New Library and Custodial Archive Facilities to Be Inaugurated | Custodia Terrae Sanctae

New Library and Custodial Archive Facilities to Be Inaugurated

On Thursday, 28 February 2013, at 8:30 AM, the new facilities for the Custody of the Holy Land's General Library and Archive will be inaugurated in the Immacolata Hall of Saint Saviour Monastery.

This space within the Saint Saviour Monastery complex holds a large part of the history of the Custody of the Holy Land. The Custodial Archives put a large number of documents, firmans, papal bulls, and maps of sanctuaries dating from the 13th century up to our own days at the disposition of scholars and researchers. The library's new facilities are much larger than its previous home; its holdings have been computerized and can now be consulted via an online catalog: antique books and manuscripts, special collections from the oldest to the newest, and all the books used for study and research by friars, students, professors and researchers from around the world. The library's new site, from which OPAC can be accessed, is

On the day of the inauguration, addresses will be given by Fra Massimo Pazzini, Dean of the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum; Fra Marcello Badalamenti, Custodial Librarian; and Professor Edoardo Barbieri, Ordinary of the Library and Director of the Center for European Study, publishers of Catholic University, following which Dr. Alessandro Tedesco will present "Books of the Holy Land. A voyage through the antique books of the General Library of the Custody of the Holy Land in Jerusalem," also in Immacolata Hall.

The morning will continue with addresses from Fra Narcyz Klimas, Custodial Archivist; Prof. Andrea Maiarelli, Professor of Archival Science at the Theological Institute of Assisi; and Doctors Valeria Vestrelli, Tiziana Nandesi and Maria Cominacini, catalogers who followed the work. It will conclude with a greeting from the Custos, Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, benediction, and a visit to the new home of the Library and Archive of the Custody of the Holy Land.

Cataloguing and evaluating the enormous patrimony of the Custody's library, which both recounts and attests to Franciscan history in the Holy Land, was made possible by the "Books – Bridges of Peace" project coordinated by the ATS (Association of the Holy Land), the Custody of the Holy Land's NGO. Restoration and renovation of the spaces in which the Archive and Library are now located was coordinated by the Custody Technical Office, and was carried out by workers from the "Jerusalem – Stones of Memory" project.

M. Mezzera