Opening days: Monday 8: 30-12: 30; Tuesday 8: 30-12: 30; Wednesday 8: 30-12: 30; Thursday 8: 30-12: 30; Friday 8: 30-12: 30 and 14: 30-17: 30; Saturday 9: 30-12: 30.
DIOCESAN CENTER FOR THE DOCUMENTATION OF RELIGIOUS HISTORY AND CULTURE
The Diocesan Center for the Documentation of Religious History and Culture (the Cedido), opened May 26, 2004. Located near the Papal Palace, it houses many historical archives and ecclesiastical libraries. Specifically it is comprised of The Historic Diocesan Archive of Viterbo, the Archive and Library of the Chapter of the Cathedral, the Library of the Interdiocesan of Viterbo and Tuscania, the Archive and Library of the Viterbo branch of Italian Catholic Action, the archives of several parishes, monasteries, and convents of the Diocese, and since 2007, the library of the Center for Research on the History of Northern Lazio. Il Cedido brings together documentary assets of great importance, constituting an inestimable historical resource. It is a place not only for conservation, but also for the appreciation of documents produced in different times and by different institutions, entities, and persons connected to the Diocese of Viterbo. All of these documents are fundamental to the knowledge of religious history and culture in this region. Part of the work of the center is to safeguard and appreciate the archives and libraries of the old Diocese of Acquapendente, Bagnoregio, Montefiascone, and Tuscania, which in 1986 were merged in the actual Diocese of Viterbo and which remain in that location. Il Cedido conserves these documents and in some cases permits public access and in other cases allowing access to the documents by appointment only.
The Diocesan Center for the Documentation of Religious History and Culture is situated on the first floor of the Papal Palace. In the summer of 2003, many materials that were once conserved in other parts of the Palace were moved to the Cedido. Thanks to the recommendation of the Bishop of Viterbo, the materials from other parishes within the Diocese were also moved to the Cedido so that they could be better conserved and more easily accessed and used. To these important resources were added the archives of the Convents and Monasteries, the archives of numerous Brotherhoods and Guilds, the Archive of the Interdiocesan Seminary of Viterbo and Tuscania, and the Archive of the Viterbo branch of Italian Catholic Action. Today the Diocesan Center of Documentation holds a huge quantity of documentary materials: around 5000 pieces dated between the 14th and 20th centuries, in addition to the important bibliographical collections of the libraries of the Chapter of the Cathedral of Viterbo, the Viterbo Branch of Catholic Action (moved from its former home at via del Collegio), the Seminaries of Viterbo and Tuscania (previously in the care of the Province of Viterbo), and the Center for Research on the Story of Northern Lazio (which was previously housed in Morlupo). Among the archival holdings of the Diocesan Center of Documentation, one must remember:
The archive of the Chapter of the Cathedral.
An archive made up of papers produced by the Chapter of the Cathedral, an entity composed of prominent members of the clergy who supported the bishop in the functions of ritual and administration and who took on his role in his absence. This archive contains documents which were created between the 14th and 20th centuries (excluding the parchments, of which the oldest was created in 1031). For the most part, these documents served administrative and accounting purposes. Important are the Statues and Decrees of the chapter: registries containing the rules of the chapter and the decisions that the chapter made every time it assembled. Others are inventories of personal property, land registries, books of the administration of all of the assets of the chapter, books of the administration of prebende (the salary paid to each member of the clergy), contracts (generally called “instrumenta”), the receipts and the Judiciary Acts. The production (and the conservation) of this type of document was expressly requested and imposed by the bishop because it was considered important for the affirmation of the rights and privileges of the jurisdiction of the ecclesiastical patrimony.
Lastly, one cannot forget the documents regarding the liturgical aspects of the life of the chapter like the books of the masses, on which are registered the celebration of the masses and the books on which are signed the absences of the clergymen from the choir during the community prayers. The archive of the chapter also contributes parts to some aggregate archives such as those of the “Association of the clergy of Viterbo” (which was an autonomous entity, which included only priests) and the archives of some Brotherhoods and Guilds that were held in the cathedral.
The Archive of the Episcopal Curia.
The documents housed in the Archive of the Episcopal Curia are of varying subjects: in some cases they are about general matters of the government of the Diocese or of a single local church; in others there are matters of acts of the states and of licenses for very particular questions. In general, they are acts that regard the rights, management, and conservation of the ecclesiastical patrimony and the patrimony related to the ecclesiastical privileges.
After these come the documents regarding the defense of the Episcopal jurisdiction and the possibility to exercise it fully, defense and exercise that, we can imagine, were contested and limited both by the clergy and the seminarists and by the other authorities that were exercising the power in the same territory.
The patrimonial documentary conserved today is divided in the following series:
Acts regarding ecclesiastics and the religious
Administration of the curia
The episocopal canteens
Administration of the parishes
Archives of the Bishops
Pastoral medical visits
Processi di canonizzazione
Processes of cannonization
Stamps of the bishops
The Archives of the Parishes
The parochial registers constitute, for the modern age, an important source for the study of the historical demography, geneaology, sociology, statistics and names. The distinctiveness of these sources, above all in the rural community span until the napoleonic period, when the Office of the Civil Registry and the Office of the Civil State of the Towns were founded. Between the important sacramental books — which include Baptisms, Confirmations, Marriages, Deaths and the census of the States of the Souls – are also conserved the papers relative to the diverse activities occurring in the parishes, the administrations of their property, the brotherhoods that sat in them, the parishes which were closed and became dependent or filial churches or other ecclesiastical organisms (chapliancy, etc), the fervent activities of the charity given by the parishes over the course of the centuries.
The parishes which have deposited their archives in the Cedido are:
San Andrea Apostolo
San Angelo in Spata
Santi Faustino and Giovita (or simply S. Faustino)
San Giacomo and Martino
San Giovanni Battista degli Almadiani
San Giovanni Evangelista (or S. Giovanni in Zoccoli)
San Lorenzo (Cattedrale)
Santa Maria dell’Edera (or Saint Maria dell’Ellera)
Santa Maria delle Farine
Santa Maria in Poggio
Santa Maria Nuova
San Matteo in Sonsa
Santa Maria Assunta
San Michele Arcangelo
Santa Maria in Porciano
Santa Maria del Soccorso
San Antonio Abate
Santi Giacomo and Filippo
Villa Saint Giovanni in Tuscia
Santa Maria Assunta
Santa Maria e S. Leonardo
San Martino al Cimino
Abbazia di San Martino
The Archives of the Brotherood of Viterbo and diocese
The high number of brotherhoods present and active in both the medieval and modern periods testifies to the charity that give life to the work of the people of Viterbo, that drove them to help the poor of the city and gather them under their protection, to sustain the needy, to comfort those sentenced to death, and to pray for the souls in purgatory.
This archive is made up of the documents of the following brotherhoods:
The Brotherhood of Gonfalone
The Brotherhood of San Egidio
The Brotherhood of Santa Maria della Cella
The Brotherhood of Santissimo Nome di Gesù
The Brotherhood of Santissimo Crocefisso in S. Clemente
The Brotherhood of San Leonardo
The Society of San Biagio
The Society of Santissimo Nome di Dio e Carità
The Society of San Carlo
The Society of San Rocco
The Society of Suffragio
The Society of la Morte
The Society of Santissimo Sacramento
The Oratory of San Girolamo
The Oratory of Maria Santissima della Grotticella
The Brotherhood of Gonfalone
The Brotherhood of Santi Antonio e Rocco
The Brotherhood of Santi Carlo e Ambrogio
The Society of Pianto
The Brotherhood of Santissimo Rosario
The Society of Santissimo Sacramento
Villa S. Giovanni in Tuscia
The Brotherhood of Santa Maria della Neve
The Archives of the guilds of Viterbo
The guilds of the arts and the professions were begun to help and protect the diverse categories of craftsmen. The principle objective of the guild was to protect all of the artisanal workers but, with time, it acquired a voice on the questions of public order and the conflicts which could arise in the matters of production, commerce, competition and market. They produced documentation of the relevant topics for the study of the economic and commercial activities of the city.
This collection is comprised from the books of administration, actuaries, statutes, and books of the decrees of diverse categories:
Guild of the shoemakers
Guild of the blacksmiths
Guild of the bricklayers
Guild of the Carpenters
Guild of the tailors
Guild of the merchants
Guild of the barbers
Guild of the apothecary
Guild of the produce merchants
Guild of the oil makers
Guild of agriculture
The archives of the convents and monasteries of Viterbo and other locations of the Diocese
The monasteries have played, over the course of history, an emblematic role in the context of society; they have constituted important centers of political and economic power and a meeting point for the diffusion of culture.
The archive consists of: documents chronicling the examination of novices who wished to join the convents in order to be sure of their commitment to religious life; Books of Directors (actuaries, records, registers, ledgers, etc.). intended to give an account of the revenue and income of many female monasteries of the City and Diocese:
Convent of Santa Maria della Verità
Monastery of Santa Maria Egiziaca
Convent of Santa Maria in Gradi
Convent of the Santissima Trinità
Conservatory of the Zitelle Sperse
Monastery of San Domenico
Monastery of Santa Maria della Pace
Monastery of the Visitazione di Maria Santissima
Monastery of San Bernardino
Convent of Santa Maria del Carmine
Convent of Santa Maria della Palomba
Monastery of Sant’Agostino
Monastery of Santa Caterina Vergine e Martire
Monastery of Santa Rosa
Convent di San Giovanni Battista
Soriano nel Cimino
Convent of Sant’Agostino
Monastery of San Paolo
Convent of Sant’Angelo
The Archive of the Diocese of Bagnoregio (Bagnoregio, Piazza Cavour)
The bishopric of Bagnoregio, founded in the sixth century, was enlarged in the twelfth century with the annexation of the Diocese of Bomarzo. Following the erection of the Diocese of Viterbo, Bagnoregio was united with the territory of Montefiascone, which was separated when, in 1369, the new bishop’s chair was established. In the last years of the seventeenth century the bishopric was transferred by Innocent XII from the Cathedral of the Civita to the church of SS. Nicola e Donato a Bagnoregio because of the damage that the old cathedral suffered during the earthquake of 1695. The affairs of the diocese were affected by French domination, and in a decree, dated August 12, 1810, Napoleon eliminated the Diocese and placed it under the care of the Diocese of Montefiascone. Until the fall of the Napoleonic government in 1814, the church at Bagnoregio was governed by vicars of the chapter. In 1986, with the restructuring of the Italian dioceses, Bagnoregio was placed within the scope of the Diocese of Viterbo.
The documentation relating to the diocese of Bagnoregio is now preserved in the old seat of the Bishop next to the cathedral (Piazza Cavour). There is a typed inventory of the documents concerning the archive of the curia, made â€‹â€‹by Bishop Galliano Moncelsi; a computerized analytical inventory of the Archives of the cathedral chapter was produced by Monica Ceccariglia and Danila Dottarelli. The inventories are in the care of the CEDIDO. This archive can be accessed by appointment.
The Archives of the Diocese of Montefiascone (Montefiascone, Piazza S. Margherita)
The Diocese of Montefiascone, founded in 1369, was extended in 1436 when it was united with the Diocese of Tarquinia (Corneto). In 1854 Corneto was united with Civitavecchia and Montefiascone to be an independent diocese until 1986 when the five original dioceses in Lazio (Montefiascone Acquapendente, Bagnoregio, Tuscania and Viterbo), were compressed and their territories united to the diocese of Viterbo. The diocesan archives of Montefiascone are kept in the offices of the old diocesan curia of Montefiascone in Santa Margherita square. It is well organized and has a paper inventory available at the CEDIDO. The consultation of these papers is available by appointment.
The Libraries of the seminaries of the old Diocese
The CEDIDO promotes the conservation and enhancement of the libraries of the seminaries of the old diocese of Lazio, in addition to those seminaries of Tuscania and Viterbo of which we have already written. Among these libraries are:
The Seminary Library of Viterbo
There is little news related to the Library of Seminary of Tuscania and Viterbo, which is still subject of study and research. The library hold around 8,000 volumes covering a period between the sixteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century. This collection is comprised of what were once two distinct collections: the Seminary Library of Viterbo and the Seminary Library of Tuscania. These collections are preserved in two different rooms inside the CEDIDO. The Seminary Library of Viterbo has a collection of about 4100 volumes. A decree of 1563, which obliged every diocese to found a seminary, is the reason for the foundation of a seminary in Viterbo and the library of this seminary. Because this was a seminary library, there are many texts concerning theology, history, and philosophy; however, there is a diverse collection contained in the library and study manuals are available for both students and professors. There are books of homilies, exemplary lives of the saints, and biographies of famous people; there are many works of classical writers, both Greek and Latin, as well as civil, ecclesiastical and canonical texts; there are even books on geography, science, medicine, eloquence, as well as dictionaries, anthologies of poetry, epics and books on chivalry.
The Library of the Seminary of Tuscania
The Seminary Library of Tuscania, stored in a room adjacent to the Library chapter house, consists of 3700 volumes, 279 of these are editions from the sixteenth century. The origin of this collection can be traced to the library of the convent of the Augustinians, both in private donations and the books purchased by the Jesuits who taught at the seminary until 1849.
In 1928, by decree of the Sacred Congregation, the seminaries of Tuscania and Viterbo were merged under the name of the “interdiocesan Seminary,” based in Viterbo. Because of the closure of the college of Tuscania the collection of the library began to be dispersed: in 1934 a part of the library of Tuscania became part of library at the Pontifical Seminary of S. Maria della Quercia in Viterbo. In 1964, the books were collected from Tuscania and were united with those from the seminary of Viterbo. These two libraries still remain together today. â€‹An inventory exists of all the volumes and is still used to search these collections.
The Library of the Seminary Barbarigo of Montefiascone
The Library of the Seminary Barbarigo of Montefiascone consists of two rooms. The first — originally called “Theology” and later turned into “Study of physics and chemistry” — includes about 11,000 volumes, 128 of which were printed in the 16th century; the second — the original library of the seminary — contains about 4300 volumes: 12 incunabula, 70 manuscripts from the 18th century, 220 printed editions from the 16th century, 1000 from the 17th century, 700 from the 18th century, and 100 from the 19th century. Today, some of the works of the Seminary Barbarigo (735 volumes) are located in the library of the Seminary of la Quercia.
The Library of the Regional Seminary of la Quercia
The Library of the Regional Seminary of la Quercia possesses 7000 volumes. These come in part from the Episcopal seminaries of Lazio (Acquapendente, Montefiscone, Civita Castellana, Orte, Nepi, Sutri, Tuscania and Viterbo) and in part from acquisitions made after 1933 and until the end of the seventies.
The Seminary Library AcquapendenteThe library of the Seminary of Acquapendente, housed on the premises of the old Episcopal curia, includes about 3,000 books and pamphlets. The collection was established in the nineteenth century with the endowments of Focaccetti, Constantino de Andreis and Ferdinando Sermini.
The library of the seminary of Bagnoregio
The library of the Seminary of Bagnoregio consists of about 9,000 volumes, including 400 incunabula and sixteenth century print books; This library consists of the collections of the former convent of the Augustinians and the endowment of Cardinal Gaetano Baluffi.
Diocesan Center for the Documentation of Religious History and Culture – Viterbo.
Translation by Clare Kuntz, Goucher College, enrolled in the USAC Viterbo program.