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Vatican Archives: An Inventory and Guide to Historical Documents of the Holy See Hardcover – January 7, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-0195095524 ISBN-10: 0195095529

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (January 7, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195095529
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195095524
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1.8 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,161,775 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"This important volume, recently hailed by Choice as an Outstanding Academic Book of 1998, will prove indispensable for all scholars whose research takes them to the Archivo Segreto Vaticano..."--Sixteenth Century Journal

"[U]seful for graduate and even undergraduate students doing research in general world history or church history. Highly recommended for any academic library."--Choice

"This important work offers much to researchers who seek an understanding of the significance of the Catholic Church throughout the world."--Colonial Latin American Historical Review

" . . . a monumental volume and stunning achievement. . . this will sure prove to be the definitive guide to these records . . . . generations of researchers will give those who have prepared this exemplary guide their undying . . . gratitude."--American Archivist

"... this guide will be an indispensable reference tool for research in the Vatican collections."--Church History

"This work will be essential for all English-speaking scholars who plan to do research in the Vatican Archives."--Catholic Historical Review

"An indispensable tool for all research libraries."--Religious Studies Review

"As a whole, this volume does a remarkable job of providing a comprehensive, accessible introduction to the archives that eschews oversimplification. This is ... a key that will be useful to all levels of researchers, even those who have already worked extensively in the collections."--Sixteenth Century Journal

About the Author

Francis X. Blouin is at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Allan W. Blasdale on June 5, 2008
At last the general public can access an Index of the huge Archive of the Vatican. This volume is an excellent addition to the small amount of material available for researchers of the Archives. (Only 4 other standard guides exist.) It "provides a comprehensive overview of extant historical documentation generated by the Holy See since the 9th century." (from the forward)-and does so in a clear, lucid way. There is a complete introduction including a carefully structured discussion of how to use a volume such as this.
Documents are generated by each of the various agencies of the Vatican. These include the College of Cardinals, the Papal court, the Roman Curia, Offices, such as "camerlengo", Tribunals, Apostolic Nunciatures, Papal States, The Congregations, Commissions, and many more. These papers are placed in the Archives, and this Index essentially tells you, the researcher, where they are.
The true size of the Vatican Archives is astonishing: it is said they occupy some 35 miles of shelf space. Under just one listing in the chapter, The Roman Curia, we find a reference,, to 90 linear metres of shelfspace, containg 1044 volumes. Under the next, 1451 volumes. Each listing includes a history, an analysis of how the meterials are organised, the scope of the material, and a discussion of references.
Not here is any of the material pertaining to a Secret Archive, now the stuff of fiction books. This is the real thing.
NOTE: read the introduction carefully! It is very helpful if you have a background in Archival Work. The science is subtle, and the author acknowledges it.
5 Stars
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