Vatican Secret Archives

Vatican Secret Archives

The Vatican secret archive is buried deep within the walls of Vatican City, and mostly underground. It houses the immense history of the acts of Pope, state papers, historic documents, papal account books, and other official correspondence, some of which dates back to the 8th century. Among other things, it has are letters from Michelangelo, a letter from Mary Queen of Scots written while she was awaiting her execution, and King Henry VIII’s request for a marriage annulment. The archives span over 52 miles of shelving and houses 35,000 items. Access is strictly limited to staff and qualified scholars who have to undergo rigorous application process to be granted entry.

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