Since sec. Certificate IV is the Scrinium of the Roman Church, which served as a library as a repository. Since the end of the century. VIII is the figure of the Roman Church Bibliothecarius (this is called the librarian Theophylact in a document of 784, under Pope Adrian I). The first library and archive of the first popes were missing, for reasons not yet well known, in the first half of the century. XIII. New collections of the popes of this century, of which there is still an inventory done under Boniface VIII (1294-1303), emigrated with heavy losses after his death, in Perugia, then to Assisi, then in Avignon. There John XXII (1316-1334) began the formation of a new library, partially entered the century. XVII in the collection of the Borghese family, he returned in 1891 to the Holy See.
By Nicholas V to Sixtus V.
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In the mid-fifteenth century, after the return of the popes in Rome with Gregory XI in 1378, must be set the beginning of the modern history of the Vatican Library. Indeed, it was Nicholas V (1447-1455) to decide that the codes Latin, Greek and Hebrew, increased during his reign from 350 to about 1,200 found present at the time of his death (March 24, 1455), were made available for inspection and reading scholars. The library of the time of Nicholas V consisted of one room, his project was completed and built by Sixtus IV (1471-1484), with a bull (For decorem militantis Ecclesiae, June 15, 1475), the appointment of a librarian (Bartolomeo Platina) and financial support necessary. The headquarters of the new institution was placed on the ground floor of a building already restored by Nicholas V, with an entrance from the courtyard of parrots and a statement said the courtyard of the Belvedere; Sixtus IV made it to decorate the classrooms of some of the best painters of the time. The four classrooms were called, respectively, Bibliotheca Bibliotheca Graeca Latina (for works in both languages), Bibliotheca Secreta (for manuscripts not directly available to readers, including some valuable codes), Bibliotheca Pontificia (for archives and papal registers). The Library was undergoing assisted by three and a bookbinder. He practiced reading in, with the discipline of strict regulations, but prevailed in this period on loan, of which only the records for the years 1475-1547 (Vat lat. 3964 and 3966). The collection continued to increase, rising by a total of 2,527 codes in 1475 to 3,498 in 1481 codes.
In the sixteenth century, the Library continued to grow, especially under Leo X (1513-1521), with research and acquisition of manuscripts and printed books of the acquisitions. With Gregory XIII (1572-1585) began to be separate archival material, but only under Paul V (1605-1621) came to be the responsibility of a separate institution, the Vatican Secret Archives. Between 1587 and 1589, long after the initial site was no longer able to contain the material continues to grow, Sixtus V (1585-1590) decided to build a new home for the Library and commissioned the architect Domenico Fontana project. The building, which still houses the library, was built on staircases partition between the Cortile del Belvedere and the hours the library said. In the top floor of the large hall was decorated with two aisles (Sistine Hall), 70 meters long and 15 wide.
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