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Records of the Roman Inquisitions

Collectively these documents are sometimes referred to as the 'Records of the Roman Inquisitions' (which spanned the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries), and are among the largest collections of this type in any international repository. The subjects covered include the sentences of trials relating to heresy, sorcery and bigamy, and reports – sent to Rome – on litigation before provincial tribunals.

This material forms part of a larger collection of Church-related documents taken from the Vatican to Paris in 1813 by Napoleon, who dreamed of a central archive for the empire in the French capital. The Trinity College Dublin collection includes papal bulls and letters from the time of Boniface IX (1389) to Pius VI (1787). The documents found their way, via a circuitous route, to the Library of Trinity College Dublin in 1854. The iron-gall ink used in these documents has had a corrosive effect on the paper over the centuries. The fact that so many other Vatican records from this period were lost or destroyed makes the Trinity College collection even more historically valuable.

Shelfmark: TCD MS 1245 folio 36r

Ellen O'Flaherty

Ellen O'Flaherty is an Archivist in the Department of Manuscripts & Archives. Her main responsibility in this role is the curation of the College Archives, and she has a particular interest in the area of the digital preservation of born-digital archives and records.