The Library

As I begin Advent, I decided to take a historical, artistic journey (online of course). Come and stroll with Mike Wallace through the halls of the amazing, awesome Vatican Library, over 500 years old.  See a replica of the Gospel written on papyrus by St John and watch document experts  digitize and restore manuscripts. 

Aquinas' handwriting

Handwriting of St Thomas Aquinas



RULES FOR READERS  to the Vatican Library

I. Admission

Qualified researchers and 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 prerequisites for admission are the availability of space and adequate training, documented and attested by an accredited academic institution. According to a long-standing tradition, readers are requested to indicate the nature of their research project.
University students are not normally granted admission. Exceptions may be made for graduate students preparing a doctoral thesis (Dottorato di ricerca) or studying for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Dr. phil./PhD), as well as for undergraduate students who have a specific need to consult the manuscripts or other materials preserved only in the Vatican Library. Students must provide a letter indicating that their institution accepts liability for their actions, and the Library reserves the right to verify that they possess the competence and experience necessary to handle the precious materials with the required care. Annual reader’s passes issued to students expire a few weeks earlier than the other passes, as indicated on the Library’s annual calendar.
A replacement pass may be issued, in case of loss, theft or damage to the original pass, for a fee of € 10,00.  10 Euro equals 13.61 US Dollar

For admission to the Library, the following documents are required:

  • a letter of introduction (particularly for first-time applicants) or a document certifying the applicant’s academic qualifications, of which the Library keeps the original or a copy;
  • a valid identification document which includes the reader’s address, of which the Library keeps a copy;
  • the Library may, at its own discretion, require a letter of guaranty (this is always required of students).

vatican library reading roomPope Benedict at Vatican library

vatican library logo

digitizing manuscripts

vatican library front

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