FACTOID # 19: Cheap sloppy joes: Looking for reduced-price lunches for schoolchildren? Head for Oklahoma!
 
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 
   
 
WHAT'S NEW
 

SEARCH ALL

FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 

 

(* = Graphable)

 

 


Encyclopedia > Vatican Library

The Vatican Library (Latin: Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana) is the library of the Holy See, located in Vatican City. It is one of the oldest and most significant libraries of historical texts.


Pope Nicholas V established the library in 1448 by combining 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.


When its first librarian, Bartolomeo Platina, produced a listing in 1481, the library held over 3500 items, making it by far the largest in the Western world. Around 1587, Pope Sixtus V commissioned the architect Domenico Fontana to construct a new building for the library; it is still in use today. Books were displayed on benches to which they were chained.


The library was enriched by several bequests and acquisitions over the centuries.


In 1623, the hereditary Palatine Library of Heidelberg containing about 3500 manuscripts, was given to the Vatican by Maximilian I, Duke of Bavaria 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. Aside from that, the Palatine Library remains in the Vatican Library to this day.


In 1657, the manuscripts of the Dukes of Urbino were acquired. In 1661 the Greek scholar Leo Allatius was made librarian. Christina of Sweden saw to it that her library, which was for all practical purposes the entire royal library of Sweden of the time, became part of the Vatican Library on her death in 1689.


Today, the library holds some 75,000 manuscripts and over 1.1 million printed books, which include some 8,500 incunabula. The Secret Vatican Archives were separated from the library at the beginning of the 17th century; they contain another 150,000 items.


Among the most famous holdings of the library is the Codex Vaticanus, the oldest known manuscript of the Bible. The Secret History of Procopius was discovered in the library and published in 1623.


A commonly repeated urban legend has it that the Vatican Library holds the largest collection of pornography in the world. This is false; the library owns very few pornographic materials, largely file copies of works on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum. There are also a few mildly erotic works of art, but very little since the Renaissance.


The Vatican Library is a research library for history, law, philosophy, science and theology, open to anyone who can document their qualifications and their research needs to view the collection. Photocopies for private study of pages from books published between 1801 and 1990 can be requested in person or by mail. A School of Library Science is associated with the Vatican Library.


External links

  • Vatican Library home page (http://bav.vatican.va/en/v_home_bav/home_bav.shtml), with online catalog search
  • U.S. Library of Congress Vatican exhibition (http://www.ibiblio.org/expo/vatican.exhibit/exhibit/a-vatican_lib/Vatican_lib.html), many images of important documents from the library
  • On the pornography urban legend (http://www.snopes.com/risque/porn/vatican.htm), by snopes.com

  Results from FactBites:
 
Vatican Library - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (677 words)
In 1623, the hereditary Palatine Library of Heidelberg containing about 3500 manuscripts, was given to the Vatican by Maximilian I, Duke of Bavaria 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.
Christina of Sweden saw to it that her library, which was for all practical purposes the entire royal library of Sweden of the time, became part of the Vatican Library on her death in 1689.
The Vatican Library is a research library for history, law, philosophy, science and theology, open to anyone who can document their qualifications and their research needs to view the collection.
The Seattle Times: Nation & World: Vatican upgrades 15th-century library with new technology (988 words)
It's the latest advance for the Vatican Library, which was started by Pope Nicholas V in the 1450s with an initial 350 Latin manuscripts.
Today, the Vatican Library is known for its collection of manuscripts — the one-of-a-kind, often beautifully illustrated handwritten books that predate the era of the printing press.
One of the library's most important pieces is the "Codex B," the oldest known complete Bible, which dates from about 325 A.D. and is believed to have been one of the 50 bibles Emperor Constantine commissioned.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

COMMENTARY     


Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m