The Vatican Library launches a new academic journal

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The new Vatican Library Review will promote high-quality research related to the library’s collections.

The Vatican Apostolic Library was officially established in 1475, although it is much older: historians explain that the Vatican Apostolic Library has its origins in the early days of Christianity itself, with the preservation of highly valued manuscripts from the 1st century.

Now, the Library has launched a new scientific journal, the Vatican Library Reviewinviting researchers from different scientific fields to submit their contributions. Cardinal Jose Tolentino of Mendoncalibrarian and archivist of the Vatican, encouraged the scientific community to join him in “this dual effort of scientific rigor and intercultural dialogue.”

Installed in the Lateran Palace until the end of the 13th century, the Vatican Library grew exponentially under the pontificate of Boniface VIII, who had one of the largest collections of illuminated manuscripts in Europe.

Later, in 1451, Pope Nicholas V (himself a renowned bibliophile) attempted to re-establish Rome as an academic center of world significance, building a relatively modest library of over 1,200 volumes, including his personal collection of classics Greek and Roman texts and a series of texts brought from Constantinople.

Today, the Vatican Library keeps about 75,000 codices, 85,000 incunabula (that is, editions made between the invention of the printing press and the 16th century), for a grand total of over a million pounds. Most of these treasures are displayed online.

As read in Article by Carol Glatz for OSV, Cardinal Mendonça explained, in his editorial note to the journal’s first issue, that the Vatican Library Review “aspires to be an attractive place to publish high-quality, peer-reviewed research by welcoming and allocating actively making contributions”. The Library “having always been a place of research and an active host of collaborations”, they expect the journal to contribute to sharing its wealth “with the academic world”.

The journal will be published twice a year, in print and online. Some of the most interesting articles included in its first edition include an article on Visual Kabbalah in the Italian Renaissanceand one unpublished Tristán cycle. The journal accepts works in English, German, French and Italian. It also accepts shorter notes, conference reports, book reviews and summaries of completed dissertations.

You can read (and submit) articles here.

VATICAN LIBRARY
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