Critical online edition of the uncial records 1917‒1929
Eugenio Pacelli, better known as Pope Pius XII (1939-1958), is one of the most controversial personalities of the 20th century due to his “silence” on the Holocaust. As early as when he was nuncio in Germany from 1917 to 1929 he co-determined the Vatican’s politics in Germany, Europe and the world.
In the online-edition, the nuncial reports Pacelli sent to various Vatican congregations (the drafts as well as the final versions), the respective Roman instructions as well as all enclosures attached are made accessible to the broad public via open access. More than 20,500 documents from the Vatican archives, primarily in Italian, German, Latin and French, are transcribed, commented and evaluated. The edition is prepared by a team of researchers at the Department for Medieval and Modern Church History of the Faculty of Catholic Theology at the University of Münster in cooperation with the Vatican Secret Archives and the German Historical Institute in Rome.
The documents are saved in XML format and displayed with the help of an eXist database in the web browser. The so-called “layer model” makes it possible to dynamically visualize the stages of the drafts including all insertions and cancellations by attributing various colors to the respective writers involved in the preparation of the report. This makes it possible to trace the drafts’ complex genesis from the very first sketch to the version dispatched to Rome, which grants deep insights into the nunciature’s way of working.
Understanding the Italian nuncial reports and the instructions is facilitated by German summaries. Moreover, biographical information is offered on all individuals mentioned; if possible, these entries are indexed by norm data or automatically linked with other online resources such as biographical encyclopedia or library catalogs. The wide-ranging catchwords comprise a variety of global commentaries, which replace a book’s classical register. Furthermore, a chronological view of the documents as well as access to the documents according to the archival holdings is offered. Additional search options round out the research possibilities.