Vatican secret archives

December 3, 2009 at 2:33 pm | Posted in Lifescape | Leave a comment
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   When in 1610 Paul V founded the new Archives in the Vatican, thus transferring to the new premises in the Vatican Palaces the volumes and the documents until then preserved in the Archive of the Apostolic Camera, in the Vatican Library and in Castel S. Angelo, we can start talking about the “Vatican Secret Archives” (Archivum Secretum Vaticanum) and in some cases they were also called «Apostolic Vatican Secret Archives». This was due to the analogy with the Apostolic Library, called «Bibliotheca Secreta» since the XV Century.

  In the latter, we are talking about the private archive of the prince (the secret archive of the Gonzagas, the Estensis, the Montelefeltros, etc.). The prince was the absolute owner of the archive and directly administrated it, by assigning to it a person who then carried the same title: «scriptor secretus», «bibliothecarius secretus», etc.

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