Library, Manuscript page with the five-voice "Kyrie" of the Missa Virgo Parens Christi by Jacques Barbireau, Mappamondo Borgiano, also known as "Tavola di Velletri", consisting of two 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, Illumination from the legend of Sain Emerich of Hungary's, c. 1335, Battle between David and Goliath, Book of Psalms, c. 1059, The ivory panels from the back cover of Codex Aureus of Lorsch, The Vatican Secret Archives, located in Vatican City, is the central archive for all of the acts promulgated by the Holy See, as well as the state papers, correspondence, papal account books,[40] and many other documents which the church has accumulated over the centuries. It is the earliest surviving manuscript of the Rule of Saint Benedict of Nursia, which he enumerated sometime around 540 as a guide to the principles of monastic life. Until the early 17th century, academics were also allowed to borrow books. [8], Pope Julius II commissioned the expansion of the building. Among the more recent is a letter written by Pope Pius XI to Hitler in December 1934. Each bench was dedicated to a specific topic. The library was enriched by several bequests and acquisitions over the centuries. 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. While the Vatican Library has always included Bibles, canon law texts and theological works, it specialized in secular books from the beginning. St. Catherine’s Monastery. Ceiling fresco of the sistine hall, photograph by Jean-Pol Grandmont, The collection was originally organized through notebooks used to index the manuscripts. Said to have been found some 70 years ago in a tomb along the Strouma River in Bulgaria, it is composed of six gold ‘pages’ held together with golden rings, and illustrated with various soldiers, a mermaid, and a harp. Vatican to digitize Apostolic Library of 1.6 million volumes for general perusal, History of the Vatican Library, from the Library's site, Toward On-line, worldwide access to Vatican Library materials (1996), The Secret History of Art by Noah Charney on the Vatican Library and Procopius, Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff, Fine Arts and Letters of the Virtuosi al Pantheon, Agency for the Evaluation and Promotion of Quality, Congregation for Indulgences and Sacred Relics, Secretariate of Briefs to Princes and of Latin Letters, Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church, Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers, Santi Martino e Sebastiano degli Svizzeri, International Alliance of Catholic Knights, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Vatican_Library&oldid=998486179, Articles with incomplete citations from July 2014, Infobox mapframe without OSM relation ID on Wikidata, Articles containing Italian-language text, Articles containing potentially dated statements from 2007, All articles containing potentially dated statements, Wikipedia articles with BIBSYS identifiers, Wikipedia articles with CANTIC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SELIBR identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Codex Vat. 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