When in Rome

As some of you know when I was in Rome for a library conference in January, we were lucky enough to visit the Vatican library. It’s an incredible place. Of course, photos and videos were right out for us, lowly librarians that we were. So too was seeing the treasures!

But one of the group sent me a link this morning to a video report done for 60 minutes on the Vatican Library so I thought I’d share. It really captures something of the place, its history, its (often bizare) accessions – Henry VIII’s love letters to Anne Boelyn for example, and the breathtakingly beautiful Salon Sistino (pic above). It also shows us the behind the scenes work of the conservators, and the amazing things they do to preserve the most fragile of documents for the future. I can never praise this sort of work highly enough.

There’s an additional video where Morley Safer gets the same tour of the Salon Sistino as we did, but I will never forget seeing an elderly librarian of my group standing there, with his mouth wide open and head tilted right back as he stared in wonder at the ceiling like a small boy.

The extras are well worth looking at as well – the treasures oh, the shiny treasures… – and an explanation of why the library is closed to the public. And of course, if the library was burning down, what would the experts save??? 😉