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Picture books offer a unique view of Vatican history

Picture books offer a unique view of Vatican history

The Vatican's Apostolic Library has collected hundreds of thousands of pictures of popes, the Vatican and other scenes that stem back to the 1800s and is offering those images to the public in two recently-published books.  One of the books is titled One Hundred Images of the Nineteenth Century and the other is The Papal Collection of Photographs in the Vatican Library.

While the Papal Collection includes photographs of popes and the Vatican, it also includes pictures and postcards that had been sent from all over the world.  Travel was difficult so parishioners sent images concerning wars, migrations, and local projects to give the pope a physical sense of what was happening worldwide.

The first pope to have his picture formally taken was Pius IX in 1845 (pictured above).

The photo books are the result of three years of choosing and researching pictures in the Vatican's archive.


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About D. Beeksma

One of the growing crowd of American "nones" herself, Deborah is a prolific writer who finds religion, spirituality and the impact of belief (and non-belief) on culture inspiring, fascinating and at times, disturbing. She hosts the God Discussion show and handles the site's technical work. Her education and background is in business, ecommerce and law.
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