May 29, 2022

Vatican Library, Japan to Catalogue Lost Archive

From the AP (via Yahoo News):

Monsignor Cesare Pasini, head of the Vatican’s Apostolic Library, said the so-called Marega Papers represent the largest known civic archive of its kind.

An Italian missionary priest took the 22 bundles of documents out of Japan in the 1940s and brought them to Rome. They sat in the Vatican library’s storage depository for decades until a Vatican researcher who could read the characters realized their importance in 2010.

Contacts with Japanese experts ensued, and a team of Japanese researchers came to the Vatican in September to have a first look at the trove. On Tuesday, a six-year agreement to inventory the documents and prepare them for study was signed between the Vatican Library and the National Institute of Japanese Literature, the National Museum of Japanese History, the historiographical institute of the University of Tokyo and the archive of the prefecture of Oita.

“It is clear that these documents are unique,” Pasini said Tuesday in an interview with The Associated Press. “The Japanese experts say that there is no other collection this big.”

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.