Public Record Office: Rome Archives Series I
This series contains transcripts of documents in the Vatican, the English College at Rome, the Angelica Library, the Barberini Palace and elsewhere.
In 1872, the British government decided to publish, under the direction of the Master of the Rolls, all materials illustrative of the history of Great Britain which were extant in foreign libraries and archives (in particular, Venice, Madrid, Vienna, Brussels and Rome). For this purpose, the Master of the Rolls, Lord Romilly, appointed the Rev Joseph Stevenson of St Mary's College, Oscott, to go to Rome to transcribe copies of documents and papers preserved in the libraries and archives there which related to the history of Great Britain, commencing with the reign of Henry VIII.
On 24 December 1876, the Rev Stevenson resigned his appointment due to ill-health. He was replaced by Mr William Henry Bliss, formerly an assistant in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, who commenced his researches in January 1877. Bliss was assisted in his research in Rome and in the editing of the calendars, in particular by Mr Charles Johnson of the PRO, and primarily by Mr J A Twemlow, sometime Professor Emeritus and Reader of Palaeography at Liverpool University, who later had responsibility for editing the series of Calendars of Papal Registers.
On 8 March 1909, Bliss died in Rome and was succeeded, from September 1909, by Mr J A Rigg, editor for the Selden Society and an inspector for the Historical Manuscripts Commission (HMC). Rigg continued the work until 1917 when it was reported in the 79th DKR (1920), p 7, that the 'actual work of research in Foreign Archives has been wholly stopped by the war'. From 1920, the editor(s) of the Calendar of Papal Registers recommenced visiting Rome to acquire material for their continuation.
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- PRO Domestic Records of the Public Record Office, Gifts, Deposits, Notes and Transcripts
- Transcripts of Records and Scholars' Notes
- PRO 31/9 Public Record Office: Rome Archives Series I