A long, progressive, mysterious series of details
July 15, 2021
A long, progressive, mysterious series of details, concerning which not only is the overall design unclear but even their exact order or number is obscure: this is how the Vatican Apostolic Library presents itself to the online public.
Beginning today, those who wish to will set off on a journey to discover this unique institution with its exceptional history and heritage. The Library virtually opens its doors to the general public, allowing an unique visit to their spaces, to their collections and to those activities that animate it, both by its own employees and by scholars who make use of the Library. In order to reveal its extraordinary nature, we gave up immediately the idea of trying to contain it in a single idea: no overarching picture is possible! Any overall presentation would be premature or even stifling. Perhaps it would tell a lot, but it could not comprehend the passion or the provisional nature of the work or the vivacity of the present; for this we prefer an invitation to follow the trail of fragments scattered along a path, small pieces of a mosaic that will be composed over time, which will reveal only one aspect of this institution at a glance: one of its books or art objects, one of its professional activities, a room or a piece of technological equipment, an architectural detail, the profile of a visitor.
To those who have the curiosity to follow us, during this month we will ask questions and speak riddles, tell stories and show rarities and oddities, as well as attempt to illustrate the enormous work that a hundred people do every day in these ageless rooms that are apparently so quiet, but we will do so always and only in the form of detail, minutely and incomplete. A library told… per speculum et in aenigmate.