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A study congress opens in the Vatican for the fourth centenary of the Vatican Secret Archives (1912-2012)

“Religiosa Archivorum Custodia”, the Study Congress organized for the fourth centenary of the Vatican Secret Archives will be held at the Vatican in the Sala Pio X, Via della Conciliazione on 17 and 18 April. As Cardinal Raffaele Farina, Archivist and Librarian of Holy Roman Church explained, the Congress – seeking to avoid self-celebration and a rehash of historical topics concerning the Archives that have already been discussed in the past – is structured in such a way as to present – with the contributions of officials of the Archives themselves – the reason for the work carried out in the past 30 years on both the old and new collections. Moreover there are many innovations, thanks both to new donations or acquisitions and to a more careful reordering of the old collections (for example, those of the Napoleonic period and those of the Secretary of State in our time). A different category of new collections (part of which is still closed) will be presented for the first time: the vast archives of the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Art in Italy (set up in 1924 and active until 1988).

The demanding work of reordering the Archives of the Second Vatican Council will also be taken into account. In the three opening texts of our double-page spread we are offering in advance excerpts from Cardinal Farina's presentation, from the opening report (on the origins of the Archives) which will be given by Bishop Sergio Pagano, Prefect of the Vatican Secret Archives, and of the report by Francesca di Giovanni with which the first day of the Congress will conclude and which will focus on the letters of the two offices that were set up by Pope Pius XII at the outbreak of the Second World War: the Ufficio Informazioni Vaticano [Vatican Information Office] and the Commissione soccorsi [Relief Commission].

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Nov. 15, 2019

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