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A Librarian/Archivist in Rome

Updated: Nov 23, 2023

Winter Workshop for the Archives of the Holy See and the Roman Catholicism

January 23 - 27, 2023

Arabic-language and Jewish materials on view in the L’Archivio del Dicastero per la Dottrina della Fede (Archive of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith), Vatican City.

From Monday 23rd to Friday 27th January 2023, I attended the second winter workshop organized by the Sangalli Institute in Rome, Italy. The Institute's goal of the workshop was to "facilitate a deeper knowledge of the archives of the Holy See and of the documents preserved therein" (from the institute's website).

Classes were held at the Sala Erba inside the Barnabite complex of S. Carlo ai Catinari, right in the heart of the Roman historical center. Lectures were taught by professors Benedetta Albani (Max Planck Institute for Legal History, Frankfurt), Giorgio Caravale (Università Roma Tre), Serena Di Nepi (Sapienza Università di Roma), and Vitale Zanchettin (Istituto Universitario di Architettura, Venezia), with the main bulk of the in-class archives workshop taught by Dr. Enrico Flaiani (Vatican Apostolic Archives). Our class took guided tours to multiple Vatican archives: Archivio di Stato di Roma; The Archive of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; Fabbrica di San Pietro archives; Penitenzieria Apostolica, and the archives of the Propaganda Fide.

Me waiting for class to begin in the Sala Erba, inside the Barnabite complex of S. Carlo ai Catinari.

As a professional working in the library and archives field, I was super excited to attend this week-long program it Rome. This makes sense, given that the nature of the workshop was dealing with archival collections in Rome and Vatican City, and it was great to gain some insight into how some institutions outside the United States manage their archives. But my interest in this workshop was also related to the work I am doing in my current academic work. After graduating with a masters degree in Library and Information Science in May 2022, I am now in a second graduate program in Near Eastern Studies at New York University (NYU). At NYU, I am focusing my research on the legacy of the 800-year period of Muslim rule in Spain and the Spanish Catholic Reconquista in Puerto Rican art and visual culture. Participating in this workshop allowed me the opportunity to explore deeper religions connections between Catholic Europe and the Caribbean.

In addition, on a personal level, I love any opportunity to travel there is good enough reason for me! It's also a great chance for me to practice my Italian skills, which I don't usually have a chance to use in my everyday life.

My cozy, humble accommodations at the Studentato dorms. Situated on Giancolo hill, it was a bit over a mile walk each way to class everyday, but definitely gave me great exercise!

Our classroom at the Sala Erba inside the Barnabite complex of S. Carlo ai Catinari.

Tour of the Archivio di Stato di Roma complex, with images from the exhibition in the Alessandrina Library as well as inside the church of Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza.

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