The Archives: the past and the present A virtual tour of the Archives amid frescoes and documents Documents belonging to history The archive fonds The diplomatics of the papal documents The Vatican School of Paleography, Diplomatics and Archives Administration To study and consult: publications, CD-Roms, DVDs The laboratories Collaboration projects The staff
Vatican Secret Archives Vatican Museums Vatican Library
Brief description
Collection Index
and related
and research resources
Advices Collection IndexReferences
and concordances
Rules for scholars Some notices From the «Bulletin
of the Press Office
of the Holy See»
General Bibliography
- Collection Index
  and related
  and research
- Form to request   photoreproductions
- Authorization to use
  pictures for publishing
Opening of the Archives to scholarsTable of admissions
in the last ten years



  1. The Archives are open to qualified Researchers from institutions of Higher Education pursuing scientific researches and who have an adequate knowledge of archival research.
  2. Applications requesting access to the Archives must be submitted to the Prefect along with a letter of introduction by either a recognized institute of research or by a suitably qualified person in the field of historical research.
  3. Applications should specify the applicant’s surname, first name(s), qualifications (these must include at least a four-year University degree or equivalent), profession, nationality, home address, address in Rome and purpose of the research.
  4. Please find enclosed a copy of the Degree Certificate and two photographs, one of which will be used for the Entry Card required to enter the Vatican City and the Archive Study Rooms.
  5. Entry Cards expire on 15th July of each year. Cards will be renewed upon consignment of the expired one.
  6. Undergraduate students are not admitted into the Archives.
  7. In order to allow access to as many Researchers as possible, according to the number of places available, access is usually not permitted to more than one researcher working on the same topic.
  8. The Archives are open to Researchers from 15/16th September to 15th July (8:15 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.) from Monday to Saturday. The Admissions Secretary issues Entry Cards from Monday to Friday from 8:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. The periods and days the Archives are closed are shown on the «Archives Calendar». The Bursar’s Office is open to Researchers every day from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.
  9. Researchers holding an Entry Card may enter the Archives from Monday to Saturday, between 8:15 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. A written explanation must be submitted to the Prefect to request afternoon access (from 3:00 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.).
  10. Documents can be consulted until the end of the papacy of Pius XI (10th February 1939), as well as the Fond «Ufficio Informazioni Vaticano (Prigionieri di guerra 1939-1947)».
  11. The forms available should be used to request archival material. No more than three volumes or envelopes may be requested per day. Requests are accepted until 12:00 noon.
  12. All volumes and documents must be handled with the utmost care. It is strictly forbidden to write, even in pencil, on archival documents or to place paper or any other objects on the material. Furthermore, the order of the papers contained in the envelopes must not be altered when reading them.
  13. Scholars who need to take notes, may only use graphite-pencils. Ballpoint-pens, fountain-pens, felt-tip pens, etc., are strictly forbidden.
  14. If the volume, the envelope or the document issued to the researcher is in a poor state of preservation or presents any problem whatsoever, the researcher must inform the staff in the Study  Room.
  15. It is strictly forbidden to remove any material from the Study Room.
  16. Indexes must be consulted in the Index Room and replaced in their original location. Publication of the indexes, in part or as a whole, is forbidden.
  17. Silence must be observed in all parts of the Archives. Please dress with discretion.
  18. Researchers unfamiliar with the Archive collections and indexes should refer to the consultation guidebook provided by the Prefecture. Publications are available to help researchers orient themselves.
  19. Researchers are not allowed to photograph documents. Reproductions can be requested to the Archives Photographic Service.
  20. When admitted to the Archives, researchers have the obligation to send the Prefecture a copy of their publications (articles in journals, exhibition catalogues, books etc.) where documents from the Archives are used or quoted.
  21. Reference number of all volumes and documents should be quoted in the correct and concise form, as indicated in the Collection Index. If in doubt, please ask a staff member in the Reading Room. The words «Archivio Segreto Vaticano» (ASV) must be completed with referral to the Vatican City, and not to Rome.
  22. Failure to observe these Rules will result in the refusal of future access to the Archives.

The Archives: the past & the present  ~  A tour of the Archives amid frescoes and documents  
 Documented historical events   ~  The archival fonds  ~  The diplomatics of the papal documents   
The Vatican School of Palaeography, Diplomatics and Archives Administration  
To study and consult - publications. CD-rom, DVD
s    The  laboratories   ~  Collaboration projects   ~  The staff

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