CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY
It is sad that the biggest source of the history of mankind could become one person's private domain. This is exactly what the Vatican Library, including its Secret Archives, is. The Vatican Library is the inalienable property of the Supreme Pontiff, and it is by his sovereign will that it is open to consultation. Therefore, it is not a public institution. Essentially the Pope is doing us a huge favor by providing limited access to his treasure trove.
It is not hard to figure out where the initial sources accumulated during the times of Inquisition came from. I doubt that those very old and valuable texts were donated to the Pope. Anyone out here thinks that the 14th, 15th century Vatican was running around purchasing publications? It appears to me that the initial 200-300 years of the collection were outright stolen from the righteous owners.
Who put an end to the Nights Templar in the 14th century? The Pope assisted by the King of France did. It would be naive to think that the most powerful order to ever exist did not have a library of its own. Would it be fair to say that only God and the Pope know what was in that library?
What about the annihilated Cathars who were wiped out from the face of this Earth by the Pope in the same 14th century? Where did their collected texts end up at? What was in their collection?
Please don't forget all the tortured and burned at the stake. Where did their property go? The Inquisition funded itself from the property it confiscated. Would you wonder where the literary possessions went?
And, of course, we have all the reported and unreported book burnings. Allegedly those books were religion related. Our ancient world was full of complex architecture, but all the burnt books were reportedly religious. I do not believe this for a second. There had to be multiple scientific and technology related books. I also do not believe that all those books were burnt. Vatican was accumulating their wealth of knowledge through collecting books, not burning them. There, supposedly, were book "burnings" in Europe, in Americas and wherever else the Papal hand could reach. I, personally, think that all the "important" books ended up in the Vatican Library.
KD opinion: A serious chunk of the older documents stored in the Vatican Secret Archives were outright stolen from their righteous owners. Who knows, you could be the legal owner of an invaluable book or two, but now they belong to the Pope... too bad the statue of limitations has expired.
Some general Vatican Library info
The Vatican Apostolic Library is the library of the Holy See, located in Vatican City. 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. It has 75,000 codices from throughout history, as well as 1.1 million printed books, which include some 8,500 incunabula. An incunable, is a book, pamphlet, or broadside printed in Europe before the year 1501. Incunabula are not manuscripts. As of 2014, there are about 30,000 distinct known incunable editions extant.
Opened to anyone, LOL: Qualified scholars from around the world, particularly professors and researchers from universities and other institutions of higher education, and other learned persons known for their writings and scholarly publications, are admitted without distinction of race, religion, origin or culture. The admission’s pre-conditions are the availability of space and adequate training, documented and attested by an accredited academic institution. According to a long-standing tradition, inquirers are requested to indicate the nature of their research project.
Customarily, university students are not granted admission. Exceptions may be made for graduate students preparing a doctoral thesis or studying for the degree, e.g. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), as well as for undergraduate students who have a specific need to consult manuscripts or other materials preserved only in the Vatican Library.
For admission to the regular Library, the following documents are required:
- a letter of introduction (particularly for first-time applicants) or a document attesting the applicant’s academic qualifications, of which the Library keeps the original or makes a copy;
- at its own discretion, the Library may require a guarantee letter (for students it is always required)
Vatican Secret Archives
The Vatican Secret Archives were separated from the library at the beginning of the 17th century; they contain another 150,000 items. The Pope, as Sovereign of Vatican City and having primal incumbency, owns the archives until his death or resignation, with ownership passing to his successor.
The Vatican Secret Archives have been estimated to contain 85 kilometres (53 mi) of shelving, with 35,000 volumes in the selective catalogue alone. The archives contain the state papers, correspondence, papal account books, and many other documents which the church has accumulated over the centuries.
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 closed to outsiders until 1881, when Pope Leo XIII opened them to researchers, more than a thousand of whom now examine some of its documents each year.
KD Opinion: 53 shelf miles of state papers and papal account books? One has to be delusional to believe that. What do 35,000 volumes of the catalogue contain? I bet it's those " many other documents which the church has accumulated [STOLEN] over the centuries".
Access to the Secret Archives
(see if you qualify)
(see if you qualify)
Catch 22: To view a document you have to specifically request that specific document. Considering that nobody really knows what's being stored on those 53 miles of shelving, it sounds like an insult to one's personal intelligence. If this is not oxymoronic, I do not know what is.
- The Archives are open to qualified Researchers from institutions of Higher Education who are conducting a scientific research project and have an adequate knowledge of archive research.
- Applications to access to the Archives must be submitted to the Prefect along with a letter of commendation on headed paper by either a recognized institute of research or by a person suitably qualified in historical research (i.e. a full professor).
- Applications should include the applicant’s surname, first name(s), qualifications (these must include at least a four-year University degree or equivalent, PhD, research grant; for clergymen: licence or PhD), profession, nationality, home address, address in Rome and purpose of the research.
- Enclose a copy of the Degree Certificate, a copy of a valid identification document (ID Card or Passport) and a passport photo, which will be applied on the Entry Card that will allow you to have access to the Vatican City and the Archives Study Rooms.
- Entry Cards expire on 30th June of each year and could be renewed only after handing back the expired one.
- Undergraduate students are not granted admission into the Archives.
- In order to allow access to as many Researchers as possible, according to the number of seats available, access is usually not permitted to more than one researcher working on the same topic.
- The Archives are open to Researchers from 1st October to 30th June (8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.) from Monday to Saturday. The Admissions Secretary issues Entry Cards from Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Closing periods and days are available on the «Archives Calendar». The Bursar’s Office is open to Scholars every day from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.
- Scholars holding an Entry Card have access to the Archives from Monday to Saturday, between 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. A written motivation must be submitted to the Prefect to request afternoon access (from 2:00 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.).
- It is forbidden to bring bags, briefcases/computer bags, ballpoint pens, fountain pens, felt-tip pens, etc., cameras, food and drinks into the Study Rooms. Mobile phones must be kept switched off. In case, please, ask the Study Room staff members for permission to use electronic devices not listed above.
- Only documents up (until) the end of the Papacy of Pius XI (10th February 1939) can be viewed, except when a document is covered by the provisions set out in articles 39 and 40 of the Vatican Law on the Archives of the Holy See.
- Archival material request forms are available and can be used to request no more than three volumes or folders per day. Requests are accepted only up until 12:00 noon; requests made after this time (and during the afternoon timetable) will not be accepted. The Scholar could ask to keep in deposit for some day up to three archival items.
- All volumes and documents must be handled with the utmost care. It is strictly forbidden to write, even in pencil, on archival documents or to place paper or any other objects on the material. Furthermore, the order of the papers of the archival items must not be altered when reading them.
- Scholars who need to take notes, may only use graphite-pencils. Ballpoint-pens, fountain-pens, felt-tip pens, etc., are strictly forbidden.
- If the volume, the folder or the document handed to the Scholar is in a poor state of conservation or shows any problem whatsoever, the Scholar must inform the staff members in the Study Room.
- It is strictly forbidden to take documents out of the Study Room.
- Indexes must be read in the Index Room and put back in their place. Scholars are not allowed to totally or even partially produce photocopies of these volumes.
- All Printed material must be viewed in the “Sisto V” Study Room, where it is also possible to access digital copies of the original registers and documents on CD-Rom and DVD-Rom, using specially-dedicated stations, as well as to read the electronic versions of the indexes and inventories available in the intranet. Scholars are not allowed to produce full or even partial photocopies of the printed material.
- Silence must be observed at all times and in all parts of the Archives. The appropriate dress code and maximum respectfulness for the study environment is required.
- Scholars unfamiliar with the Archive fonds and indexes should refer to the reference guidebook found among the tools provided by the Prefecture. They should manage their own researches using the publications available in the Study Rooms. Study Room staff members shall provide researchers with any further information or explanation they may need.
- Researchers are not allowed to take pictures of the documents. Copies can be requested by filling out the appropriate form available in the Study Rooms.
- In order to publish the picture of a document for editorial and/or exhibition purposes, a prior authorization should be obtained from the Archive Prefecture, by filling out the form “Concessione diritti di utilizzo di immagini per pubblicazioni” (“Granting of the right to use pictures for publications”) available in the Study Rooms.
- When Scholars are authorized to access the Archives, they also accept the obligation to send to the Prefecture a copy of their publications, articles in journals, exhibition catalogues, books etc. (either hard copies or electronic format) whenever documents from the Archives are used or cited.
- The reference of all volumes and documents should be quoted in the correct and concise form, as indicated in the Index of the Fonds. If in doubt, please ask a staff member in the Study Room. The words
- «Archivio Segreto Vaticano» (ASV) must be completed with referral to the Vatican City, and not to Rome.
- Those who fail to observe these Rules will no longer be allowed to access the Archives.
If you publish a work of your own based on your Secret Archive based research, you are required to provide the Archive with a copy. If they do not like it, good luck visiting the archive again.
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KD Summary: Not much to add here. The Church is quite possibly in possession of the documents, and other objects capable of explaining the origin of mankind, and many other aspects of our real history. I think everybody knows it, I simply put it on paper, so to speak.
Quite a few of those documents were acquired through violence, murder, torture and attacks on Jews, women and minorities. Yet, those invaluable texts are being kept hidden from the public knowledge. The legal definition of a Crime Against Humanity somehow does not list this wrongdoing as one of the crimes. This is truly unfortunate, for I have a term for it:
- scientific dictatorship
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