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Copyright Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana
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The Vatican Apostolic Library

As one of the oldest libraries in the world, the Vatican Apostolic Library holds an important collection of historical books and materials that can be considered some of the treasures of humankind. From its establishment by Pope Nicholas V in the middle of XV century to the present day, the Library has assembled a collection of valuable documents from around the world, through both donation and purchase. With more than 100,000 archival units, one million and 600,000 printed books (of which 8,700 incunabula), 400,000 coins and medals, 100,000 prints, drawings and matrices and 150,000 photographs, the Library now contains a huge documentation of the humankind's history and thinking. An important aspect of those holdings can be found in the approximately 82,000 manuscripts, which range from the artistically important and lavishly adorned illuminated manuscripts to works of scholarly importance such as manuscripts on the subjects of the history, laws, philosophy, science and theology of their respective periods. The most famous work in the collection is one of the oldest extant manuscripts of the Holy Bible, known as the Codex Vaticanus.