Long-term DFG project "The Roman Inquisition and Congregation of the Index from 1542 to 1966"

© Titelkupfer des Index librorum prohibitorum von 1758

The Archivio della Congregazione per la Dottrina della Fede (ACDF), the Archive of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has only been accessible to research since 1998. The archive houses the files on Roman book censorship by the Inquisition and Congregation of the Index. For more than 400 years these two Congregations have been dealing with modern cultures of knowledge.

While Roman censorship was initially concerned with combating the Protestant "heresies" in the wake of Luther and Calvin, it soon developed into an instrument for total control over the media. Therefore, no other archive offers such a comprehensive reflection of the European history of knowledge. The long-term DFG project "The Roman Inquisition and Congregation of the Index from 1542 to 1966" at the Department of Medieval and Modern Church History was scheduled to run for twelve years. Since 2002, this project has been working on a comprehensive scientific tool that systematically indexes and describes the archiveʼs holdings on the subject of book censorship. It includes the edition of the mostly large-format prohibition broadsides (Bandi), a systematic repertory and a prosopography.

The results for the 19th century were presented in 2005, and the volumes for the 18th century have been available since 2009. Printing of the volumes for the 16th and 17th centuries has been delayed by the conclusion of the DFG funding. The Systematic Repertory for the Inquisition and the two prosopographic volumes "Personen und Profile" were published at the beginning of 2020. The "Bandi" will follow in spring 2022. The Systematic Repertory for the Congregation of the Index is currently being completed with the assistance of funding from the Fritz Thyssen Foundation.