Doctrine-of-the-Faith's Archives to Be Electronically Catalogued

Italian Government Financing 4-Year Project

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 6, 2002 ( The historical archives of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith will be electronically catalogued, thanks to an agreement with the Italian Ministry for Cultural Goods.

Father Ciro Benedettini, assistant director of the Vatican Press Office, said that the agreement was signed by Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, secretary of the Vatican congregation, and professor Salvatore Italia, director general of the archives of the Italian Ministry for Patrimony and Cultural Activities.

Father Benedettini added that the agreement provides for «collaboration for the electronic cataloguing of the historical archives of the Vatican dicastery, which are comprised of the records of the former Congregation of the Holy Office and of the Index of Prohibited Books, as well as those of the tribunal of the Inquisition of Siena.»

He recalled that the archives were officially opened for consultation by scholars in January 1998, «causing notable interest among historians throughout the world.»

As a result, the signed agreement «will allow for the completion, in four years, of an ambitious project of computerizing the catalogue and inventory of the above-mentioned records,» Father Benedettini explained Thursday.

«A team of young archivists has already begun this work and, up to now, they have catalogued 2,500 pieces, including antique file folders and files, registers, parchments, designs, engravings and various documents, which date from the middle of the 16th century to the early years of the 20th century,» he explained.

The above «embrace a very broad area of subject matters, which makes the study of such records absolutely indispensable in knowing Italian, European and world history and culture of modern times,» the statement of the Vatican spokesman concluded.

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